Pretty much every Apple Watch model has had some form of water resistance. But does that really mean you can shower with your Apple Watch? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might expect.
Apple Watch Water Resistance
Not all Apple Watches are the same. If you have an older model wearable, it has a different water-resistance rating.
- For example, the Apple Watch Series 0 (released in 2015) and the Apple Watch Series 1 (released in 2016) have an IPX7 rating. That means they’re splash- and water-resistant. But you should not submerge them in water.
- The Apple Watch Series 2 and later are actually swim-proof. While Apple doesn’t specify what its IP rating is, the company says that it’s rated to withstand water up to 50 meters deep.
That means you can take newer Apple Watches swimming with you. But that still doesn’t mean you should shower with them.
So, You Can’t Shower with an Apple Watch?
While most Apple Watches are water-resistant and some of them are swim-proof, Apple recommends against exposing any Apple Watch to “soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and perfumes.”
Why? Because those soaps and cleaners can “negatively affect water seals and acoustic membranes.”
In other words, most of the things you usually use in your shower may damage your Apple Watch, despite the fact that water won’t.
It’s also worth noting that IP ratings aren’t static. Your Apple Watch’s water-resistance may actually diminish over time, especially if you’ve dropped it, use it in soapy water, or exposed it to other cleaners and chemicals.
Apple also notes that steam may impact the water seals, meaning a steamy shower environment may not be good for it.
Of course, there’s also the question of your Apple Watch’s band. While your silicone sport band may be fine in water, you probably shouldn’t expose your leather band to liquids.
Way back in 2015, Tim Cook reportedly told a German Apple Store employee that he wore his Apple Watch Series 0 all of the time — including in the shower. Importantly, the Apple Watch Series 0 wasn’t even rated for water submersion.
That’s a testament to the fact that Apple devices routinely outperform their water-resistance ratings. But it’s probably not a best practice for most of us. Just consider the fact that Tim Cook likely doesn’t care if his Apple Watch gets ruined in the shower.
While it’s perfectly safe to take your Apple Watch in the ocean or the pool, we recommend taking Apple’s advice and avoid exposing it to any soaps or chemicals.
That means you should just take it off before getting in the shower. If you don’t, you may be inadvertently reducing its water-resistance — which could allow liquid damage to happen someday down the road.
If you do get anything other than