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That’s a question that the new Apple Watch users often ask. My answer is always the same: Why would you like to do that? I admit that it can be nice to watch Youtube on your phone while soaking in a soapy bubble bath…but what could be the purpose of bathing or showering with a $500 or more piece of technology that will remain attached to your wrist? I do not get it.
More seriously, I understand that the Apple Watch showering question does not relate to its purpose but the water resistance of the Apple flagship watch. So let’s dive right into it.
Is my Apple Watch waterproof?
Most of the smartwatches, the Apple Watch included, are water resistant and not waterproof. We can even find this distinguo on Apple’s official website. But what does it mean? In a nutshell, it means that your Apple Watch will have no problem handling a dive when you wash your hand, wear it under tropical rain if you happen to live in the Amazon forest or sustain some profuse sweating when exercising.
As for swimming, since Series 2, the Apple Watches come with an ATM5 water resistance rating. It means that they can sustain up to 50 meters of water pressure. This is in theory and during lab tests. In real life, do not hesitate to go for a swim in a pool or scuba diving in shallow water but do not go too deep…and remember to wash it with clear water afterward.
Also, you must know that water resistance is evolving with time. As your watch ages, the rubber seals will get older and lose some of their elasticity leading to a decrease in the water resistance level.
The issue is not the water pressure but more what is in the water. Let me explain.
Can Soap or shampoo damage my Apple Watch?
The answer is undoubtedly Yes! Without even talking about the effects of detergents and soaps on Apple Watches leather bands, it is key to remember that the digital crown and the body are maintained with seals.
Over time, salts and residues of soap can negatively affect water seals. The water resistance will then decrease, and even shallow water activities could lead to permanent damage.
It explains why I do not recommend taking a shower while wearing your Apple Watch. I promise that you will not get any benefit out of it but that, on the contrary, some soap residues will potentially weaken the seals and compromise the watch’s water resistance.
If you want to take a shower with your brand new Apple Watch, do not forget to rinse it with clear water for several minutes. The same goes after your swimming workout in a pool or in open water. Chlorine and salts are not the best friends of rubber seals. Fresh water is.
What is the Water Lock feature on the Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch offers a water lock feature that is easily accessible from the Apple Watch Screen. When planning a swim or a splash in the pool, access the control center and tap on the water lock button.
The Screen will become unresponsive to accidental taps produced by high-velocity water. When I say high-velocity water, I do not mean high-pressure water, but the shower water droplets may be enough to trigger some actions from the Apple Watch. For example, you probably do not want to call your boss while singing “My Way” in the shower? So, to avoid accidental taps, open the Apple Watch’s control center and Switch on the water lock! A blue drop of water will appear on the watch face to confirm that it is on.
Apple is an innovative company. Nobody will deny it. The water lock will activate automatically when the Apple Watch detects that you are practicing water sports activities such as swimming, water skiing, or surfing. Let’s be clear, having a bath or a shower is not considered a water sport, so do not forget to activate the water lock manually.
To switch on the water lock, just turn the digital crown several times until the drop on the screen expands fully. What I find quite amazing is that turning the digital crown will push compressed air through the Apple Watch loudspeaker to push out the potential remaining water droplets and excess water. When I said that Apple was an innovative company!
To wrap up
I hope that I have convinced you that showering with your $500 Apple Watch is not the best idea in the world. The problem is more linked to soapy water and to the residues than the water damage. However, if you are stubborn enough to do it, please do not forget to activate the water lock feature and rinse your watch carefully to remove all of the detergent or salt residues. It will avoid permanent damage that will probably not be covered by Apple’s limited warranty.