How to Clean AirPods: A Step-by-Step Guide with Images
Last Updated: March 30, 2023
After finally grabbing hold of your AirPods from the bottom of your bag, you open the case, and what a shock – they need to be cleaned yet again. You promise yourself that you’ll clean them later on (just like you did yesterday) and then forget it ever happened until the same thing happens the next day. Sounds familiar?
Do you know that people love AirPods so much they spend more than half a billion a year replacing them? Only 1% of the users won’t replace their AirPods if they lose them. And losing them is way easier than you might think. But cleaning them? So much harder.
Let me guide you through it. How to clean AirPods — let’s go.
How to Clean AirPods?
You’ve spent a lot of money to get Apple’s most popular accessory. Still, no one mentioned that they’d constantly get dirty.
It’s usually earwax that clogs up your AirPods, but keep in mind that they are always either in your pocket, your bag, or on a dirty surface, so the case is always covered in dirt and bacteria. A dirty AirPods case is no fun, but luckily it’s not hard to clean up.
When you decide to give your AirPods a proper clean, you should focus on both the case and the AirPods themselves. The process isn’t complicated, and all you would need is a lint-free cloth, some water, a fine-edged tool like a toothpick, or a cotton swab if you want to be more gentle. You might end up needing rubbing alcohol if there are some dirty spots that won’t come off.
It would be best if you were careful not to use too sharp objects as your tools for cleaning because you might end up cutting off or destroying a part of the speaker. Another thing you should look out for is getting liquid like water or rubbing alcohol in any of the openings. Finally, don’t put your AirPods or the case underwater by any means, and never use bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
The obvious reason you should clean your AirPods is for hygiene, but other than that, the buildup of dirt, gunk, and earwax can disrupt the normal functioning of your AirPods.
The first and easiest step towards cleaning the AirPods is taking the lint-free cloth, dampening it in water and gently going over the outside of the earbuds. Afterwards, just use a dry cloth to dry them off.
How to Clean Earwax Out of AirPods?
Because the AirPods are always in your case when you don’t use them, it’s unlikely for them to get dirty by being in your pocket or flying around on the bottom of your gym bag. What they do, however, is get dirty from being in your ears.
They sit in your ear and collect earwax, especially the speaker, which is the closest to your ear. So if you don’t clean them regularly, you will notice a buildup of wax sooner rather than later.
Keeping your AirPods clean is also important for your health. There are many bacteria on their surface that you consciously stick inside your ears. It is not very common, but yes, you can get an ear infection from AirPods, especially if you find yourself sharing them with others.
Care to find out how to properly clean AirPods from earwax? Follow these few simple steps:
Step one: Inspect your AirPods for any visible earwax and gunk. Suppose you don’t see any. Just use a dry cotton swab to wipe down the speaker mashes.
Step two: If you notice a lot of dirt piled up inside, take a sharper tool (toothpick) and go over the edges, trying to take it out gently.
Step three: If you happen to share your AirPods with someone, you might want to disinfect them for both of your sake. Apple says it’s okay to use a disinfectant with up to 70% isopropyl alcohol, but you can’t use that on the speaker mashes. What you can use, however, are lens wipes that some companies make that will disinfect the speaker meshes without getting them wet.
How to Clean AirPods Pro?
When it comes to AirPods Pro cleaning, the basics are the same as those for the regular AirPods, but you have one more part of the earbud to go over.
First, you should remove the silicone tips that cover the earbuds and rinse them with water. Don’t use any soap, household cleaner, or alcohol. After you’re done, dry them off with a lint-free cloth and make sure they are completely dry before reattaching them.
Go over the speaker mashes the same way you would with the regular AirPods.
The silicone tips of the AirPods Pro are removed by pulling firmly from the base of the tip where they are connected to the earbud. To reattach them, just align the tip with the oval-shaped connectors on the speaker and firmly push it.
How to Clean AirPods Case?
Cleaning the AirPods case shouldn’t cause you too much trouble, but you ought to be careful of the few nooks and crannies that might end up getting dirty, especially the charging port on the bottom. Then there’s the hinge on the back and the inside of the case.
So, how to clean the AirPods charging case? Besides the tools we’ve already mentioned, Apple recommends having a soft-bristled brush ready.
Step one: Wipe down the outside of the case with a damp cloth, which you can dampen either with water or isopropyl alcohol. If there isn’t much dirt, opt for water. However, if there are stubborn spots that you can’t get rid of, reach for the alcohol. Make sure not to wipe the charging port!
Step two: When it comes to the charging port, have your bristled brush ready and just wipe off the port gently.
Step three: We’ve come to the dreadful part — the inside of the case. It’s almost certain that if your AirPods were full of earwax, you’d find a residue here as well. Pick up a damp cotton swab and first clean the inside of the lid. Then go over it with a dry cloth.
Step four: To clean the place where the AirPods rest, use a toothpick and go around the edges to clean the debris that is stuck there. Afterwards, use the damp cotton swab to go over that whole area. Finish off with a dry cotton swab to make sure nothing’s wet.
Don’t stop here. Make sure that you keep your AirPods clean at all times by regularly doing this routine. You could always get a case for them that wouldn’t get them as dirty from the outside.
There you have it! A thorough guide on how to clean AirPods, why you should do it, and the risks you might be taking by not doing so. Hopefully, you found this article useful, and you’ll consider giving your AirPods a proper clean-up.
Don’t forget that by taking care of your AirPods, you’re taking care of your ears’ health. Also, if you can, try to limit the amount of time you spend with your earbuds blasting music in your ears.
If you don’t commit to cleaning your AirPods regularly, the earwax in the AirPods will pile up together with dirt and gunk, which can indeed damage your AirPods. That can usually be noticed by the change in the quality of the sound of your earbuds.
Nail polish remover is usually made of acetone, and acetone melts plastic. That can be hurtful to your AirPods. The best way to clean your AirPods is by only using water.
Although not very common, you can get an ear infection from AirPods. You are at a greater risk of getting one if you don’t clean them regularly or share them with others.