How to Clean AirPods and Airpods Case Properly

Mobile Accessories

Nothing beats the smooth and glossy look of a brand new Apple AirPods. It certainly feels like “the bomb” when you start using it — not with its clear and crisp sound output quality coupled with the beating of the bass. But over time, you’ll start noticing your AirPods accumulating grease, dust, and even earwax. When this starts to happen, it’s time to put out our cleaning kits. But do you know how to clean your AirPods properly?

airpods with laptop
Photo by Suganth on Unsplash

Yes! There is a proper way to clean your AirPods and their cases. This is to ensure you prevent damaging your device in the cleaning process. In this article, we will go over some effective ways on how to clean your AirPods, what you need, and how to properly execute them.

Read also: How to Make Your Airpods Sound Louder


Inside This Article

  1. How To Clean Your AirPods Effectively?
    1. How To Clean AirPods (Gen 2)
    2. Cleaning Your AirPods Pro
    3. How To Clean AirPods Max
    4. Cleaning AirPods Cases
  2. Why Do You Need To Clean Your AirPods?
  3. Don’ts When Cleaning AirPods


How To Clean Your AirPods Effectively?

The following sections will discuss the ways your can clean your AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max separately. This is because these three types of AirPods have different form factors affecting their topography and where dirt can accumulate. But before that, you would need the following:

  1. Q-tips or cotton swabs
  2. Wooden toothpick or dental floss stick
  3. At least two small cotton cloths
  4. Water
  5. Cotton
  6. Soft-bristle brush

Now, read through for a detailed walkthrough on how to clean your AirPods.


A. How To Clean AirPods (Gen 2)

Prepare the kit items we’ve outlined above and let’s get started.

  1. The first thing to do is clean the exterior of the AirPods. Damp the small cotton cloth with little water and slowly wipe it over the AirPods. Be careful not to touch the mesh speaker with a damp cloth as this may damage the speaker.
  2. Once the exterior has been wiped with the damp cloth, wipe the exterior with the dry cotton cloth.
  3. To clean the grime and gunk on the mesh speaker, simply use the dental floss stick but cover the sharp edge with cotton. You may also use a cotton swab for this process as Apple suggests.

Simply repeat the process until you’ve cleaned both pods.


B. Cleaning Your AirPods Pro

How To Clean AirPods Pro
Photo from Apple

Using the same kit items, the process of cleaning the exterior and the mesh speakers of the AirPods Pro is pretty much the same as the steps outlined above. However, you would want to clean the ear tips of the pods separately. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Carefully remove the ear tips from the pods and then submerge them in a small bowl of water. Make sure the water does not have soap or other types of cleaners to prevent damaging the tips.
  2. Make sure to use a cotton swab to clean the inside parts of the tips.
  3. After a few minutes, wipe the tips dry using a lint-free cotton cloth.
  4. Re-attach the tips to the AirPods by aligning the oval shapes of the tips to the AirPods Pro.

Read also: Apple AirPods vs AirPods Pro: Which One Should You Get?


C. How To Clean AirPods Max

How To Clean AirPods Max
Photo from Apple

The AirPods Max has an entirely different design compared to the first two types of AirPods. This one resembles a full-on headset sans the wires. To clean your AirPods Max, follow this quick and easy walkthrough.

  1. Start off by carefully removing the cushions of the AirPods Max from the earpieces.
  2. Clean these cushions using a damp lint-free cotton cloth to remove grease and dirt. Once done, wipe them dry using a different cloth.
  3. Using a slightly damp lint-free cotton cloth, start wiping the exterior part of the AirPods Max until the grease, grime, and gunk have been cleaned off.
  4. Next, using a damp cotton ball, start wiping the parts that connect your AirPods Max together, including the grooves and seams, and remove debris and dirt that might have accumulated on these areas.
  5. Lastly, using a dry lint-free cloth, wipe the exterior and other important parts of the AirPods Max dry before re-attaching the cushions back.

Buy Your AirPods From Apple Here


D. Cleaning AirPods Cases

Your device care won’t be complete without cleaning your AirPods case. Here’s an easy walkthrough for you.

  1. Begin by wiping the exterior of the case with a slightly damp lint-free cotton cloth to remove dirt and dust particles. You can use alcohol to dampen the cloth.
  2. Next, start repeating the same process for the inside. For this, we suggest using a q-tip to prevent damaging the latch between the lid and the case itself. However, be careful not to get any liquid on the charging ports.
  3. Once done, clean the Lightning connector of debris using s soft-bristle brush. Gently brush the port with the brush.

Now your Airpods and its case are clean. You can keep your case clean and protected from scratches by adding AirPods cases too.


Why Do You Need To Clean Your AirPods?

Essentially, the reason why you need to clean your AirPods (or any other device that you are in possession of) boils down to hygiene. Some of the devices you use do make bodily contact every now and then. While the chances of these bodily contact can cause health issues, the possibility is never zero. This is why tech experts and even health experts highly encourage the constant cleaning of devices — at least once every week.

On a different note, cleaning your AirPods would contribute to better performance. Some of the dirt, grime, and gunk gathering around the mesh speakers could cause muddled sound quality from your AirPods. In some cases, the dirt and debris could cause the inability of your AirPods to charge properly because the ports and docks are barred.

Cleaning your AirPods is essential and is a part of the device care Apple recommends users practice.


Dos and Don’ts When Cleaning AirPods

It’s rare but the chances are never zero that some people cause damage to their AirPods while cleaning them off. For this reason, let us go over some dos and don’ts when cleaning your AirPods and their cases to avoid damaging them.

  1. Use soft cloth and brushes. The materials you use for cleaning are important to ensure you avoid damaging your device. In the walkthrough we outlined above, we repeatedly stressed the need for lint-free cotton cloth when wiping your AirPods and cases. This is because lint-free cotton cloth is non-abrasive to the surface of the device. At the end of the day, you want your devices cleaned and not scratched. The same goes for brushes; using hard-bristled brushes could cause clogs and damages to the ports of the AirPods case. Just make sure you go for the soft-bristled brushes and you’re good to go.
  2. Don’t use too much liquid. Another thing we can’t stress enough is to only slightly damp the cloth, q-tip, or cotton ball when using them. This is because we do not want to cause damages to the vital parts of the AirPods and the cases. Water does cause damage to wirings and the chipsets under the devices’ hoods, so it’s best to only use a very small amount of liquid when wiping the surface of the devices. Moreover, never ever use detergents or soap on the liquid when cleaning your AirPods and cases.
  3. Don’t apply too much pressure. Remember the old adage “handle with care”? This is applicable when you are attempting to clean your AirPods and their cases. Just hold the devices gently and with less pressure to avoid unnecessary damages. If you used a damped cloth to clean the exterior of your AirPods, do not use heat or compressed air to dry them.

We hope these tips and guides on how to clean your AirPods help you out to maintain your gadgets and keep them running smoothly.

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