For as much care that can go into cleaning your phone, the same level of focus should apply to your AirPods. After all, considering the fact they’re such a hefty investment — and that you literally put them inside your ears — you’ll want to properly take care of them in order to extend their life. And, after all, the last thing you want is to have such a nice product looking janky and unclean.
Depending on your approach, there are a few different ways you can go about cleaning your AirPods. You might be thinking, “I don’t care about what my AirPods look like, why should I have to clean them?” And the answer to that is straight-up sanitation, my dude. We’re still in a pandemic and germs are everywhere. Plus, think about all that ear gunk you’re leaving on them. Not cute.
With that said, keep reading to learn how to clean AirPods without damaging them now.
How To Clean AirPods
For the AirPods themselves, it’s critically important that you don’t run them underwater. At this point, sadly, no current AirPods models are not waterproof. That means direct contact with gushing water will cause them to stop working.
Instead, slightly wet a microfiber cloth (like this one from AmazonBasics) and gently wipe them clean of dirt and grime. From there, be sure to let them dry completely.
Next, take a dry cotton swab to clean the actual speakers themselves. That mesh is a magnet for both dirt and earwax (gross), and Q-Tips are the perfect tool to clean that delicate mesh. If there’s something really stuck in there, a toothpick can help you very carefully dig it out. Keep in mind that sharp objects can damage your AirPods and the mesh covering the speakers.
What if your AirPods have been exposed to a liquid or gel such as sunscreen, coffee or soap? If necessary, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth or Q-Tip and gently scrub away the stain. Allow your AirPods to dry completely before attempting to use or charge them.
AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Q-Tip Cotton Swab (Pack of 500)
How To Clean AirPods Case
When cleaning your AirPods case, that same microfiber cloth will be extremely helpful. Any lint-free cloth will wipe away the majority of scuffs and mess from the exterior portion of the case.
If the case is really, really dirty, feel free to grab a bit of isopropyl alcohol (which is different from rubbing alcohol!) and wet the cloth with a slight drip. Then, gently wipe clean the exterior. It’s important to avoid getting any liquids of any kind inside the case or near the charging port, as that can cause damage to the ports and cause it to stop charging properly.
To clean the inside of AirPods cases, it’s important to be very specific and targeted with how you clean everything. A Q-Tip is helpful here because it gives you a small, precise tool to get into those nooks and crannies that need cleaning. Isopropyl alcohol can be a helpful cleaning agent here, too. Dip the cotton swab into the alcohol, wipe away any excess liquid and then use the tip to effectively clean certain spots. Again, be sure not to touch the charging ports at the bottom with any wet material.
When learning how to clean AirPods cases, the other spot that can get a little gnarly is the interior lip edge of the case. A toothpick will give you a small enough surface to work with to get all of that nastiness out. When you’re done, your AirPods case will look as good as new.
Amazon Solimo 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
Apple AirPods Cleaning Kit
If you want to avoid buying all of those cleaning items individually, this AirPods cleaning kit from RevJams has all of those items, and others, to help you keep your AirPods squeaky clean. It even comes with a handy storage pack for you to keep all the items together in one spot.
Replace Your AirPod Pro’s Tips
If you have a newer AirPod Pros, you might need to consider replacing the silicone tips after a while. Because these are constantly going inside of your ear, they’re going to get dirty. To make things easier for you, there are tons of reusable earbud tips to consider online and by switching them out, you essentially have to do zero work.
Airpod Pro Replacement Tips
Get Yourself a UV Sanitizer
UV sanitizers have skyrocketed in popularity within the past couple of years. Ever since the beginning of 2020 (for obvious reasons), you couldn’t find these babies anywhere. Now, you can find them all over. The best of the best is always going to be PhoneSoap because they’ve got great reviews and they come at an affordable price.
Although these are made for phones, you can also place your keys, credit cards and yes, your AirPods in here for quick cleaning.
PhoneSoap UV Sanitizer
Cleaning your AirPods and their case isn’t as tough as it may seem — it just takes a bit of doing. With the right tools and a touch of patience, you’ll have them looking as good as new in no time at all.