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How to Clean AirPods in 3 Easy Steps

Ready to learn how to clean AirPods like a pro in just 3 simple steps? We’ve got you covered with all the easy tips and tricks you need to keep those little buds sparkling clean and sounding fresh.

What You’ll Need

Before you start cleaning, make sure you have the following items on hand:

  • Lint-free cloths
  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol (optional)
  • Water
  • A soft-bristled brush

Step 1: How to Clean the Case

  1. Remove your AirPods from the case and turn it upside down to remove any debris or dirt that may have accumulated inside.
  2. Using a dry, lint-free cloth, wipe the outside of the case until you’ve removed as much dirt or grease as possible.
  3. If there are any stubborn stains or dirt, dampen the cloth with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the affected area.
  4. For any hard-to-reach areas, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the surface.
  5. If the case is particularly dirty, you can use a mixture of mild laundry detergent and warm water to clean it. Dip the brush into the mixture and gently scrub the surface, then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.


When cleaning your AirPods case, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide, as they can damage the case.
  • Don’t use sharp objects or abrasive materials when cleaning, as they can cause scratches or other damage.
  • Don’t use isopropyl alcohol on the speaker mesh of your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or EarPods, as it can damage the mesh.

Step 2: How to Clean AirPods

Cleaning your AirPods is a quick and easy process that you can do at home. Here are some tips to help you clean your AirPods properly:

Use a Soft, Dry Cloth

The first and easiest way to clean your AirPods is to use a soft, dry cloth. This will help remove any dirt, dust, or grime that may have accumulated on the surface of your AirPods. You can use a microfiber cloth or any other lint-free cloth to gently wipe down the surface of your AirPods.

Avoid Using Water or Soap

It’s important to avoid using water or soap when cleaning your AirPods, as this can damage the delicate electronic components inside. Instead, stick to dry cleaning methods, such as using a dry cloth or a dry cotton swab to clean any hard-to-reach areas.

Use Alcohol Wipes

If your AirPods are particularly dirty or grimy, you can use alcohol wipes to clean them. Apple recommends using a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, a 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your AirPods. However, be sure to avoid using these wipes on the speaker mesh of your AirPods, AirPods Pro, and EarPods, as this can damage the mesh.

Step 3: How to Clean the mesh

Getting that mesh clean is a big deal. That tiny grille covering the speaker can get all gunked up with dirt, dust, and even earwax, messing with your AirPods’ sound. Here’s the lowdown on how to tackle it:

  1. Start by brushing off the visible stuff. Grab a soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush or a makeup brush, and gently sweep away any visible gunk. Easy does it – no need to go all Terminator on it.
  2. Give it a wipe down. Take a clean, dry, lint-free cloth and gently wipe the mesh to get rid of any remaining nasties. If there are stubborn bits, a cotton swab can help you get into those nooks and crannies.
  3. Stubborn dirt? Try some alcohol. If the mesh is still looking grubby, dab a bit of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab and gently go over it. Don’t get too generous with the alcohol, though, or you might end up doing more harm than good.
  4. Let ’em dry. After your cleaning spree, make sure your AirPods are bone dry before you pop them back in your ears. You can gently pat them dry with a clean cloth or just leave them out for a few hours to air dry.

Dealing with Persistent Dirt

If your AirPods are still dirty after a quick cleaning, you may need to take more drastic measures to get them clean. Here are some tips for dealing with persistent dirt:

  • Use a toothbrush: A soft-bristled toothbrush can be a great tool for cleaning your AirPods. Dip the toothbrush in some warm, soapy water and gently scrub the exterior of your AirPods, being careful not to get water inside the speaker mesh.
  • Try some rubbing alcohol: If your AirPods are really dirty, you can try using some rubbing alcohol to clean them. Dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and use it to gently clean the exterior of your AirPods.
  • Soak the ear tips: If the ear tips on your AirPods are particularly dirty, you can remove them and soak them in warm, soapy water for 30 minutes. If they’re still dirty, you can agitate the container to loosen up the gunk.

Remember to always be gentle when cleaning your AirPods, as they are delicate and can be easily damaged. If you’re not sure how to clean them properly, refer to the cleaning instructions provided by Apple here.

How to Maintain Your Airpods

Want to keep your AirPods in tip-top shape? Here’s what you need to do to maintain them:

Clean Your AirPods Regularly

You HAVE to clean your AirPods regularly. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down your AirPods and get rid of any grime. If there’s stubborn dirt, a gentle brush or some sticky tack should do the trick.

Clean Your AirPods Pro and Max Ear Tips

Got AirPods Pro or AirPods Max? Don’t forget to clean those ear tips! Pop ’em off, give ’em a rinse, and make sure they’re bone dry before putting them back on.

Avoid Exposing Your AirPods to Water

AirPods are not waterproof, so it’s essential to avoid exposing them to water. If they get wet, pat them down with a soft, dry cloth ASAP. And nope, no liquids or cleaning solutions either, please.

Store Your AirPods in a Clean, Dry Place

When you’re not using your AirPods, make sure to store them in a clean, dry place. Avoid storing them in a damp or humid area, because this can damage the internal components of your AirPods.

What Not to Do When Cleaning Airpods

Keeping your AirPods clean is key, but you gotta be careful not to mess them up. Here’s what you should avoid:

Don’t Use Water or Cleaning Agents

No water or cleaning agents, please. Resist the urge to douse your AirPods. Water and cleaning stuff can fry the insides, so it’s a no-go.

Don’t Submerge Your AirPods

Keep ’em dry! Don’t even think about giving them a swim. Water and electronics just don’t mix, so keep your AirPods away from any water play.

Don’t Use Abrasive Materials

Say no to rough stuff. Stick to gentle materials when you’re wiping them down. Steer clear of steel wool and scratchy fabrics that could scuff your sleek buds.

Don’t Use Excessive Force

Easy does it. Don’t go all Hulk on your AirPods. They’re fragile, so treat them with care. No need to press too hard when cleaning or trying to get rid of gunk. A gentle touch goes a long way.

Safety Measures During Cleaning

Cleaning your AirPods is a breeze, but you’ve got to be careful not to mess them up. Check out these tips:

  1. Steer clear of liquid disasters. No direct dousing, folks! Damp cloth is okay, but keep any fluids away from your precious AirPods. That means no water, cleaning goop, or even booze. Just stick to a slightly wet cloth for wiping.
  2. Easy does it with the scrubbing. Your AirPods are delicate little things. Don’t go all Hulk on them. Say no to rough stuff and tough materials that could scratch or ruin them. Soft and gentle wins the race.
  3. Dry it up after the wipe-down. Once you’ve wiped them clean, give ’em a little shake to get rid of any extra water. Then, tap each end on a soft cloth and maybe give them a once-over with the same cloth. Keep it dry, people.
  4. No fancy tools, please! Skip the compressed air and any other fancy gadgets you might be tempted to use. They might do more harm than good. Stick to your damp cloth and resist the urge to bring in the big guns.

When to Seek Professional Help

Cleaning your AirPods is pretty straightforward and can be done easily at home. But if you’re having trouble or if they’re seriously gunked up, it might be time to call in the pros.

If your AirPods aren’t working right or if they’re really grimy, it’s probably a good idea to look into getting them professionally cleaned. Apple’s got a service for that if you want to go straight to the source.

You could also hit up a third-party repair shop, but make sure you do your homework and find one that’s legit. Just remember, going outside the Apple network might mess with your warranty.

Oh, and if you’re rocking AirPods Pro or AirPods Max and notice any damage to the ear cushions or funky business with the noise cancellation, that’s definitely a job for the experts. It might mean swapping out parts or some serious fixing that’s best left to the professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clean my AirPods without damaging them?

Cleaning your AirPods is important for removing wax buildup, dust, and germs. To clean them without damaging them, Apple recommends using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe them down. You can also use a dry cotton swab to clean any gunk out of the speaker mesh. Avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge your AirPods in any cleaning agents.

What is the best way to clean AirPods?

The best way to clean your AirPods is to use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe them down. If there is any gunk or buildup in the speaker mesh, you can use a dry cotton swab to clean it out. Avoid using any cleaning agents or submerging your AirPods in water.

Can I clean my AirPods with hydrogen peroxide?

No, you should not use hydrogen peroxide or any cleaning agents to clean your AirPods. These products can damage your AirPods and affect their performance. Stick to using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth and a dry cotton swab to clean your AirPods.

How do I clean the mesh on my AirPods Pro?

To clean the mesh on your AirPods Pro, you can use a dry cotton swab to gently remove any dirt or debris. Avoid using any liquids or cleaning agents, as these can damage the mesh and affect the performance of your AirPods Pro.

Why is there so much earwax in my AirPods?

Earwax buildup in your AirPods is normal, as the earwax can get pushed into the speaker mesh when you wear them. To prevent excessive earwax buildup, try cleaning your AirPods regularly using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth and a dry cotton swab.

Why is my left AirPod so quiet?

If your left AirPod is quieter than your right AirPod, there may be an issue with the speaker or the connection. Try cleaning your AirPods and checking for any obstructions in the speaker mesh. If the issue persists, contact Apple Support for assistance.

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