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How to Clean AirPods and Case

Posted by Arch on November 12, 2019
How to Clean AirPods and Case

Keeping your AirPods in pristine condition means giving them all the TLC they need. The plastic easily attracts dust and dirt, if a quick wipe can make them look cleaner. But what if you want to give the earbuds and the case a thorough clean?

Whilst fragile-looking, AirPods are much more resilient than you think. Therefore, you could get away with using some cleaning agents to get into every nook and cranny to remove ear wax and other stubborn gunk. But a few words of warning are in order before you start.

Before You Put on the Cleaning Gloves

AirPods and AirPods Pro aren’t waterproof so you should never expose them to water or excess moisture. That said, they are water-resistant and are known to survive sudden showers if you get caught wearing them in the rain.

They should never come into contact with anything that can damage the surface or leave stains. Admittedly, this is easier said than done. But you should make a conscious effort to keep them away from perfumes, lotions, detergent, or any other substance that can stick to the AirPods.

Needless to say, abrasive materials or sharp objects should never be used to clean the pods. But if you’re careful, a wooden or plastic toothpick can be helpful to remove dirt from crevices.

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Cleaning the AirPods

A thorough AirPods clean should be done in several stages. First, you start with filth that accumulates due to regular use and then move onto finer details. Here’s what you need to know.

Getting Down and Dirty

Unpleasant as it is, ear wax and other filth that accumulates in the speaker grills can affect the audio quality. In fact, the AirPods seem to be particularly susceptible to gruesome buildups because of their unique design.

To remove the accumulated filth, use a toothpick, if not a SIM card tool works just as well. Work your way around the pods’ grills without applying pressure and make sure to get a paper towel to do away with the dirt you remove.

Depending on the condition of your AirPods, you might need to do a few runs to get rid of everything.

Safe Cleaning Agents

You can use rubbing alcohol, for example, and there are even a few YouTubers who clean their pods with mounting putty. However, we’d advise you to avoid mounting putty altogether because it’s sticky and gooey. On the other hand, the alcohol evaporates quickly and you won’t damage the earbuds if you’re careful.

When using rubbing alcohol, dampen one end of a Q-tip and carefully clean around the grills. As soon as you finish with the Q-tip’s damp end, switch to the dry one and wipe the area again. It’s worth stressing that the Q-tip mustn’t be soaked, even though the alcohol evaporates.

Once you’re done with the sensitive areas, dampen a small cloth or paper towel with alcohol and clean the body of your AirPods. Again, use a dry cloth or paper towel to remove any residual alcohol and dirt.

Expert Tips: Using alcohol not only gives the pods good clean, but it also disinfects them. Some users go for scraping tools to remove stubborn wax, but you should avoid them. It’s better to do a few test runs with something that’s less aggressive.

Cleaning the AirPods’ Case

The same cleaning rules apply for the AirPods’ case. To reiterate, abrasives, sharp tools, and cleaning agents other than alcohol are out of the question. But there are certain tricks you should know about.

airpods and case

First, lint-free cloth works best for cleaning the case. You can use a Q-tip to get inside the AirPods slots, but be super-careful if you decide to dampen it with alcohol. With this in mind, charging ports should never be cleaned with anything that’s wet or damp.

To clean the Lightning connector, you can use a soft-bristled brush. Fluff may get stuck in the port and cause charging problems. In this case, you can use a toothpick and try to remove the fluff gently if the brush fails to do the trick.

Again, you can dampen a cloth with alcohol and give a good wipe to the outside, then wipe it clean with a dry cloth. At this point, both the pods and the case should be good as new and you can give them a try to make sure everything works well.

How Often Should You Clean the AirPods and the Case

It’s not like the rules are set in stone, but you should clean the pods and the case once a week if you use them every day. If you work out or go running with your AirPods, give them a quick wipe as soon as you finish your routine.

clean airpods

This way, you prevent filth accumulation and remove excess moisture that may damage the pod’s performance. Adopting this routine means you’ll need to give the AirPods a thorough clean only once or twice a month.

Mean Clean Beat-thumping Machine

Keeping your AirPods and case in a good shape are a must. It ensures your favorite in-ears work as they’re supposed to and it may even prolong their life. Of course, all the maintenance tips and tricks apply to the new AirPods Pro as well.

How often do you use your AirPods? Where do you keep them? Tell us more in the comments section below.

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