How to Clean Your Apple AirPods: A Guide

Apple AirPods

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In the 2021 holiday quarter alone, Apple sold 90 million AirPods. Many more have sold since then. 

If you’re one of the lucky owners of Apple AirPods, you should be sure that you take care of them. Like any electronic device or accessory, you need to maintain your AirPods if you want them to keep working well for a long time to come.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In this quick guide, we’ll tell you how to clean and maintain your Apple AirPods.

How to Clean Your AirPods

Cleaning your Apple AirPods isn’t a complicated process, but you should be sure that you do it correctly. Here are the basic steps that you should follow when cleaning your AirPods on a regular basis.

  1. Use a dry lint-free cloth to wipe your AirPods down gently.
  2. Carefully scrub the mesh on microphones and speakers using a dry cotton swab.

If your AirPods are especially dirty, you may want to follow some additional steps. If they have been exposed to substances that might cause staining or damage such as lotions, shampoos, perfumes, detergents, oil, or acidic foods, then you’ll want to follow the steps below.

  1. Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe the AirPods down.
  2. Then, use a dry lint-free cloth to dry the AirPods.
  3. Let your AirPods finish drying before you resume using them.

How to Clean AirPods Pro

Because AirPods Pro earbuds include extra ear tips, you’ll need to do a bit more to clean them properly. Here are the steps that you should follow to clean the ear tips on your AirPods Pro earbuds. 

  1. Remove the ear tips from the earbuds and then rinse them with water.
  2. Next, dry the ear tips using a lint-free cloth.
  3. Allow the ear tips to dry and then put them back into place on the AirPods Pro earbuds.

How to Clean AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max headphones have more surface area than the other types of AirPods because they are larger headphones rather than earbuds. If you want to clean AirPods Max earbuds, then you should follow these steps.

  1. Wipe the headphones down using a damp, lint-free cloth.
  2. Dry them using a separate microfiber cloth.

Then, to clean the cushions and headbands, you’ll want to follow these steps.

  1. Remove the ear cushions from the headphones.
  2. Add one teaspoon of mild detergent to a cup of water.
  3. Add the solution to a lint-free cloth and then use it to scrub the cushions and band.
  4. Wipe the cushions and band using a dry cloth.
  5. Dry everything and then add the cushions and band back to the headphones.

How to Clean Your AirPods Case

In addition to cleaning your AirPods, you should also spend time cleaning your AirPods case as well. Here are the steps that you should follow when doing so.

  1. Slightly dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water or isopropyl alcohol
  2. Wipe the AirPods case thoroughly with the lint-free cloth.
  3. Flip the AirPods case upside down and allow it to air dry.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Airpods

Although the process of cleaning AirPods is pretty straightforward, there are some things that you should avoid. Here are a few mistakes that you should avoid making when cleaning Apple AirPods. 

Using a Lot of Water

When cleaning any type of AirPods, make sure that you avoid using too much water. Although newer AirPods have some water resistance, the original 1st and 2nd generation AirPods do not.

Never fully submerge your AirPods in water and be careful that you don’t use too much. This will help you avoid causing your AirPods to malfunction or experiencing problems with turning on or using your AirPods.

Using AirPods That Haven’t Dried

Another thing that you should remember is that you need to wait until your AirPods are completely dry before using them again. If they still have water on them, the electricity could interact with the water and cause problems. This could lead to the AirPods not working correctly.

Instead of letting this happen, allow the AirPods to dry for a while after cleaning them if you want to be sure that they’ll be ready to use safely.

Damaging and Scratching the AirPods

When cleaning your Apple AirPods, make sure that you don’t use anything that could scratch them or cause damage to them. Stick to softer cleaning tools such as microfiber cloths and cotton swabs.

Using hard metal and plastic cleaning materials or abrasive chemicals such as nail polish remover can be a big mistake and may cause irreversible damage to your AirPods.

Using Compressed Air to Clean Them

Also important when cleaning AirPods is that you don’t use compressed air. While many people believe that compressed air can be a good tool for cleaning something such as earbuds, it can cause more damage than you might expect.

The compressed air can be very strong and the high pressure can end up causing damage to the speakers or the charging port. Make sure that you don’t use it to clean your AirPods if you want to play it safe.

Following This Guide When Cleaning Your Apple AirPods

If you want to keep your Apple AirPods clean and maintained, you need to clean them on a regular basis. Be sure that you take the time to give your Apple AirPods a quick cleaning every so often if you want them to last as long as possible.

Interested in finding more electronics guides and articles? Browse our gadgets and electronics section now to find more useful tips.