Let’s face it: even though Apple’s AirPods are shiny and white, yours have probably gotten dirty with even just a little bit of use. Along with an AirPods case that can show wear and tear, the completely wireless headphones are known to attract dirt, grime, and even earwax during use.
Below, we take a look a how to safely clean both your AirPods and the AirPods case to get them looking brand-new.
How to Clean Your AirPods
Before you start your AirPods cleaning, there’s one big question we’ll need to tackle: are AirPods water-resistant? The bad news is that no, AirPods are not water-resistant. So when cleaning the earbuds or the case, you’ll need to use little or no water.
But thankfully, there are a number of ways to clean AirPods without damaging the delicate electronics inside.
Use a Microfiber Cloth
One of the most indispensable tools you can have when cleaning Apple AirPods, as well as pretty much any other electronic device, is a microfiber cloth.
You’ve probably seen one of these cloths, and might even have a few around the house. If you don’t, make sure to pick up one to clean your AirPods. This two-pack of MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths is a great way to start.
The science behind microfiber cloth is simple. Made with thousands of small fibers, the cloth can absorb and remove dust, oil, fingerprints, dirt, and pretty much anything else that can dirty up your AirPods. It can do that all of this without needing any cleaning products or even water. And the cloth works wonders without leaving behind lint or anything else.
With a microfiber cloth, take each AirPod in one hand and wipe it down with the microfiber cloth. Put a bit of pressure on the cloth to remove more stubborn stains.
Make sure to keep the microfiber cloth around. They come in handy for other tasks around the house, and are perfect for cleaning any electronics screen like an iPhone, iPad, and even a television or computer screen.
Use a Small Amount of Electronic-Safe Cleaner
If a microfiber cloth can’t completely clean your Apple earbuds, there is another product that can help. WHOOSH is a great non-toxic and odorless cleaner specifically for electronics. There is no alcohol or ammonia in the formula.
There are many different starter kits available. This WHOOSH Screen Cleaner Kit includes two bottles of formula and three microfiber cloths.
To clean your AirPods, spray a small bit of the formula on one of the included cloths—a little bit goes a long way here. Then clean each AirPod individually. When cleaning with WHOOSH, make sure to avoid both the microphone and speaker openings.
The cleaner is also great for giving other electronics a shine, like an Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and more.
Grab a Cotton Swab to Tackle Earwax
Use AirPods for any amount of time, and you’ll notice that earwax tends to accumulate around the earbud opening. Beyond just being gross, ear wax can also degrade sound quality from the AirPods.
To make wax a problem of the past, grab a dry cotton swab. Gently push it around the speaker mesh and remove any wax. You can also use a cotton swab to clean the microphone mesh opening. For tougher grime and wax removal, consider using a soft tool.
The Full Circle Control Alt Clean Set offers two different ways to clean. One end of the tool offers a round soft tip, perfect for cleaning around mesh grill of the AirPods and lifting out wax. On the other side is a soft-bristle brush. The set also includes a microfiber cloth.
How to Clean Your AirPods Case
Along with the AirPods themselves, the case is made of the same white material that can easily show grime, dirt, and other junk with use. Before you tackle the case itself, head to the bottom and find the Lightning port. Make sure to clean any debris from the port with a soft, dry brush.
While it might be tempting to put something more in the charging port to clean it, like a cotton swab or even a toothpick, you should avoid this. Doing that could possibly damage the metal contacts and cause charging problems.
Next, it’s time to tackle the charging case itself. Use a spray of WHOOSH on a microfiber cloth and go around and the AirPods case to wipe it clean. Make sure to stay away from the charging port.
Consider Using an AirPods Case
Due to the growing popularity of the earbuds, you’ll find many accessories to help make AirPods even better. An easy way to keep your AirPods case clean is to purchase a protective case. Using a case offers several advantages. Along with protecting the case from dirt and the elements, it can also secure your case and earbuds against drops and dings.
Many offer a carabiner to help keep the case safely attached to a purse, backpack, or something else. That’s a big plus, since the AirPods case is easy to lose because of its small size.
Below are two great case options.
Compatible with both generations of AirPods, the X-Doria Defense Trek case is made with machined aluminum and a strong polycarbonate to keep your AirPods case clean and safe. To install the case, just snap it on. The carabiner can be installed and taken off whenever you need, while still providing access to the Lightning port.
For anyone with an AirPods Wireless Charging case, the Defense Trek has a small hole on the front to show the status light. You don’t need to remove X-Doria’s case before wirelessly charging.
There’s more than one way to use the AhaStyle AirPods Case. Along with a carabiner, a hand strap is also provided to help carry the earbuds safely and securely. Made with soft silicone, the case is compatible with both generations of AirPods. A built-in dust cap prevents dirt and debris from entering the Lightning port.
With this case, you have nine different colors options to select from.
The Best Way to Clean Your AirPods
With just a little bit of work, and with some simple cleaning products, you can clean your AirPods and have them looking pristine. We’ve looked at the how to clean AirPods the easy way, avoiding any damage.
To make the most of your wireless earbuds, here are some great AirPods tips for maximum enjoyment.