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How to Clean your AirPods (2023)

Here's a guide on how to clean your AirPods without damaging them.

Earphones have been on the market for decades, but since companies have managed to offer good autonomy by completely eliminating any cable, the greater practicality of use and the best pocketability has made them practically omnipresent. By now, everyone with a smartphone owns a pair of earbuds, whether it’s AirPods, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, or the cheaper ones from Xiaomi and its surroundings. And using them often also means exposing them to more rapid wear, not to mention dirt, which accumulates easily. Therefore, in this guide, we will explain to you how to clean your AirPods without damaging them.

AirPods: How to Clean Without Damaging Them (2023)

how to clean your airpods

In this tutorial, we want to talk about answering the fateful question with this article: how to clean your AirPods? Because it is impossible that earwax and dead skin will not settle there in the long run. And keeping them clean not only makes them more hygienic but extends their life and allows them to maintain the best audio performance they are able to offer. Following are the tips and tricks to polish your AirPods:

Using Water

First of all, we must bear in mind that cleaning must be done gradually: it is better to start using tools and water, before moving on to detergents or denatured alcohol and metal tools, in order to minimize the possibility of damaging the membranes and the various components. Even when removing the various parts it is important to be careful. For example, to release the bearings it is not always sufficient to pull them away, as in the case of the Sony WF-1000XM4 where in order to extract them you must first rotate them. Before proceeding, therefore, consult the manufacturer’s guide (if any).

Earphone Rubber Pads Removal for Cleaning Purposes

Removing the rubber pads is in any case an obligatory step because the earphones that mount them are thus easier to clean, and the bearings themselves, being often made only of silicone, can be easily washed under running water without running the risk of damaging the earphones.

Using Microfibre Cloth and Wipes

For the more rigid parts, a good way to start is to use a microfibre cloth. In the case of AirPods, to clean the external parts Apple also recommends “wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol, wipes with 75% ethyl alcohol or common disinfectant wipes”, while it is better to avoid wet wipes on the metal grills that protect the drivers. For its headphones, Samsung instead recommends more generally cotton swabs and soft, dry clothes.

Using Cotton and Toothpicks

Cotton balls and toothpicks are equally effective tools for deeper cleaning. In general, however, it is better to avoid soaps or other detergents, let alone compressed air, which could instead push the dirt even deeper.

Cleaning AirPods Case

And don’t forget the case. Because if the earphones are dirty, it is very likely that the case in which you store them to recharge them is also dirty. And since there are metal contacts on the bottom that allow the batteries to be recharged, it is advisable to keep this area clean so as not to prevent it from functioning properly. Here too toothpicks or better still special tools can do the dirty work well.

However, the main advice is to clean them periodically, the more often you do it, the less work there will be to do between one cleaning and another. And don’t forget the “digital” cleaning, make sure that the associated apps are always updated, since sometimes they can add new features, as well as improve the performance of the earphones or AirPods.

That’s all there is to know about how to clean your AirPods. In the meantime, do not forget to check out our other guides: How to Manage and Customize AirPods Settings on macOS Ventura, and How to Connect AirPods to PS4 or PS5.