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How to Clean Your AirPods Effectively

Last Updated Jan 23, 2023
airpods outside of case

Cleaning your AirPods is vital to both the health of the device and the health of your ears. If you don’t clean them, you are at risk for ear infections and you’re compromising the device – who wants that? No one, which is why it’s important to know how to clean your AirPods.

To clean your AirPods effectively, you should only use a disinfectant such as an isopropyl alcohol with distilled water, as well as a lint-free or microfiber cloth and dry Q-tips. It’s vital that you do not run the AirPods underwater or use a sharp tool to clean the mesh inside, as these tactics could damage the devices. 

Now, we are going to dive into the detailed instructions on how to exactly and efficiently clean your AirPods to keep them safe as well as clean, so you can improve their lifespan and ensure they are not unhygienic for your ears. 

How to Clean Your AirPods

Cleaning your AirPods should really only take a few moments. But before you follow the directions below, it’s important to note that there are three important tools you’ll need to do so successfully:

  • Disinfectant: When it comes to disinfectant, there are only a few approved options from Apple. You can use isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol as long as it’s mixed with distilled water or Clorox fragrance-free wipes.
  • Lint-Free Cloth: It’s also important that you don’t use any clothes that will leave residues behind, such as tissue paper, toilet paper, or towels. The best option is a microfiber or lint-free towel. 
  • Q-Tips: You will need at least one dry and clean Q-tip to clean your AirPods.

Now that you have the implements you need, it’s time to follow the directions to actually clean your AirPods. 

Wipe Down the Outside of the AirPods

The first step in cleaning your AirPods is to take a dry microfiber or lint-free cloth and wipe down the buds. This will remove any excess dust and dirt from the AirPods. 

And the next thing you need to do is use a damp, lint-free cloth to truly clean the outsides of the AirPods. 

When doing so, you should use either a Clorox wipe or an alcohol and distilled water mixture with a dry cloth. And it’s extremely important that you do not use too much liquid but instead just a minimal amount to remove any dirt and grime. 

Use a Q-Tip in the Earpieces

As well you need to ensure you carefully clean inside the earpieces. Apple does not recommend using any liquid or wipes within the actual earpiece. 

For this step, you should use a dry and clean Q-tip and lightly enter the Q-tip into the earpiece to clean any dirt or ear wax that has been collected. 

Using a gentle touch is essential as you do not want to pierce the mesh within the earpieces. 

Ensure AirPods Are Completely Dry

Finally, you need to remember that you absolutely cannot return the AirPods to the case unless they are completely dry. 

So after you have finished cleaning them, you should once again wipe them down with a clean and dry microfiber cloth.

And just to be safe, it’s best to leave them out of the case for at least 30 minutes to completely air dry.

Clean Your AirPods Case

In addition to cleaning your AirPods, you should also ensure you clean the case itself! The good news is that you won’t need any additional materials to do so. 

The alcohol mixture, microfiber cloth, and Q-tips will do the trick. And you can find detailed instructions on how to successfully clean the AirPods case right here

How Often Should You Clean Your AirPods?

Now that you know exactly how to clean your AirPods effectively, you will certainly need to know how often you should do so. 

Experts recommend that you clean your AirPods after every 72 hours of use. However, as many of us don’t clock how long we use our AirPods for, realistically, you can and should clean your AirPods at least twice a month. 

The bottom line is that it is important to keep your AirPods clean for hygienic reasons as well as to keep them functioning properly

And if you follow the instructions above, you cannot overclean your AirPods. Therefore, feel free to give them a good clean whenever they look dirty! 

Final Thoughts

As promised, you now know exactly how to clean your AirPods effectively and safely! 

Just remember: You want to ensure no liquid stays on the AirPods and that you do not break the mesh insoles. If you use a microfiber cloth, dry Q-tips, a safe disinfectant, and a steady hand, you should be good to go!