How to Clean AirPods: 5 Effective Tips

The massive uptick in remote work has triggered a not at all surprising uptick in the use of AirPods and similar earbud technology. While workers once used them to take occasional calls or listen to music on their breaks, they often leave them in for hours on end now.

Unfortunately, this uptick in use hasn’t really spurred on an uptick in cleaning AirPods. A lot of people use them, put them in their charging case, then use them again. That’s a recipe for dirty AirPods and ear infections.

Wondering how to clean AirPods so you don’t end up with an ear infection or broken AirPods? Keep reading for five tips.

1. Wipe with a Dry Cloth

The instructions from Apple suggest that you take a dry, soft cloth and wipe down the AirPods. If you’re rocking the AirPods Pro, you need to remove the silicon covers before you wipe.

Cleaning the silicon covers consists of holding them under running water until they’re clean, followed by a thorough air dry.

2. Cotton Swabs

Of course, that soft cloth really only works for cleaning the outside of the AirPods. Clean Airpods means you deal with the speaker grill as well. For that, you can take a cotton swab and brush any lingering earwax free from the grill.

Try not to press too hard or you risk lodging ear wax and dirt into the speaker grill.

3. Toothpick

What if you’re dealing with only one AirPod working at a time? Assuming you’re not dealing with broken AirPods, it likely means a clogged speaker grill on one of them. In that case, fixing the AirPods means you use a toothpick to gently clear away any built-up wax covering or stuck in the grill.

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Again, don’t press too hard or you risk damaging the AirPod technology.

4. Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is a friend to you while cleaning AirPods. You can spritz a little onto a cloth and wipe the exterior of the AirPods to clean and sanitize them.

You can spritz a little onto a cotton swab to help you loosen earwax and dirt around the speaker grill.

5. Toothbrush

It’s easy for someone to overlook the charging case, but putting clean AirPods into a dirty case undoes most of your work. You can wipe down the exterior and interior with a dry, soft cloth or add a little isopropyl alcohol for good measure. For cleaning the hinge on the case, you’ll likely need a dry toothbrush to knock loose any dirt.

Applying These How to Clean AirPods Tips

These how to clean AirPods tips aren’t meant as a daily ritual. As a general rule, you should aim for a once-a-week routine of cleaning and sanitizing your AirPods. That is often enough that you keep the AirPods and speaker grill clear and limit any microbe or bacterial growth on the AirPods.

The first time you do the cleaning, though, expect to invest a little time.

Looking for more tech care tips? Check out the posts in our Technology section.

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