Skip to content

Cleaning AirPods – important dos and don’ts

Apple’s AirPods have been a huge smash hit since their initial release in 2016, offering convenient true wireless audio in a stylish form factor.

The only thing is, they’re pure white. Handling them every day, not to mention putting them in your ears, tends to make them rather grubby rather quickly.

Here are some Apple-approved tips on how to clean them, starting with a couple of things you most definitely should not do.

Don’t: use running water

The first and most important thing to state when it comes to cleaning your AirPods is to NEVER put them under running water. You’re just asking for a malfunction if you do so.

Don’t: use sharp or abrasive objects

Even if you have a piece of dirt wedged into the earpiece, never use a sharp object to try and claw it out.

Don’t: use abrasive materials

You might think that a good abrasive cloth is the best way to scour your AirPods clean. Don’t. It’s sure to scratch those pristine earphones up.

Do: use a clean cloth

Your first port of call when cleaning your AirPods should be to wipe them using a clean, dry cloth.

Do: damp cloth if necessary

Of course, when you’re talking about nasty ear gunk and other serious staining, a dry cloth might not be sufficient. For deeper cleaning, take said clean cloth and slightly dampen it. Then, wipe dry straight away with another clean and dry cloth.

Do: use alcohol wipes

If necessary, you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, 75% ethyl alcohol wipes, or disinfectant wipes on the exterior of the AirPods. But leave those speaker meshes alone.

Do: use cotton swabs

If do you need to get into microphone and speaker meshes, use a dry cotton swab.

Do: use alcohol for the case

The same advice largely applies when it comes to cleaning your AirPods case, with one additional piece of information. You can dampen your clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol if there are any particularly troublesome stains, so long as none gets into the charging port.

Do: rinse the ear tips

If you use the AirPods Pro, pull off the ear tips and rinse with water. Don’t use any soap. Dry completely with a cloth before replacing.