Apple’s AirPods are the perfect wireless headphones for the iPhone. They are compact, stylish and suitable for every situation, whether for sport, on the go in the city or on the way to work. Unfortunately, the in-ear AirPods also get dirty easily. We explain how to clean Air Pods and extend their life without damaging them.
- How to clean Air Pods, case and tips without damage
- How to clean Air Pods: NEVER immerse in water
- What to use to clean AirPods
- How to clean Air Pods: is putty cleaner suitable for AirPods?
- How to clean Air Pods: Clean the surface of the AirPods
- How to clean Air Pods: How to clean inside of AirPods and remove dirt from openings
- How to clean Air Pods: Clean the AirPods grille
- How to clean Air Pods: How to clean AirPods case
- How to clean Air Pods: how to clean AirPods Pro silicone tips
- Does a toothpick help?
- How to clean Air Pods: Disinfect AirPods
- How to clean Air Pods: Step by step guide
Apple’s AirPods are not only excellent wireless headphones, they also look great. They go perfectly with every iPhone and look chic when worn – everyone recognizes the white, small wireless earbuds at a glance. However, the AirPods with their glossy white plastic housing also get dirty easily. When worn, dirt quickly collects in the fine cracks of the device or in the filigree metal mesh due to constant skin contact. Above all, unappetizing ear wax accumulates there over time. That’s why you should clean your AirPods regularly so that they are always clean and hygienic.
Not least because the headphones now cost a little money, it makes sense to treat them properly. Cleaning also helps keep the speakers from getting dirty and thus preserves the sound quality over the long term. Also read How to reset AirPods and AirPods Pro: step-by-step guide
How to clean Air Pods, case and tips without damage
Due to hygiene concerns around the coronavirus, Apple has revised its guidelines on how to properly clean its devices. The advice for how to clean your AirPods now includes how to properly disinfect iPhone, iPad and AirPods. The instructions apply primarily to AirPods and AirPods Pro – but can of course also be used for other models of similarly structured, wireless earbuds and wired in-ear headphones.
Apple EarPods vs. AirPods: are there any differences in cleaning?
Some work with cables, others without cables. So are there differences in cleaning between EarPods and AirPods? The answer is simple: no. Both models of headphones can be cleaned in the same way. The only important thing is: Liquid must not penetrate either of the models – because neither of them is waterproof.
How to clean Air Pods: How often should Air Pods be cleaned?
You would do well to clean your AirPods regularly. This means that dirt and germs have no chance of spreading to your wireless headphones.
How often you have to clean depends mainly on how often you use the AirPods. If you enjoy music every day in all situations, for example also during sport, you should clean the AirPods at least once a week, and even always after sport. This means that there are no major cleaning actions and the AirPods stay permanently clean and look like new. Also watch out for How to tell fake AirPods: complete guide
How to clean Air Pods: NEVER immerse in water
What you should definitely not do is hold the AirPods and AirPods Pro under running water or immerse them in water. A soft, dry, lint-free cloth is usually ideal for cleaning. However, in the current circumstances, it is particularly important to limit the spread of viruses as much as possible. To this end, Apple has also adapted its cleaning type and now recommends a cleaning cloth with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) to disinfect the AirPods.
When it comes to how to clean AirPods Pro, the AirPods Pro are at least water-repellent, which means that they are protected from sweat and rain, for example. However, they are not waterproof, as no liquid should get inside. The normal AirPods of the 1st and 2nd generation are neither water-repellent nor waterproof, so they should be dried off after exercise, for example. The same applies to the charging cases of both the AirPods and the AirPods Pro.
If the AirPods come into contact with aggressive substances such as soap, (sun) cream, oil or solvents, they can be wiped with a cloth slightly moistened with water and then dried again with a lint-free cloth. However, only the surface may be touched with the damp cloth so that no water gets into the interior. After that, it is especially important not to put the AirPods back into the charging case immediately, but to wait until they are completely dry again.
What to use to clean AirPods
The technology in the small headphones is very sensitive and the plastic is also reasonably robust, but you shouldn’t put too much strain on it. For this reason, we recommend the following utensils for cleaning, but you do not necessarily have to use all of them:
- Microfiber cloth
- Isopropyl alcohol (70% or more)
- Damp window cleaning cloth
- Dry window cleaning cloth
- Car detergent
- Ear swabs
- Compressed air
You might be thinking: Wow, so many cleaning items? You really only need to use most of that list in particularly difficult cases. To clean your AirPods, you mostly only need a soft and lint-free cloth, preferably a microfiber cloth, clean cotton swabs and possibly a brush with soft bristles. For more stubborn dirt, you should use pure alcohol as a cleaning agent. Also read How to connect AirPods to PC computer, laptop or Mac
How to clean Air Pods: is putty cleaner suitable for AirPods?
Putty cleaners for iPhone, AirPods and Co. are now a dime a dozen. But what is a putty cleaner actually? To put it simply: a lump of modeling clay or ‘slime’ as you probably know it from your childhood. In contrast to children’s clay, however, putty cleaners were specially developed to clean hard-to-reach areas on electronic devices.
They are best known for their reliable services on PC keyboards. The mass is simply pressed into hard-to-reach openings in a device, adapts perfectly to even the smallest hole and, thanks to its stickiness, simply pulls the dirt out with it.
So why not also clean the AirPods with the putty cleaner? There is nothing wrong with using it to clean the the headphones themselves, but you shouldn’t clean the inside of the charging case with the putty. Otherwise, the sensitive metallic contact points could stick together – and in the worst case scenario, the AirPods would no longer charge properly. The earpiece and the housing of the air pods can be easily cleaned with the putty cleaner, however. Also read How to find lost AirPods: step-by-step guide
How to clean Air Pods: Clean the surface of the AirPods
Has the case become dirty? For example, because you had printer’s ink on your finger and then touched the AirPods? First try to clean the surface with a damp microfiber cloth, as you use it for window cleaning, and warm water. Under no circumstances use normal washing-up liquid. That just leaves a lubricating film that you don’t even want to have. Use glass cleaner or wax-free car shampoo, if at all.
How to clean Air Pods: How to clean inside of AirPods and remove dirt from openings
The AirPods have several openings on the top and bottom. Two of them serve as a microphone or loudspeaker. The rest are mainly used to optimize noise cancellation and audio playback. Over time, especially in the ear part, residues such as “ear wax” accumulate.
If you can, you should first spray the microphone and loudspeaker openings with compressed air at regular intervals so that dirt does not get stuck there. If dirt has already accumulated, soak a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and carefully hold and twist it at the openings mentioned. You can also get isopropyl alcohol in the pharmacy. Use this as it dries very quickly. Pure water might take too long to dry. Make sure that you only soak the swab and that nothing of it drips down. Just holding on ensures that the residue loosens and loosens. You can then try again with compressed air to blow it out.
How to clean Air Pods: Clean the AirPods grille
The grilles over the loudspeakers are particularly prone to contamination. To clean the AirPods grids, use the soft brush first. You can use this to gently sweep away any loose dirt and ear wax. Avoid too much pressure when doing this, otherwise you will push the dirt through the grille into the interior of the headphones. In the second step, use cotton swabs that you moisten with a little alcohol. Carefully brush it over the grille, too, to remove any stuck dirt. Since the alcohol evaporates quickly, you don’t need to wipe it with a cloth.
How to clean Air Pods: How to clean AirPods case
You can clean the charging case with the isopropyl alcohol if it got very dirty, but you should always try it without it first. If a microfiber cloth is enough as the first try for how to clean AirPod case surfaces, all the better. Even Apple recommends that. If dirt has collected on the charging plug, you can remove it with a dry brush or a clean toothbrush. But don’t apply too much pressure.
How to clean Air Pods: how to clean AirPods Pro silicone tips
Since the AirPods Pro also have removable silicone attachments, there is an additional cleaning step. However, you can safely rinse the small attachments under running water – the use of detergent is not recommended. Stubborn dirt can be scraped off with a cotton swab or even gently with a toothpick. Then dry the attachments thoroughly with a lint-free cloth and make sure that the oval opening is correctly seated on the AirPods Pro when you put it on.
Does a toothpick help?
If some dirt has settled, you can also try to loosen the dirt with a toothpick or a comparable plastic object and then blow it away or push it away with compressed air. However, you should only do this if you can estimate the distances well and have a steady hand. Otherwise you could damage the small grilles in front of the speakers and microphones. In general, you should not use metal objects, as these can scratch the plastic of the AirPods.
How to clean Air Pods: Disinfect AirPods
With the help of isopropyl alcohol, you can also disinfect the entire housing of the AirPods. To do this, soak a piece of the window cloth in it, again only so that it does not drip but is only damp. After the alcohol has dried, you can still wipe the AirPods with a dry microfiber cloth.
How to clean Air Pods: Step by step guide
Step 1: Clean the AirPods case
You clean the housing of the AirPods with a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth. To do this, slightly moisten the cloth. But it must not be too wet, because the AirPods are officially not waterproof and under no circumstances should water or any other liquid get into the interior of the earphones. Otherwise the fine electronics inside the headphones could be damaged.
For more stubborn stains, you can moisten the cloth with isopropyl alcohol from the drugstore. The alcohol also reliably removes stubborn dirt. The same applies here: less is more. Under no circumstances should you use a coarse cloth or abrasive detergent to clean the case, as you could easily scratch the shiny plastic of your earbuds with them.
Step 2: Clean the microphone and loudspeaker grilles
After cleaning the housing, the small openings for the speakers and microphones of the AirPods are on. Dirt tends to collect in the fine metal grids that cover the openings. To remove foreign bodies and the coarsest dirt from the openings, it is best to first take a soft brush and use it to brush over the metal grids and in the corners of the openings. Proceed carefully so that you don’t push the dirt further into the small grids.
When you have removed the coarse dirt from the grilles, the cotton swabs are used. Slightly moisten the cotton swab with the isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the metal grilles to clean the remaining debris. The alcohol dissolves the dirt and also evaporates very quickly so that it cannot get inside the AirPods.
Step 3: Clean the AirPods charging case
In addition to the AirPods themselves, you should also regularly clean the charging case of the wireless Apple headphones. You should also not use water to clean the charging case. Instead, it is better to use the microfiber cloth here, too, which you soak slightly with the rubbing alcohol. With it, you wipe carefully and without strong pressure over the case. Carefully brush the Lightning connector with the bristle brush so that the sensitive metal contacts are not damaged.
Regular maintenance extends the life of the AirPods. If you follow our cleaning instructions, you will enjoy the wireless headphones for a long time.