How to Clean AirPods The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Earbuds Pristine

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to clean AirPods! AirPods have become an integral part of our daily lives, providing us with wireless convenience and high-quality audio. However, with regular use, these earbuds can accumulate dirt, debris, and even earwax, affecting their performance and hygiene. To ensure your AirPods continue to deliver exceptional sound and remain in pristine condition, it’s essential to know how to properly clean and maintain them. In this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions and expert tips to help you clean your AirPods effectively.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Clean AirPods?
  2. What You Need
  3. Precautions Before Cleaning
  4. Cleaning the Outer Surface
  5. Cleaning the Ear Tips
  6. Cleaning the Ear Mesh
  7. Cleaning the Charging Case
  8. Maintaining Your AirPods
  9. FAQs
  10. Conclusion

Why Clean AirPods?

Before we delve into the cleaning process, let’s understand why it’s crucial to clean your AirPods regularly. Cleaning your AirPods not only enhances their longevity but also contributes to a better audio experience. Over time, the accumulation of dirt and earwax can clog the ear tips and ear mesh, affecting the sound quality and comfort of your AirPods. Additionally, a buildup of grime can lead to bacteria growth, which may pose a risk to your ear health. By keeping your AirPods clean, you can enjoy optimal audio performance and ensure hygienic usage.

What You Need

Before you start cleaning your AirPods, gather the following items:

  • Clean, soft microfiber cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol (70% concentration or less)
  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Small brush (such as a soft-bristle toothbrush)

Having these items readily available will help make the cleaning process easier and more effective.

Precautions Before Cleaning

Prior to cleaning your AirPods, it’s essential to keep a few precautions in mind:

  1. Disconnect your AirPods from any connected devices and turn them off.
  2. Avoid submerging your AirPods in water or exposing them to excessive moisture, as this can damage their internal components.
  3. Never use abrasive materials or cleaning agents, such as bleach or window cleaner, as they can harm the AirPods’ surface.
  4. Ensure your hands are clean and free from any greasy or oily substances to prevent transferring dirtonto your AirPods.

By adhering to these precautions, you can safeguard your AirPods from potential damage during the cleaning process.

Cleaning the Outer Surface

The first step in cleaning your AirPods is to focus on the outer surface. Follow these steps:

  1. Gently wipe the exterior of the AirPods and the charging case with a clean, soft microfiber cloth. This will remove any dust or fingerprints.
  2. If there are stubborn stains or grime on the AirPods, dampen the cloth slightly with water and wipe the affected areas.
  3. Avoid applying excessive pressure while cleaning, as this may damage the AirPods’ surface.
  4. If necessary, you can use a cotton swab lightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as the speaker grilles or sensors. Be careful not to let any liquid enter the speaker ports.

Regularly cleaning the outer surface of your AirPods will help maintain their visual appeal and prevent the buildup of dirt over time.

Cleaning the Ear Tips

The ear tips of your AirPods are in direct contact with your ears, making them prone to collecting earwax and dirt. Follow these steps to clean the ear tips:

  1. Gently remove the ear tips from each AirPod by pulling them off.
  2. Rinse the ear tips with warm water to remove any accumulated debris. Alternatively, you can use a small amount of mild dish soap on a damp cloth to clean the ear tips thoroughly.
  3. Ensure the ear tips are completely dry before reattaching them to the AirPods.
  4. Inspect the ear tips for any signs of damage or wear. If necessary, consider replacing them with new ones to maintain optimal audio quality and comfort.

By regularly cleaning and replacing the ear tips, you can ensure a clean and comfortable fit for your AirPods.

Cleaning the Ear Mesh

The ear mesh, located on the inner side of the AirPods, can accumulate dust and debris over time. Here’s how you can clean it:

  1. Use a clean, dry cotton swab to gently remove any visible debris or dirt from the ear mesh. Be careful not to push the dirt further into the mesh.
  2. If there are stubborn particles stuck in the mesh, dip the cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and gently clean the affected areas. Avoid using excessive liquid to prevent damage to the internal components.
  3. Allow the AirPods to air dry before reattaching the ear tips.

Regularly cleaning the ear mesh ensures optimal sound transmission and prevents any blockages that may affect the audio quality.

Cleaning the Charging Case

The charging case is an integral part of your AirPods setup and requires regular cleaning as well. Follow these steps to keep it clean:

  1. Remove your AirPods from the charging case and ensure it is empty.
  2. Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe the exterior of the charging case, removing any dust or fingerprints.
  3. If there are any stubborn stains, lightly dampen the cloth with water and wipe the affected areas.
  4. To clean the charging case’s interior, use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a cotton swab slightly moistened with isopropyl alcohol. Gently scrub the charging contacts and remove any debris.
  5. Allow the charging case to air dry completely before reinserting your AirPods.

Regularly cleaning the charging case ensures proper charging functionality and maintains the overall cleanliness of your AirPods setup.

Maintaining Your AirPods

In addition to regular cleaning, here are a few tips to help you maintain your AirPods:

  • Store your AirPods in their charging case when not in use. This protects them from dust, debris, and potential damage.
  • Avoid exposing your AirPods to extreme temperatures or high humidity, as these conditions can impact their performance.
  • Keep your AirPods away from liquids and chemicals, as they can cause irreversible damage.
  • Regularly update your AirPods’ firmware to benefit from the latest features and bug fixes. This can be done through the Settings app on your connected device.
  • If you notice a significant decrease in battery life or audio quality, consider contacting Apple Support for further assistance.

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your AirPods.


1. How often should I clean my AirPods?

It is recommended to clean your AirPods at least once every couple of weeks, or more frequently if you notice any buildup of dirt or debris. Regular cleaning helps maintain their performance and hygiene.

2. Can I use soap or cleaning agents to clean my AirPods?

While mild dish soap can be used to clean the ear tips or stubborn stains on the charging case, it’s important to avoid using any harsh cleaning agents or chemicals that may damage the AirPods’ surface or internal components.

3. Can I wash the ear tips with water?

Yes, the ear tips can be rinsed with warm water to remove debris. Ensure they are completely dry before reattaching them to the AirPods.

4. Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my AirPods?

It is generally recommended to avoid using alcohol wipes directly on your AirPods, as they may contain a higher concentration of alcohol and could potentially damage the surface or internal components. It’s best to use a clean, soft cloth slightly dampened with water or isopropyl alcohol.

5. Is it safe to clean the charging contacts with isopropyl alcohol?

Yes, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the charging contacts. However, ensure the alcohol concentration is 70% or less and use a soft-bristle toothbrush or cotton swab to gently scrub the contacts.

6. Can I use compressed air to clean my AirPods?

Using compressed air to clean your AirPods is not recommended, as it may push debris further into the ear tips or ear mesh, causing potential damage. Stick to using a clean, dry cotton swab or soft cloth for effective cleaning.


Keeping your AirPods clean is essential for maintaining their performance, hygiene, and longevity. By following the step-by-step instructions and expert tips provided in this guide, you can ensure your

AirPods remain in pristine condition and continue to deliver exceptional sound quality. Remember to clean the outer surface, ear tips, ear mesh, and charging case regularly while following the recommended precautions. Additionally, prioritize proper maintenance practices and seek assistance from Apple Support if needed. With a little care and attention, your AirPods will provide you with a delightful wireless audio experience for years to come.

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