How to Clean AirPods

August 1, 2022 • Evelyn Long


When did you last clean your Apple AirPods? If the answer is unknown or if it’s your first time, you likely need to give them a good shine.

Like all devices, they get dirty over time. According to a study by the University of Arizona, cell phones have ten times more bacteria than toilet seats. So, you have to clean them regularly. 

AirPods get especially dirty since they can get clogged with earwax and build up other types of residue.

Of course, everything you touch will be a breeding ground for bacteria. Fortunately, you can clean your AirPods easily. 

Here’s how to clean your AirPods.

How to Clean AirPods and Get Rid of Earwax 

The cleaning supplies you’ll require are a few simple items, including:

  • Lint-free cloth
  • Toothpick
  • Water
  • Isopropyl alcohol or Clorox wipes

Start by dampening the lint-free cloth with water and wiping the outer parts of the earbuds. Avoid getting any liquid inside the openings since this could damage them.

Once you finish wiping them down, you can grab a dry lint-free cloth to dry your earbuds. Ensure you dry them completely before you start using them again.

If you’d like to kill the germs on your AirPods, you can use a disinfecting wipe like Clorox or isopropyl alcohol. But, be sure to avoid oversaturating them with moisture. 

If you have the AirPods Pro, you can rinse the ear tips with water. However, Apple recommends not to use soap or cleaning agents to avoid damage.

How to Tackle Earwax Inside Your AirPods

If you have earwax stuck inside the ear mesh, you can grab a toothpick or other fine-edged tool. If you use a sharp object, be careful not to pierce the speaker or cut yourself. 

As you’re digging out the earwax, ensure you focus on cleaning around the edges. After you’ve finished wiping your earbuds down and cleaning off the earwax, it’s time to reassemble your ear tips.

To reattach the tips, align them with the oval-shaped connectors on the earbud’s speakers. Then, firmly push them onto your earbuds. Once you’ve successfully aligned them, they should attach easily with a “click” sound. 

Quick Overview for Cleaning Your AirPods

  • Grab a lint-free cloth, dampen it with water and wipe off the dirt.
  • Dry your earbuds with a lint-free cloth. You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol or Clorox wipes to kill the germs.
  • With a toothpick, clean out the ear wax and focus on the edges.
  • Be careful not to use soap or cleaning products as they can damage your AirPods.

As a final tip, cotton swabs may not be the best use for cleaning earwax out of your AirPods. Some say this works, but you might find they’ll further dislodge the wax and dirt. 

Enjoy Your Freshly Cleaned AirPods

Now that you know how to clean your AirPods, you have an excellent way to maintain their original state. Plus, cleaning them can also give you a better listening experience. When the earwax clogs your earbuds, they can mess with the connectivity and keep you from hearing your favorite music. 

Ensure you clean them regularly so they last and you can enjoy them for longer.