How to Clean Your Apple AirPods

For most of us, there’s a handful of reasons why purchasing a $160 pair of earbuds makes sense. First off, there’s the performance to consider. And in the case of Apple’s AirPods, the sound quality for both taking phone calls and listening to preferred tunes if formidable. Second, there’s the convenience of wireless technology – cutting the chord so to speak on more restrictive options. Finally, there’s the reliability and reputation Apple has solidified across the tech community, resulting in millions of dedicated users through its interconnected landscape of contemporary convenience.

With all this to consider, it’s still fair to say the “golden rule” of tech is still in play here. That is: treat your tech how you want to be treated. Needless to say, Apple’s AirPods should be included in this lot. Therefore, it would be behoof you to keep these handy earbuds clean at all times. Whether that means a daily cleanse or more of a monthly cleanup is up to you. One thing is certain though, allowing them to continually collect wax, dirt, and grim will result in a shorter-than-expected lifespan so it goes without saying a little maintenance can go a long way. The best part? It only takes a few moments of your time.

How to Clean

5 Simple Steps

As mentioned above, cleaning your Apple AirPods is a relatively easy undertaking. However, there are precautionary measures to consider before getting started. First, it’s never a good idea to use alcohol-based cleaning solutions or hand sanitizers as they can damage the polish and even the drivers inside. On the flip side, it’s worth noting a little water is okay. We just don’t recommend applying H20 directly onto the AirPods themselves. So, with those two tidbits in mind, here’s how it’s done.

What You’ll Need
A microfiber cloth. Cotton swabs/Q-tips. Equal parts water/vinegar solution. Compressed air canister. Soft bristled brush. Toothpicks. Duct Tape.

  1. Remove the AirPods from the case. Now, take a microfiber cloth and begin buffing both AirPods and the charging case. Keep in mind that the goal here is to use as little liquid as possible (ideally none) so try and get the most out of your microfiber cloth at this point.

  2. If they’re exceptionally dirty, try using a small soft-bristled brush at this point. The key here, especially while cleaning the screens, is to only brush in one direction. Otherwise, you’re be brushing that grime into the screens rather than away from the screens.

  3. If liquids are needed, then stick with a water/white vinegar solution (equal parts) and a dampened microfiber cloth instead of applying the liquid directly onto the surface. You can also use a dampened cotton swap or a Q-tip at this point to clean both the plastic surfaces and screen.

  4. For any stubborn earwax or seriously caked-on gunk that just won’t budge from the screen, we recommend using a toothpick to clear everything out. We’ve also read that users have had success removing wax with duct tape as well but we’ll leave that up for you to decide.

  5. Time to dry. Here you can use either your microfiber cloth to give everything a nice buff or some compressed air to help clean out and remove any water/dissolved wax that may have made its way through the screen during the cleaning process.


Day-to-Day Upkeep

Just like any other product, proper maintenance is key to keep things as functional and clean as possible in-between these cleaning sessions. Additionally, regular maintenance will actually cut down on these sessions as well for obvious reasons, leaving you with long-lasting AirPods without any issues.

Apple AirPods: The Real Deal

Driven by Apple’s custom W1 chip, each pair of AirPods use optical sensors and a motion accelerometer to automatically detect when they’re worn. Meaning, the engaged W1 chip works with you during phone calls to drown out background noise while offering substantial listening time on a full charge.

Also, double-tapping also grants you access to Siri for getting directions, changing songs, or making phone calls. Compatible with the iPhone, Apple iWatch, or iPad.

Purchase: $159

First off, there’s never a bad time to buff. Meaning, keep some microfiber cloths handy in places like your home, office, or car (anywhere you spend a majority of your time) and where you can give them a quick dry cleaning on a regular basis either before or after use. Second, keep yourself clean. Any healthy individual is going to develop ear wax, and with the outer ear serving as the functional home for these devices, keeping this area clean will prevent any grime from building up over time.

Finally, Apple provides the charging case for two reasons: 1) to keep your AirPods charged and at the ready for use and 2) to protect them from dust and lint when not in use. That being said, don’t fall victim to only relying on the case for charging purposes. Keep them protected at all times when not in use. Who knows, with a little conscientious effort, you may never find yourself needing to deep clean your AirPods at all.

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