How to Clean AirPods (and earphones in general)

Earphones have been on the market for decades, but since companies have managed to offer good autonomy by completely eliminating any cable, the greater ease of use and better pocketability have made them practically ubiquitous. By now, anyone who has a smartphone owns a couple, whether they are the AirPods, the Galaxy Buds from Samsung, or the cheaper ones from Xiaomi and its surroundings. And using them often also means exposing them to more rapid wear, not to mention dirt, which accumulates easily.

And it is precisely the latter that we want to talk about by answering the fateful question with this article: how do I clean them? Because it is impossible for wax and dead skin not to settle there in the long run. And keeping them clean not only makes them more hygienic, but extends their life and allows them to maintain the best audio performance they are able to earphones

First of all, you must know that cleaning must be done in stages. It is better to start using tools and water, before moving on to detergents or denatured alcohol and metal tools to minimize the possibility of damaging the membranes and the various components. Even when removing the various parts it is important to be careful. For example, to release the bearings it is not always sufficient to pull them away, as in the case of Sony’s WF-1000XM4 where you must first rotate them to extract them. Before proceeding, consult the manufacturer’s guide (if any).

Remove the Rubber Pads

Removing the rubber pads is a mandatory step because the earphones that mount them are thus easier to clean, and the pads themselves, being often made only of silicone, can be safely washed under running water without running the risk of damaging the earphones.

Cleaning Materials

For stiffer parts, a good way to start is to use a microfiber cloth instead. In the case of AirPods, to clean the external parts, Apple also recommends

  • wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol,
  • wipes with 75% ethyl alcohol,
  • common disinfectant wipes

It is better to avoid wet wipes on the metal grids that protect the drivers. For its headphones, Samsung recommends more generally cotton swabs and soft, dry cloths, such as the cloth for glasses.

Cotton balls and toothpicks are equally effective tools for deeper cleaning. It is better to avoid soaps or other detergents, let alone compressed air, which could instead push the dirt even to clean your earphones

Cleaning Your Airpods Case

And don’t forget the case. Because if the earphones are dirty, it is very likely that the case in which you put them in to recharge them is consequently too. The cavities, as in the case of the AirPods, are sometimes quite deep and can easily accumulate lint from bags and clothes. And since on the bottom there are metal contacts that recharge the batteries, you should keep this area clean to avoid damaging it. Here, toothpicks or better still special tools can do the dirty work well.

However, the main advice is to clean them periodically. The more often you do it, the less work there will be to do between one cleaning and another. And don’t forget the “digital” cleaning: make sure that the associated apps are always up to date, as they can sometimes add new features, as well as improve the performance of the earphones. Read this article (How to Update AirPods Software) to understand how you can keep your AirPods software updated.

More Like This

How to Update AirPods Software

AirPods and Airpods Pro wireless headphones, like any other smart product, need regular software updates. However, if other Apple devices have a corresponding menu, AirPods...