Keep Your AirPods Spotless Let’s Learn How to Clean AirPods

Cleaning your AirPods regularly is essential for maintaining their performance and prolonging their lifespan. Over time, earwax, dust, and debris can accumulate on the ear tips, mesh, and other parts of your AirPods, affecting both the audio quality and the overall hygiene. By incorporating a simple cleaning routine into your regular AirPods maintenance, you can ensure that they remain in pristine condition and continue delivering the exceptional audio experience you love.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your AirPods effectively. From removing the ear tips and mesh to cleaning the charging case and the mesh and speaker grilles, we will cover all the essential aspects of keeping your AirPods clean and well-maintained. Additionally, we will provide you with valuable tips and recommendations for maintaining clean AirPods in the long run.

Why Clean AirPods Regularly

Regularly cleaning your AirPods is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Audio Performance:
    Accumulated debris, such as earwax and dust, can obstruct the sound output of your AirPods. By keeping them clean, you ensure optimal audio performance, allowing you to enjoy your favorite music, podcasts, or calls without any distortion or muffled sound.
  2. Hygiene and Comfort:
    AirPods come in direct contact with your ears, making cleanliness essential for maintaining good hygiene. Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of bacteria, dirt, and sweat, ensuring a comfortable and hygienic listening experience.
  3. Longevity and Durability:
    Taking care of your AirPods through regular cleaning extends their lifespan. Removing debris and preventing blockages in the speaker grilles and mesh helps maintain the integrity of the internal components, reducing the chances of performance issues or damage over time.
  4. Improved Charging Efficiency:
    Cleaning the charging case, particularly the charging contacts, ensures proper electrical connections between the AirPods and the case. This helps maintain efficient charging and can prevent issues like slow charging or intermittent connectivity.
  5. Aesthetics:
    Clean AirPods simply look better. Removing visible dirt, smudges, or discoloration enhances their appearance, giving you a sense of satisfaction and pride in your well-maintained AirPods.

By cleaning your AirPods regularly, you can ensure optimal audio quality, hygiene, durability, and overall satisfaction with your device.

Tools Required for Cleaning AirPods

To clean your AirPods effectively, you will need the following tools:

  1. Soft, Lint-Free Cloth:
    A soft cloth is essential for wiping down the exterior surfaces of your AirPods and the charging case. Opt for a lint-free cloth to avoid leaving behind any fibers or residue.
  2. Mild Soap or Cleaning Solution:
    Mild soap or a cleaning solution specifically designed for electronics can be used to clean the ear tips, mesh, and other non-electronic components of your AirPods. Ensure that the soap or cleaning solution is gentle and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
  3. Cotton Swabs or Soft Bristled Toothbrush:
    Cotton swabs or a soft-bristled toothbrush can be handy for reaching intricate areas, such as the mesh and speaker grilles, where debris may accumulate. These tools allow you to gently dislodge and remove dirt or wax buildup.
  4. Isopropyl Alcohol (Optional):
    Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, can be used sparingly for disinfecting the non-electronic surfaces of your AirPods. Use it with caution and apply it to a cloth or cotton swab rather than directly on the AirPods.
  5. Compressed Air (Optional):
    Compressed air can be used to remove loose debris from hard-to-reach areas, such as the speaker grilles. Ensure to use it from a safe distance and avoid applying excessive pressure that could potentially damage the delicate components.

Having these tools readily available will enable you to clean your AirPods effectively and efficiently. In the next step, we will guide you through the process of removing the ear tips and mesh.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning AirPods

Cleaning your AirPods regularly is a simple process that involves a few steps. Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure effective cleaning:

Step 1:
Removing Ear Tips and Mesh

  1. Gently hold the AirPod and firmly grasp the ear tip.
  2. Twist and pull the ear tip away from the AirPod to remove it.
  3. Repeat the same process for the other AirPod.
  4. Next, examine the mesh on each AirPod and identify any visible debris or blockages.

Important Note:
Be gentle while removing the ear tips and mesh to avoid damage.

Step 2:
Cleaning the Ear Tips

  1. Fill a small bowl or container with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap.
  2. Submerge the ear tips in the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes.
  3. Gently rub the ear tips with your fingers to remove any dirt or wax buildup.
  4. Rinse the ear tips thoroughly under running water to ensure all soap residue is removed.
  5. Pat dry the ear tips with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  6. Set the ear tips aside to air dry completely before reattaching them to the AirPods.

Important Note:
Do not submerge the ear tips in water.

Step 3:
Cleaning the Charging Case

  1. Disconnect the AirPods from the charging case if they are attached.
  2. Dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water and wring out any excess moisture.
  3. Wipe the exterior surfaces of the charging case, including the lid and bottom, using the damp cloth.
  4. For stubborn stains or dirt, you can use a small amount of mild soap on the cloth.
  5. Ensure that the charging case is completely dry before placing the AirPods back in.

Step 4:
Cleaning the Mesh and Speaker Grilles

  1. Take a clean, dry toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush specifically designed for electronics.
  2. Gently brush the mesh and speaker grilles to remove any dirt, lint, or debris.
  3. Use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol (if desired) to clean hard-to-reach areas or stubborn buildup.
  4. Ensure to avoid applying excessive pressure that could damage the delicate components.

Important Note:
Avoid using excessive pressure to prevent damage to the mesh.

Cleaning the AirPods Pro’s Noise-Canceling System

If you own AirPods Pro, it’s important to pay attention to the cleaning of the noise-canceling system to ensure optimal performance. Follow these steps to clean the noise-canceling system effectively:

  1. Start by inspecting the openings of the AirPods Pro for any visible debris or blockages.
  2. Take a clean, dry toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush and gently brush the openings to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. If necessary, you can use a cotton swab lightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol to clean the openings. However, be cautious not to apply excessive moisture or insert the swab too deeply into the openings.
  4. Allow the AirPods Pro to dry completely before using them or reattaching the ear tips.

Important Note:
Take extra care when cleaning the noise-canceling system to avoid any liquid damage. Ensure that the AirPods Pro are completely dry before use.

Drying and Reassembling the AirPods

After cleaning the various components of your AirPods, it’s important to ensure that they are completely dry before reassembling them. Follow these steps to dry and reassemble your AirPods:

  1. Take a clean, dry, lint-free cloth and gently wipe down all the cleaned components, including the ear tips, charging case, and the AirPods themselves.
  2. Set the components aside and allow them to air dry naturally. Avoid using heat sources or direct sunlight, as they can potentially damage the delicate electronics.
  3. Ensure that all parts, including the ear tips and mesh, are thoroughly dry before proceeding with reassembly. Any residual moisture could lead to performance issues or damage.
  4. Once the components are completely dry, reattach the ear tips to their respective AirPods. Make sure they fit snugly and securely.
  5. If you removed the mesh, carefully align it with the corresponding opening on the AirPods and gently press it into place until it is securely in position.

Tips to Maintain Clean AirPods

Keeping your AirPods clean on a regular basis not only ensures optimal performance but also extends their lifespan. Here are some helpful tips to maintain clean AirPods:

  1. Clean Regularly:
    Make it a habit to clean your AirPods at least once a week or as needed, especially if you notice visible dirt or buildup. Regular cleaning prevents the accumulation of debris and maintains audio quality.
  2. Avoid Excessive Moisture:
    While cleaning, avoid using excessive moisture or submerging the AirPods in water. This helps protect the delicate electronic components from damage.
  3. Store Properly:
    When not in use, store your AirPods in a clean and dry case. This prevents dust, dirt, and debris from settling on the surfaces and helps maintain their cleanliness.
  4. Handle with Clean Hands:
    Before handling your AirPods, ensure your hands are clean and free from oils, lotions, or dirt. This reduces the transfer of dirt and grime to the AirPods, keeping them cleaner for longer.
  5. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:
    Use mild soap or cleaning solutions specifically designed for electronics when cleaning your AirPods. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the surfaces or degrade the materials.
  6. Regularly Clean Charging Case:
    Clean the charging case regularly by wiping it with a soft, lint-free cloth. This helps prevent dirt or debris from transferring to the AirPods and ensures a clean charging environment.
  7. Keep Away from Liquids:
    Avoid exposing your AirPods to liquids, including water, cleaning solvents, or sweat. Liquids can damage the internal components and affect their functionality.

By following these tips, you can maintain clean and well-performing AirPods for an extended period.


Regularly cleaning your AirPods is vital for maintaining their performance, hygiene, and longevity. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can ensure that your AirPods remain clean, providing you with an optimal audio experience and extending their lifespan.

We covered various aspects of cleaning your AirPods, including removing ear tips and mesh, cleaning the ear tips and charging case, and addressing specific considerations for AirPods Pro’s noise-canceling system. Additionally, we discussed the importance of drying and reassembling your AirPods properly and provided valuable tips to maintain clean AirPods in the long run.

Remember to clean your AirPods regularly, handle them with clean hands, and store them in a clean, dry case when not in use. Avoid exposing them to excessive moisture or harsh chemicals, and always follow the recommended cleaning methods outlined in this guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean out AirPods?
The best way to clean AirPods is by gently removing the ear tips and mesh, cleaning them with mild soap and water, wiping down the charging case with a soft cloth, and using a clean toothbrush to clean the mesh and speaker grilles. Be cautious not to use excessive moisture or submerge them in water.

Can AirPods be washed?
No, AirPods should not be washed. They are not waterproof and submerging them in water can cause damage to the internal components. Instead, follow the recommended cleaning methods using mild soap, water, and a soft cloth.

Why is one AirPod louder than the other?
Uneven volume between AirPods could be due to various reasons such as earwax buildup, a software issue, or an imbalance in the settings. Try cleaning the AirPods, adjusting the volume balance in the settings, and if the issue persists, contact Apple Support for further assistance.

How do you get water out of an AirPod?
If your AirPods come into contact with water, gently dry them with a soft cloth or towel and let them air dry for a few hours before using them again. Avoid using heat sources to expedite the drying process as it may cause damage to the internal components.

Is it OK to clean AirPods with wet wipes?
It is generally not recommended to clean AirPods with wet wipes or any harsh cleaning agents. Mild soap and water, along with a soft cloth or toothbrush, are more suitable for cleaning AirPods effectively and safely.

What if I washed and dried my AirPods?
If your AirPods accidentally went through a wash and dry cycle, they may be permanently damaged. It is advisable to contact Apple Support or visit an authorized service provider to assess the situation and explore repair or replacement options.

Can I use baby wipes to clean AirPods?
It is not recommended to clean AirPods with baby wipes or any wet wipes, as they may contain moisture or chemicals that can potentially damage the AirPods. Stick to using mild soap, water, and a soft cloth for cleaning.

Why do AirPods make my ears waxy?
AirPods may cause wax buildup in some individuals due to the shape and design of the ear tips. The ear tips create a seal in the ear, leading to increased warmth and humidity, which can contribute to earwax production. Cleaning the ear tips regularly can help mitigate this issue.

Keep Your AirPods Spotless Let’s Learn How to Clean AirPods