How to Clean Your Airpods the Right Way

They’re probably charging yours AirPods or others ear plug every day, but do you clean them regularly?

Not only can dirt and earwax get stuck in the crevices of your earbuds and muffle the sound, they can also harbor bacteria. Repeatedly putting your earplugs in your ears without disinfecting them can transfer the bacteria into your ear canal, which can lead to an infection.

But trying to clean your earbuds the wrong way can damage them, even if they’re waterproof.

But don’t worry – we’ll show you how to do it right.

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The best ways to clean AirPods and other earbuds

Apple has some suggestions for cleaning your AirPods. A recommended method is to use a disinfectant or alcohol wipe to clean the exterior surfaces – but do not use it on the speaker mesh. If you use liquids to clean your earbuds, dry them completely before use.

For the microphone and speaker grills, use a dry cotton swab and a soft brush to gently wipe away dirt. Don’t press too hard as you don’t want to push the wax through the mesh. It would be almost impossible to get it out of there.

cotton swabs and earplugs

Katie Teague/CNET

CNET contributor Matt Elliott suggests using Fun-Tak to remove stubborn earwax residue. To do this, rub the Fun-Tak together to warm it up, then press it against the speaker. You can then use a wooden toothpick to scrape off anything that’s stuck to the sides of the speaker cavity.

CNET Try this

If you just want to stick with Apple products, the giant tech company has released its own polishing clothWhat does it cost $19 and has a compatibility list. While AirPods doesn’t appear to be on the list of products compatible with…a cloth, it could still come in handy for die-hard Apple fans looking to add some shine to their earbuds. Otherwise, you could look for a simple microfiber cloth for external dusting.

How to clean earplugs with removable silicone tips

If you own a pair of earbuds with removable silicone tips, such as AirPods Pro or the JBL Reflect Flow Prothey’re a bit easier to keep clean: the silicone tip helps protect the speaker from earwax and other debris, and they pop off easily.

To clean the tips, remove them from the earbuds and soak them in warm, soapy water for 30 minutes. If they’re really dirty, you can move the container to loosen the dirt. Next, use a clean cloth or cotton swab to remove any remaining earwax or debris and allow the silicone tips to dry completely.

If you have earbuds that don’t come with silicone tips, you can often buy them separately on Amazon. These $10 earbuds, for example, can be slipped over regular AirPods.

Also clean your charging case.

It’s important to clean the casing of your wireless earbuds as well.

First, use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to remove dirt. You can slightly dampen the cloth with water or alcohol, but avoid getting liquid into the charging ports.

Continue reading: 21 Best Wireless Earbuds for 2022

wireless earbuds and charging cases

Keep your charging case clean too.

Rick Broida/CNET

This is not how you clean your earbuds

Although some earbuds are advertised as waterproof (or water-resistant), we don’t recommend submerging them in water to get them clean. only the removable silicone tips. Staying on the safe side, dampen a microfiber cloth or cotton swab and gently wipe away the dirt.

We also don’t recommend using a sharp object like a safety pin to clean the speaker or microphone grille, as doing so could damage the speaker. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or wooden toothpick to gently remove any dirt.

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Clean your AirPods and EarPods without damaging them


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