Most of us are aware of the germ-ridden filth that resides on the surface of our phones and are, hopefully, keeping those devices as clean as possible.
However, it’s easier to overlook the bacteria and other microbes that might be lurking on other devices, such as those all-powerful status symbols known as AirPods. They might make you look cool and drown out the outside world, with all its stressful news and stress-inducing people. But we can confirm that those AirPods are also harbingers of destruction and dirt.
Whether your AirPods or AirPods case has picked up some unknown gunk or you just want to do a good sanitization of your gear, read on to find out how to clean your AirPods and case easily and safely with things you might already have around the house!
What Not to Do When Cleaning AirPods
Protection is key when cleaning your AirPods. Let’s go over a couple of things NOT to do when learning how to clean your AirPods and case.
It may be tempting, but DON’T clean your AirPods or AirPods case under running water. In fact, it’s best not to get these devices excessively wet at all. AirPods 1 and 2 are not waterproof nor water-resistant, so avoid getting moisture into any of the holes.
AirPod Pros and AirPod Max headphones are a little more forgiving, as they are rated for a certain amount of water resistance. However, they are not waterproof and should never be submerged underwater.
Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals
While a disinfecting cloth won’t necessarily damage the exterior of your AirPods, bleach or other harsh chemicals should absolutely not be used on your headphones. Not only can the extreme liquid overwhelm your non-waterproof AirPods, but the strong ingredients can damage internal wiring.
Minimize the Use of Sharp Objects
Cleaning out the inner speaker part of your headphones is necessary for a deep clean. However, using a sharper object like a toothpick can cause damage if used too harshly to clean the AirPod grill. Instead, consider using a Q-Tip or softer tool to clean out the dirt.
Compressed Air = Damage
Though compressed air is a great choice for cleaning out that pesky dirt under your keyboard, it’s not as helpful when it comes to any style of AirPods. The high pressure of air can cause damage to the internal system of your AirPods, particularly when used on the speaker and charging port.
5 Tips for Cleaning Your AirPods
Now that you know what to avoid when cleaning your AirPods, let’s take a look at how to properly clean your AirPods.
Invest in a Lint-Free Cloth
The best way to clean your AirPods is with a dry, lint-free cloth. This will easily remove any built-up dust or smudges, returning your dirty AirPods to their former, shiny glory.
Try a Damp Cloth
If your AirPods have sustained a stain or sticky spill, you’ll have to up your game from a simple lint-free cloth. If you absolutely have to, use a lightly damp cloth to dislodge any stains or caked-on dirt. Avoid the speaker holes and any other internal sections of the AirPods to avoid irreversible damage.
Break Out the Alcohol Wipes
If a water-dampened cloth isn’t doing the trick, it’s time for the big guns. Simple isopropyl alcohol should do the trick against stubborn, sticky stains. Dampen a cloth with a small amount of alcohol. Like with any liquid, avoid the internals of the AirPods. Alcohol shouldn’t damage the finish of the AirPods if used correctly. Alternatively, a disposable sanitizing wipe could be used.
Refresh Your Silicon Covers
Calling all AirPod Pros owners! This is the one time we’ll recommend a good bath for cleaning your AirPods. Though you can’t run your actual AirPods through water (water-resistant does not mean waterproof!), you can remove and rinse off the silicon covers. Make sure you let them dry completely before placing them back onto your AirPods.
Be sure to dry your AirPods thoroughly with a lint-free cloth. If water or another liquid has gotten inside, gently tap the AirPods upside-down on the cloth to clear any moisture. Consider letting your AirPods sit out of the case for a bit after cleaning to make sure they fully dry.
Enjoy your like-new, sanitized AirPods!
4 Tips for Cleaning Your AirPods Case
No one wants to put their freshly cleaned AirPods back into a dirty case. That’s why we’re here to teach you how to clean your AirPods case.
Grab the Lint-Free Cloth
Cleaning your AirPods case is much the same as cleaning the AirPods themselves. Avoid getting moisture into any of the internals, like the charging ports. Use a lint-free cloth as your first method of attack.
Time for the Alcohol Wipes
If necessary, a small amount of water or isopropyl alcohol can be added to the cloth to break down any caked-on shmutz. Once again, avoid the openings and charging contacts, as moisture could do serious damage to the charging case.
Did Someone Say Toothbrush?
Yes, you heard correctly — it's time to break out a fresh toothbrush, but not for your teeth. If crumbs, dirt, or other debris has gotten lodged into the charging port, you can gently clean this opening with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Air Dry Your Case
If the alcohol or disinfecting route was the way you went, allow the case to dry fully. Once you’re sure the case is dried out and ready to go, slip those AirPods back into their safe and freshly-cleaned home.
Fresh for Your Ears
And just like that, you’ve got all you need to know for how to clean your AirPods and AirPods case.
Of course, you’ll be content with the knowledge that they’ve been newly cleaned and freshly sanitized the next time you’re ready to jam out to some music. If you want to go the extra mile in decking your AirPods out in style, check out SaharaCase’s line of silicone AirPod cases to add a beautiful pop of color (and much-needed protection) to your AirPods!