The best way to clean your AirPods is with an AirPods cleaning kit. These kits are designed to make cleaning easier and more effective. However, there are some methods you can utilize to be able to clean earwax safely and effectively out of your precious AirPods.
The first thing I ought to mention is that Apple actually did release a guide on the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your AirPods, pro or max. You can check that out yourself, or read on – for a more condensed guide that’s easy to follow.
Some Ground Rules on Airpods Cleaning
There are some universal rules that you absolutely have to always keep in mind when cleaning your AirPods. These may come out as common sense to some – but I really think that it’s worth saying still for the sake of people’s AirPods. So to start, write these rules down in your mental notebook so that you won’t cause any harm to yourself or your device.
1. Don’t Submerge Your Airpods Into Any Liquid; Cleaning Agent or Otherwise. Be Very Careful Whenever You Use Any Liquid To Clean Your Electronics.
The rule of thumb for cleaning anything that involves electronics is that you should use the minimum amount of water necessary for cleaning and never plug it in while you clean. Mixing electronics and water is just asking for trouble. Also, Airpods are not waterproof – and even if you had wireless earbuds that are marketed as “water-resistant” or any such synonyms to that, I still advise caution before diving in a pool wearing them. But really, don’t dip your AirPods haphazardly into a bowl of water or cleaning agent – Airpods have a very thin mesh that will not be able to keep the water out. You’ll end up with broken AirPods.
A good thing to always keep in mind when cleaning electronics is to do it in a dry place where random splashes won’t happen.
2. Don’t Let Anything – Liquid or Otherwise – Get Into the Openings of The Airpods.
The thing about Airpods is that what is likely the most unclean part is the earbud itself – where the speaker is hidden behind a thin mesh since it is essentially what you have to put into your ears regularly. When cleaning these places, you must apply extreme caution – these devices are very vulnerable, especially the openings. The inlet at the bottom of the Airpods’ main body that magnetically attaches to the charger is one of those openings too. Don’t let any water into these areas since it could cause some damage to the internal workings of the speaker and make it, at best, compromise the quality of the sound and at worst, unable to produce any sound
For the charger inlet port at the bottom of the Airpods’ stalk – getting it wet may compromise the charging function of your Airpods, making it unable to charge, or worse, it could cause some massive electrical failure when plugged into a socket – and the damage could be worse.
3. Don’t Be Too Hard On Your AirPods When Cleaning With Sharp Tools.
This is a bit of a spoiler on how we’ll clean your AirPods – but anyway, Apple does advise that you don’t use sharp tools to clean up your AirPods’ speaker mesh covering. That is because you can bore a hole in it, and that can cause a lot of problems that you’re not going to like. So from this point onward, when using any sharp tool – don’t poke too hard. (Spoilers: you are going to need to use something sharp, like a toothpick, to pick out some of the earwax that is stuck to the sides of the ear bud’s opening.)
4. Don’t Use Your AirPods For A Few Minutes After Cleaning It.
I know it’s exciting to try it out since cleaning your AirPods does make a difference in sound quality – it will definitely sound good as new if you clean them regularly and properly, but you have to have some patience. Good things come to those who wait – and electrocution might come to those who get too excited. Of course, electrocution is exaggerated, it might be just a small shock – but still, best to not do it until the device is completely dry and ready for use.
5. Don’t Neglect To Clean Your Own Ears
Another one of those seemingly “common sense” instructions – but, I do believe it must be said. Often, people spend full-time cleaning their Airpods meticulously and spend less cleaning their own ears. If you do it like this, you wouldn’t be solving the problem at its root – remember that the culprit is the ears. AirPods’ won’t get dirty just by themselves. So it’s important to remember to have some good hygiene, and also, don’t let others borrow your AirPods too much unless you also have some measure of control over their hygiene (for example, if it’s a family member whom you can tell to clean their ears).
Cleaning Your AirPods, The Authorized Way vs The Unauthorized Techniques
It’s interesting to find out the things that people come up with to clean their Airpods – it will open up your mind to all sorts of possibilities, there are a lot of creative people out there. However, I think I should start with talking about the guide that Apple did post to give you the official answer to this question from the creators of the Airpods themselves. It is worth noting that their answer will try to be “safe” – meaning, they will make sure that you won’t be able to break your device with these methods so that no one would complain of their Airpods getting broken by Apple’s own guides. This will result in very ineffective solutions that are not able to completely clean your Airpods – since they ask you to touch your Airpods with a velvet glove, but I digress. Here’s the official way to clean your AirPods:
1. Wipe The Stains Clean From The Main Body With A Cloth Dampened With Water
Emphasis on the word dampened, they’re saying that you should clean it with a cloth that’s only slightly wet with fresh water that is almost dry, but wet enough to displace weak stains.
2. Wipe The AirPods’ Main Body With A Dry Cloth That’s Soft and Lint-Free
A good cloth to use for drying your Airpods is those cloths for cleaning eyeglass lenses or phone screen cleaners. They are the perfect cloth for cleaning Airpods too since they have a soft and smooth surface – but still effective at cleaning things.
3. Use a Dry Cotton Swab To Clean The Microphone and Speaker
Here’s where people don’t agree with Apple. However, it could still prove effective enough provided that there is no hardened wax build upon the speaker’s mesh covering. If you just got your new Airpods, it would be wise to keep cleaning them regularly in order for you to not have any problems in the future. Something to note though is that even if the wax is not hardened, you might still find it ineffective to clean wax off your speaker mesh with a cotton swab.
That’s it for the official Apple way of cleaning your Airpods. Now let’s dive into the techniques shared by other Airpods’ users on how they clean theirs and you can decide in the end which you prefer.
4. Use Adhesive Putty
This suggestion was actually submitted by a user comment on an article about deep cleaning AirPods – but it was just as helpful as the articles. The person suggested using “Blue Tack” – a light-adhesive putty that’s used for hanging up posters and other lightweight objects. The way it works is that you have to let the surface touch the speaker mesh and remove it – repeat this process a couple of times and you’ll see that there will be little to no dirt or earwax left. The next solution is for nasty dirt that doesn’t give up on sticking.
5. Use a Toothpick or Any Other Sharp and Thin Object
Some people use metal wiring – they bend it into a straight line and try to carefully remove the earwax, however, I think it would be a lot safer to use a wooden toothpick in this case. Do this at your own risk – and with as much caution as you can muster. If you do it right, you’ll be able to clean the speaker effectively. You must use this mainly for those stubborn waste that is left on the sides of the speaker’s opening.
6. Use an Airpods Cleaning Kit
If you really want the best solution for cleaning your Airpods – I suggest that you use a cleaning kit since those are designed especially for maintaining your Airpods’ cleanliness. Do you know how you can use a ballpen as an icepick? It’s not what the ballpen is made for, and it’s a job for the ice pick – but you would guess that it kind of works. But don’t be that guy, have some respect for your Airpods and get yourself an Airpods Cleaning kit. Luckily for you, we have some available right here in Spectral Body for a very affordable price!