Cleaning your AirPods should be done regularly – but it’s not worth it to experiment on with chemicals that are not recommended, you should avoid these chemicals when cleaning your AirPods so that you won’t damage them.
AirPods are made out of polycarbonate plastic, which means that you should avoid certain chemicals since this material can have very different interactions with what specific chemical you use to clean it.
There have been cases where individuals used these cleaners to clean their AirPods and in the end, nothing happened at first; however, after a long time of use, problems started to appear such as static noise in one of the earbuds as well as crackling noises. Others experience a slight discoloration on the AirPods’ white or even, in very dire scenarios, see their Airpods’ plastic material dissolve or outright become melted.
You should also avoid using water when cleaning your AirPods [especially submerging them], this is because water can seep into the cracks and cause damage to the electronic parts within the AirPods. Just wiping down your AirPods with a damp cloth should suffice.
Chemicals To Avoid When Cleaning Your AirPods:
- Bleach – AirPods are white and it’s a common assumption that using bleach to clean your AirPods will preserve its clean whiteness. It is even capable of returning your AirPods’ original color if ever it has already discolored a few shades due to the passage of time. However, while it can make your AirPods look sparkly clean, it can also damage the plastic. It can make the plastic thinner and a lot more fragile. So avoid using bleach to clean your AirPods.
- Ammonia – You Should definitely avoid using a cleaner if it has any ammonia in it since this could soften the plastic of the AirPods. When it’s softened, it could crack or melt, thus ruining your device for good. Windex and other glass cleaning sprays are just some examples of cleaning liquid solutions that are bad for your AirPods’ plastic material.
- Acetone – Also known as nail polish remover. This liquid solution is a very strong solvent that could at best, cause slight discoloration of the AirPods, and at worst, lead to melting the plastic material of the AirPods outright or making it fragile. There is actually a case of one AirPods user that asked the internet how they can undo the discoloration – the top answer said that there’s no way that it can be undone and that the person who asked is very lucky that the AirPods’ plastic didn’t dissolve.
- Benzene – Almost has the same effect as Acetone, Benzene can also cause discoloration. It can soften the plastic of the AirPods and may even cause its plastic or any polycarbonate plastic for that matter to become swollen. I’m sure you don’t want to know what it would look like for your AirPods to burst like a marshmallow in a microwave, so don’t use these and check which AirPods cleaning Solution you’ll use if it has these chemicals in it.
- High-grade Ethanol Alcohol – Like Ammonia and Acetone, this kind of alcohol is a pretty strong solvent that can be harmful to the AirPods. Even if it is not strong enough for the AirPods’ plastic material to dissolve or melt, you may experience discoloration which could lead to more serious damage. There’s a case out there on the internet where an AirPods user used laboratory-grade ethyl alcohol to clean their AirPods and it caused the plastic to melt.
- Xylene – This one should be avoided as much as possible since it even has a greater chance of weakening the plastic material of the AirPods than Benzene. You may also encounter discoloration with this chemical solvent and weakened plastic if your AirPods are exposed to this chemical substance for too long.
- Petroleum – This one is used as a liquid solution for cleaning electronic devices and it is more commonly found in alcohol-free products. When you use this to clean your AirPods, it could have the same effect as Benzene in weakening the plastic materials of your AirPods. It can give rise to discoloration on the surface of your AirPods too, though it would be easily reverted back to white if you decide to not use this solution at all when cleaning your AirPods.
- Acetonitrile – Same as Acetone, Acetonitrile can also dissolve and melt the plastic of the AirPods. It is less powerful than Acetone but it is considered to be a lot less damaging than most other cleaning solvents when used for cleaning your AirPods.
- Hydrochloric Acid – When mixed with water, Hydrochloric acid could give birth to a very strong solution that helps remove dirt from the surface of your AirPods. It can also give rise to a chemical reaction that will generate chlorine. However, Hydrochloric acid is very strong and with its low boiling point, it could melt the plastic of your AirPods in a matter of seconds. Don’t even think about using this solution to get rid of dirt or wax in your AirPods since it’s just too much of a risk for your precious AirPods.
- Sodium Chloride – Also known as salt, this is a common household material that some apparently try to use to clean the AirPods. However, this can actually cause your AirPods to stop working properly – especially if any grain of salt ever enters through the speaker’s mesh.
Avoid using these chemicals when cleaning your AirPods and before trying out any household cleaning material, you should check first each and every material that is included in the liquid solution and research if they are applicable for use in cleaning your AirPods.
Safe Liquid Solutions You Can Use To Clean Your Airpods
Now that you know what not to use, you ought to know some tried and tested cleaning agents for AirPods so that you know which ones you can actually use. Here are a few of those effective cleaning agents that work:
- Distilled water – This one is the most common liquid solution that you’ll find in a majority of commercially produced electronic devices that will help give your AirPods a fresh, clean look. Distilled water is better than just tap water since it is purified of all of its foreign elements. Some say that distilled water is the cleanest water you can have, and it’s available everywhere – in convenience stores and in supermarkets.
- Rubbing alcohol – If you’ve ever been to the pharmacy and bought rubbing alcohol, you can also use it to clean your AirPods with ease since it has lesser chances of weakening your AirPods’ plastic materials when compared with other chemicals such as Xylene.
- Isopropyl alcohol – The safest alternative to rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol can also be used to clean your AirPods without weakening the plastic material of your earbuds. Although it may cause slight discoloration on the outer layer of your AirPods, since it mostly contains water, you can easily fix this problem by dipping them in a mixture of cold water and vinegar for about ten minutes.
- You can also try using a mixture of distilled water and liquid soap, this is known to be an effective solution to clean most of the dirt and grime that are stuck in your AirPods speaker mesh. While cleaning, you can first use a cotton swab or toothbrush to gently wipe off any visible dirt on the speaker’s mesh before using a cotton ball dipped in the above-mentioned solution to remove the stubborn dirt that is stuck in your AirPods’ speaker meshes.
After cleaning, pat your AirPods down with one of these antibacterial wipes since they’re capable of removing dirt particles and grime that are hiding under the outer layer of your AirPods, or get them out using a brush.
Using an AirPods Cleaning Kit is Still The Best Way To Clean Your AirPods
The best way to clean your AirPods is still by using Spectral Body’s AirPod Cleaning Kit, which is made specifically for the purpose of cleaning your AirPods. Apart from removing any dirt and dust that is stuck on your AirPods, this cleaning kit also helps you remove any wax build-up in your AirPods or in your charging case.
This handy AirPods cleaning kit comes with two cleaning brushes (one of which also works as an antiseptic gel applicator), a microfiber cloth, and a cleaning putty that you can use to clean your AirPods.
The Antiseptic gel used in this cleaning kit was made for the AirPods and is guaranteed to not break your AirPods material.
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