Surprise! The AirPods you frequently wear in your ears, sometimes for hours at a time and frequently while perspiring at the gym, require occasional cleaning.
Some want to go the extra mile and thoroughly clean and disinfect their AirPods. Some people simply wipe them off and carry on with their day.
I thought I’d take you along for the adventure because my AirPods Pro have seen a lot of use and could require a cleaning.
How to disinfect and clean your AirPods
Although I’m cleaning AirPods Pro in this instance, the procedure is the same for AirPods as well. Here, Apple provides its official instructions for cleaning AirPods.
- I observe people making cleaning too difficult. I favor simplicity.
- One or two Q-tips
- A few lens cleaning cloths
- A disposable surface for cleaning, such as a paper towel, to prevent earwax from getting everywhere.
Although I’ve seen others clean using isopropyl alcohol, I’m hesitant to soak AirPods in a solvent. In the long run, I don’t think it’s really beneficial for the earphones to dissolve earwax and push it deeper inside of them. The potential for plastics damage is another issue.
These Lens Wipes are less abrasive and less expensive, making them suitable for cleaning glasses, camera lenses, screens, and, in this case, AirPods. They also only contain 40–50% alcohol.
Step 1: Examine the harm
I started by determining how bad things really are. My AirPods Pro earbuds had a crackling problem, so Apple replaced them a few months ago. These appear rather new. On the other hand, the case appears to be older than two years. It has scratches and chips that have fallen off. No amount of polishing or cleaning will restore its original appearance.
Quite an amount of dirt is also clogged up in the Lightning port, I see.
Step 2 Clean the case in
The case was where I started. This design features numerous crevices that collect a lot of trash. All the ports at the bottom that give electricity to charge the AirPods as well as the area around the hinge portion appear to be filthy magnets.
But it’s nothing that a Q-tip and a lens wipe (you could also use screen cleaning) can’t fix. I was honestly taken aback by how effortlessly it took off. The charging connector area was a good place to use the Q-tip for cleaning.
Clean the AirPods in Step 3
The AirPods earphones themselves were quite clean, as I have mentioned. The silicone earbud tips did need to be removed, and they did benefit from a thorough cleaning.
Clean the Lightning port in Step 4
I carefully and gently used the bamboo stick of the Q-tip to clean the Lighting port. You should be OK as long as you are cautious and don’t go all gorilla on it. This may also work if you have a can of compressed air.
My AirPods Pro don’t quite seem brand new, but they do appear more cleaner and more hygienic.
How frequently should AirPods be cleaned?
Really, it depends. Maintaining the AirPods’ aesthetic would likely benefit them every few months. To each their own, though, as it has probably been more than a year since I cleaned my AirPods Pro case.
Why do my AirPods have a muddy sound?
Your AirPods’ sound output quality can be affected by a buildup of debris or earwax, so cleaning them thoroughly to check for dirt interference may prevent you from visiting the Apple shop.
Can I clean my AirPods with hydrogen peroxide?
Never clean your AirPods with hydrogen peroxide, chemicals, or any abrasive cleaners since this can harm them. Isopropyl alcohol and household cleansers fall under this category. Moreover, you should never immerse your case or AirPods in water or any cleaning agents. All it takes to restore them to top condition is a q-tip, a lens wipe, and some thorough cleaning.
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