How to clean your AirPods, EarPods, and AirPod case


AirPods are an investment, and have become something of a status symbol for those wearing them.

That’s not exactly true when they’re filthy, though, and that’s easy to be the case if they’re being worn regularly or occasionally left lying around.

Like any piece of tech, they should be cleaned regularly, but it’s important to do so safely so that they don’t get damaged. Apple Care frowns on getting them soaking or filling them with bleach.

Thankfully they’re easy enough to get clean. You just need a few household items and a careful pair of hands.

As part of your usual disinfection sessions, give your headphones a spruce up.

Clean your AirPods
The main thing here is to avoid getting any water into your AirPods at all.

You’ll need a dry, microfibre or other lint-free cloth (something like the Elbow Grease Power Cloths can be useful) and a cotton swab.

Give the outer area of the headphones a wipe with the cloth, getting rid of any dust or marks.
Use the dry swab to get into the mesh area and remove any grime. Try not to push too hard here, as it can push the mesh in too far or make dirt go deeper.
If you have something on the outside of the AirPods that might be damaging and you want to clean off, dab a tiny bit of water on your cloth and leave to almost completely dry. Then wipe the affected area with the cloth, making sure the AirPods are fully left to dry before charging or putting back in the case.
If you have AirPods pro, you can remove the soft tips and run them under water (no soap or cleaners). Just make sure they’re totally dry before putting them back, and align them properly so they don’t fall out.

Clean your AirPods case
The case of your AirPods can get even filthier than the earphones themselves after sitting in your bag or pocket.

To clean these you’ll need some hand sanitiser, a dry cloth, and a dry toothbrush if you have an old one lying around.

Not pushing too hard, gently use the toothbrush to clean the lightning connector and loosen any debris.
Pop a small dab of sanitiser onto your cloth, leaving to dry slightly before wiping the outside of the case.
Leave to dry before using.
Clean your EarPods
If you have the wired Apple EarPods, you’ll want to do the same to the main body of the earphones as you would to AirPods.

Again, make sure that they don’t get wet at any point.

On the wire part, you can use an antibacterial wipe or cloth dipped in hand sanitiser to run along the length.

You might be surprised by how much dirt comes off if it’s been a while since your last clean.