Courtney Omell | 

Get Fresh: How to Clean AirPods

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Are you in a cleaning mood? Yeah, neither are we. However, start gathering unused items for donation or give your frequently used belongings a brush-up. Seriously, when was the last time you cleaned your earbuds or AirPods? Let us offer this reminder: you wear those things all day long. They’re practically glued to your ears, and yet, they probably haven’t seen a cleaning rag in ages. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back with some tips on how to clean your AirPods.

It’s recommended that you steer clear of bleach and hydrogen peroxide, as they can damage your Apple AirPods. So how do you get them squeaky clean and looking like new? Whether your AirPods need a deep clean or just a quick dust off, here are our tips for safely cleaning both the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

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Here’s how to clean your AirPods and AirPods Pro.

If you’ve got a pair of AirPods Pro, here are all the steps to make them look new. Clear out dust, debris, and earwax safely without damaging them by following these simple tips.

What you’ll need:

  • Soft, lint-free cloth
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Water
  • Cotton swabs
  • Sharp-tipped object (toothpick, safety pin, dental pick)


1. If your AirPods are relatively new and clean, you can clean them simply by wiping them gently with a lint-free cloth. But if you wear your AirPods to work out or have been wearing them a while without cleaning, it’s time for a deeper clean. Remove the ear tips and rinse them with clean water. Use a microfiber towel and damp cotton swabs to gently wipe away any dirt or earwax. Set them aside to dry.

2. Next, use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe the exterior of the AirPods clean. Dry them immediately with a lint-free cloth. Take care not to get any water in the mesh speaker section.

3. To clean the mesh, use a dry cotton swab or sharp-tipped object to remove stuck earwax and debris.

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Related: Now, Tackle Cleaning Your AirPods Case


And now the steps to clean your AirPods Max.

If you have AirPods Max, the steps to clean them are just as simple but require a few different supplies and tips.

What you’ll need:

  • Soft, lint-free cloth
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Water
  • Liquid laundry detergent


1. Start by removing the cushions of the AirPods Max. Clean these with a damp microfiber cloth dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon liquid laundry detergent and 1 cup water. Use a cotton swab on hard-to-clean spots. Take another slightly damp lint-free cloth to wipe the cushions free of detergent and set them aside to dry.

2. Use the same detergent solution and cloth to wipe the headband, then wipe it dry. Do not use the AirPods until the headband and cushions are completely dry.

3. Once the cushions are removed and clean, use a lint-free cloth to wipe the AirPods Max headphones down. Don’t use sharp objects, and make sure you don’t get any liquid in the openings.

4. Allow everything to dry overnight before reassembling and using your AirPods Max.


It’s okay to use alcohol wipes to clean AirPods.

While it’s recommended that you stay away from bleach and hydrogen peroxide, you can safely use some disinfecting cleaners on your AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Be absolutely sure not to get any liquid into any of the mesh speaker parts of your earphones. However, it’s safe to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on the exterior only of your AirPods.

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