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How to Clean AirPods Without Damaging Them

AirPods are expensive. Learn how to keep your top-of-the-line bluetooth headphones in mint condition with these cleaning tips.

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Why Is It Important to Clean AirPods?

Wireless headphones are among the most convenient ways to listen to music, and no brand of wireless headphone has captured the cultural zeitgeist quite like Apple’s AirPods. But this popular set of Bluetooth headphones comes with a hefty price tag, so you are going to want to make sure that your AirPods stay in excellent condition. Thankfully, upkeep and maintenance of AirPods is fairly simple, as long you stay on top of it and use the correct methods.

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How to Clean AirPods

The best way to clean the outside of AirPods is with a soft, dry cloth. The microphone and the mesh covering the speaker can be cleaned with a dry cotton swab. The key to cleaning AirPods without damaging them is to do it as gently as possible. Do not use any sort of harsh, abrasive materials or sharp objects to clean AirPods, and make sure not to get liquid anywhere near any openings.

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How to Clean an AirPods Case

AirPods come with a special case that doubles as both a container for storing your headphones and a charger. To clean an AirPods case, follow the same basic principles you used to clean the AirPods themselves. Use a soft touch and avoid using liquids. If absolutely necessary, you can use a cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol to break up any particularly stubborn grime. If the connection to the charging ports seems a little loose, don’t try to stick anything inside the port to clean it out. Instead, try using a few blasts from a can of compressed air to clear out the part.

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How to Clean AirPod Tips

The newer version of AirPods, the AirPods Pro, come with special ear tips that fit snugly within the opening of the user’s ear. This helps block out external noise and keeps the headphone securely in the ear during use. Such a tight fit, though, means that you’re inevitably going to end up with some ear wax inside of the tips of your AirPods.

The good news is that the tips on AirPods Pro can be removed very easily and safely cleaned with water (Apple recommends not using any soap or household cleaners). Just make sure that there is no moisture left on the surface of the tips before they are reattached.

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Product and Personal Safety Tips

It’s important to remember that first and second generation AirPods are not water resistant, and that while AirPods Pro are water resistant, they are not completely waterproof. That means you should never run your AirPods or their case directly under water. If you need to use water to clean your AirPods, get a cloth slightly damp and gently clean the surface of your headphones. Be sure that your AirPods are completely dry before you use them or put them back into their charging case.