Are your beloved wireless earbuds in need of a refresh? If you’re like many AirPods users, you may have noticed a decline in their pristine appearance over time. Whether it’s a result of daily wear at work, during workouts, or while tackling outdoor chores, the accumulation of dirt, sweat, and even earwax can take a toll on your device’s hygiene.

Fortunately, maintaining the cleanliness of your AirPods is simpler than you might think. By incorporating regular cleaning into your routine, you can not only enhance their longevity but also ensure optimal audio quality. Let’s explore some effective techniques to revitalize your AirPods and restore them to their former glory.

Apple’s AirPod Cleaning Instructions

When it comes to keeping your AirPods clean, Apple provides some valuable guidance to ensure they remain in top condition. To maintain your AirPods, Apple advises using a slightly dampened cloth along with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. It’s essential to note that Apple advises against the use of soaps, shampoos, solvents, or running your AirPods under water to prevent any damage.

For getting into the smaller crevices like the microphone and speaker meshes, Apple suggests utilizing a dry cotton swab and a soft-bristled brush. These tools can effectively help in removing any debris or dirt without harming the AirPods.

Special Care for AirPods Pro

When it comes to AirPods Pro, Apple provides additional steps. You can remove the ear tips and rinse them with water, but be sure not to use soap or other cleaning agents. Following the rinse, Apple recommends using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe the ear tips clean. It’s crucial to let them dry completely before reassembling your AirPods Pro for optimal functionality.

Germ Prevention

To ensure that your AirPods are free from any lingering germs, Apple suggests gently wiping the exterior surfaces—excluding the speaker mesh—with a 70-percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or a Clorox disinfecting wipe. However, it’s important to avoid using overly saturated wipes to prevent moisture from entering any openings in your AirPods. Despite how dirty they may seem, it’s best not to submerge your AirPods in any cleaning solutions.

Putting Apple’s Methods to the Test

It’s always interesting to see how recommended cleaning methods work in practice. Individuals have tried various methods, like using a Q-tip or an old toothbrush, but results have been mixed. Experimentation may be necessary to find the best cleaning approach that works for your specific AirPods.

It’s been some time since my Apple AirPods shone as bright as they did when I first got them. I use them not just during work hours but also while doing yard work and walking my dog. With all this activity, especially when sweating it out mowing the lawn, mulching, raking leaves, chopping wood, or shoveling snow (yes, I’ve fully embraced Dad duties), my AirPods have accumulated dirt, grime, debris, and even earwax. Given this situation, I decided it was time to find the best way to clean them.


  1. How does Apple recommend cleaning AirPods?
    Apple suggests using a slightly damp cloth and a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Avoid using soaps, shampoos, or solvents and refrain from running the AirPods under water. For cleaning the microphone and speaker meshes, use a dry cotton swab and a soft-bristled brush.

  2. Can you clean AirPods Pro ear tips with water?
    Yes, for AirPods Pro, you can remove the ear tips and rinse them with water without using soap or other cleaning agents. After rinsing, wipe the ear tips with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth and ensure they are completely dry before reassembling.

  3. What is recommended for killing germs on AirPods?
    To kill germs, it’s acceptable to gently wipe the exterior surfaces (except the speaker mesh) with a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipe. Avoid using overly saturated wipes to prevent moisture from entering the AirPods’ openings. Do not submerge AirPods in any cleaning products.

  4. What if Apple’s cleaning methods do not work?
    If Apple’s methods do not yield desired results, an alternative approach involves using Fun-Tak and a wooden toothpick to clean the dirt and wax from the AirPod speakers effectively.

  5. How can Fun-Tak and a wooden toothpick help clean AirPods?
    Fun-Tak can be used to pick up wax and dirt stuck inside the speaker hollow by pressing it against the speaker. A wooden toothpick can then be utilized to remove stubborn bits from the sides of the speaker hollow gently.

  6. Are there any other tips for keeping AirPods clean?
    To maintain clean AirPods, wiping the exterior with a dry cloth regularly and ensuring the speaker meshes remain free from dirt and wax buildup is crucial.


In conclusion, caring for your AirPods is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Following Apple’s cleaning instructions, using tools like Fun-Tak and a wooden toothpick, and implementing regular maintenance practices will help keep your AirPods in top condition. If you are facing challenges with dirty AirPods, these cleaning methods offer practical solutions to restore them to their former glory.

Remember, a clean pair of AirPods not only enhances your listening experience but also eliminates any potential hygiene concerns. So, take the time to clean your AirPods regularly and enjoy crisp, clear sound every time you use them.

For further tips and tricks on AirPod maintenance and usage, explore our comprehensive guide on the best AirPods tips, discover 11 awesome AirPods Pro tricks, and learn how to pair AirPods with your Windows PC in just 1 minute. Prioritize the care of your AirPods today for uninterrupted enjoyment tomorrow.