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How to clean your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPod Max

AirPods , for all of their amazing sound and features, can get quite dirty. Lint, smudges, sweat, and wax tend to build up over time in and on your AirPods, making it a good idea to clean them regularly.

However, before you break out the soap and water, take heed: these delicate devices need to be cleaned in a particular way to avoid damage to them. The proper method for cleaning AirPods isn’t the same as other earbuds or headphones. In this article, we'll walk you through the proper cleaning techniques for AirPods (especially the eartips), and AirPods Max (in particular, the cushions and headband), so you can have your cans looking and sounding like new.

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

10 minutes

What You Need

  • Lint-free cloth, cotton swabs

  • Warm, soapy water

  • Liquid laundry detergent

Further reading * How to clean your AirPods case * Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them * AirPods tips and tricks

Apple AirPods 3.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

How to clean your AirPods or AirPods Pro

Follow these simple steps to clean the housing and speaker mesh on your AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Step 1: Slightly dampen a soft, lint-free cloth.

Step 2: Wipe the body clean while avoiding the speaker mesh.

Step 3: Use a dry cotton swab to clean the microphone and speaker meshes.

Step 4: Let them dry before placing them in the charging case or your ears.

AirPods Pro laying on the back of a phone.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to clean the eartips of your AirPods Pro

Here's how to safely clean the eartips on your AirPods Pro.

Step 1: If any water has accumulated in the eartip, tap the AirPod on a soft, dry, lint-free cloth with the eartip opening facing downward.

Step 2: Pull the eartips off of each AirPod and rinse each tip with water. Again, do not use soap or other household cleaners.

Step 3: Wipe each eartip with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Wait for the tips to completely dry before reattaching to each AirPod.

Step 4: Click the eartips back on each AirPod. The eartips are oval-shaped, so be sure to align them correctly before you click them back on.

Before you know it, your AirPods will look as good as new. The most important thing to remember is to use as little liquid as possible. Now, go forth with the cleanest AirPods Pro on the block.

The Apple AirPods Max on a surface, viewed from the side.
Riley Young / Digital Trends

How to clean your AirPods Max

First off, never run your AirPods Max under water. Instead, wipe the body with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.

If your AirPods Max were exposed to something that might cause stains, like soap, shampoos, or lotions, then wipe them clean with a cloth slightly dampened with fresh water. Then, dry them with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Do not attempt to use them until they are completely dry.

Apple Airpods Max.
Apple

How to clean the cushions and headband of your AirPods Max

Here's how to clean the cushions and headband on your AirPods Max.

Step 1: In a clean container, mix 1 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent and 1 cup of fresh water.

Step 2: Remove the cushions from the ear cups by gently pulling them off.

Step 3: Dip a lint-free cloth into the soapy water solution, wring it out, and rub the cloth on the cushions and headband for a minute each. Tip: Hold your AirPods Max upside down while you clean to prevent liquid from flowing into the headband attachment point.

Step 4: Dry the cushions and headband with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to remove any excess moisture.

Step 5: Lay your AirPods Max flat to dry for at least 24 hours before reattaching and using the cushions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean ear wax out of AirPods?

To clean the ear wax out of your AirPods, try wiping or dabbing them with a damp microfiber cloth, then drying them off with a lint-free cloth. Alternatively, try swiping around the ear tip with a damp cotton swab to remove ear wax from your AirPods.

Why is there so much earwax in my AirPods?

The reason there is so much earwax in your AirPods is that the headphones go fairly deep into your ear canal, where that kind of thing builds up. Instead of your body naturally dispelling some of the wax out of your ear canal, it instead ends up in your AirPod. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to clean your AirPods:

  1. Pull the eartips off of each AirPod and rinse each tip with water. Again, do not use soap or other household cleaners.
  2. Wipe each eartip with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Wait for the tips to completely dry before reattaching to each AirPod.
  3. Click the eartips back on each AirPod. The eartips are oval-shaped, so be sure to align them correctly before you click them back on.

How do you get deep stains out of AirPods?

To get deep stains out of your AirPods, try the following:

  1. Slightly dampen a soft, lint-free cloth.
  2. Wipe the body clean while avoiding the speaker mesh.
  3. Use a dry cotton swab to clean the microphone and speaker meshes.
  4. Let them dry before placing them in the charging case or your ears.

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