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Clean Ears Are Happy Ears: How to Clean AirPods

Did you know you can get pimples and blackheads in your ears from using unclear earbuds? AirPods are no exception. Learn how to clean them safely, here.

Apple Airpods are a pretty hefty investment. Ranging from $159-$249, depending on what model you choose, unless you’re a billionaire, you probably want to both keep track of them and keep them clean.

But like everything, with daily use and wear and tear, especially as so many of us take them traveling or to exercise, you can find that your Airpods won’t look as good as new if you don’t take care of them.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to clean Airpods. Besides wanting to keep them looking fantastic, allowing yourself to get gunk on them on the daily can only contribute to an unhygienic environment.

Prevent Your Airpods from Getting Dirty: Clean Your Ears

Some people are more susceptible to having wax in their ears than others. But if you’re one of the few who does have a lot of wax, or you go a long time without cleaning your Airpods, you might find some unruly (and frankly, gross) ear wax living in your Airpods.

The best way to ensure your Airpods stay clean is to not dirty them at all. And you can help do this by keeping your ears free of wax.

While you can’t completely control this, there are some ways to keep the area of your ear that comes in contact with your Airpods clean.

Every time you shower, you may put your finger in your ear to dig out some of the wax that is at surface level. Never go too far into your ear, and instead stay in the outer area of the ear. Going too far can cause serious problems, such as hearing loss or an eardrum rupture.

You may also wish to put a little bit of baby oil or olive oil to soften your ear wax. Over the next couple of days, it may begin to drip out on its own.

You can also use over-the-counter ear wax removal kits, as long as you’re careful not to poke the inside of your ear. Never use a cotton swab, bobby pin or any other item that could poke or rupture the inside of your ear.

How NOT to Clean Your Airpods

When keeping your Airpods clean, it is important to remember that while they are water-resistant, they aren’t waterproof. This means that while they may survive a quick dunk in the bathtub by accident, or being caught in the rain during a walk or run, they won’t survive being submerged for a long time.

Using too much water can mean you may knock out many of their functions, including connecting via Bluetooth. This article, setapp.com/how-to/connect-airpods, shows you how to connect them to make sure they’re still working after they get wet. 

As such, avoid dipping your Airpods in water to attempt to clean them. You may wish to use a moist towelette to clean the Airpods, but do not use a soaking wet rag or any other item. You can also wipe them down with a rubbing alcohol wipe or a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol dabbed on a tissue.

How to Clean Airpods: Getting the Wax Out

The wax buildup that some people contend with when wearing their Airpods is one of the things most people want to clean ASAP. Not only can it be unhygienic, but it can block some of the sound from coming out of the earphones.

This is the time to use the cotton swab that you’re not supposed to use when cleaning out your ears. You can wet the very tip of the cotton swab, or put a little rubbing alcohol on it. Then, swab it over the area of the headphones where the wax is.

If this doesn’t work and the wax is too difficult to remove, you can try a couple of alternatives. If you have an orange stick or cuticle stick for your nails, you may try to coax the wax out with it, but be careful not to puncture the Airpod itself.

You can also try a safety pin or the backside of a thumbtack. Again, make sure that when you’re pushing the wax out, you do not pierce the Airpod. It is pretty difficult to do by accident, but you still want to remain cautious.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

If you still can’t get the wax out, some people have reported success with Blue Tack or Silly Putty. This involves placing it inside the portion of the Airpod where the wax has built up, and then pulling the putty outward toward yourself. If the putty is sufficiently sticky, you should be able to get the majority of the wax out.

Once you’ve done so, wipe down the area with a little bit of rubbing alcohol to keep it clean and hygienic.

Wipe Off Dust and Grime

Everything that you use often gets dust and grime on it, and even the things you don’t use are not immune. If you have a little wipe that is used for collecting dust, particularly if it is used on computer or phone screens, use that the clean the exterior of the Airpods.

This will ensure that you keep the exterior of the Airpods looking as shiny as possible.

Keeping Your Airpods in Ship Shape

How to clean Airpods isn’t very difficult, unless you’ve let a lot of wax build up over time. We suggest that you take precaution not to get wax on the Airpods on the first place in order to keep your pair looking their best. If that’s not an option, as it is difficult for some people not to do so, clean out the wax as soon as you notice it.

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Shivam Singh
Founder of the TechGrits, has always looked at technology as a piece of knots. From an early age connected to the technological world, this is literally your dream job.