How To Clean Your AirPods Pro

Between bacteria, fungi, moisture, earwax and other factors, dirty AirPods can cause ear infections, or skin irritation.

AirPods have transformed the way we listen to music, make calls, or host a Zoom meeting. We wear them constantly - and for good reason. They’re lightweight, sweat resistant, offer incredible sound quality, active noise canceling, and bring Siri to life in your ears.

But how often do you clean your AirPods? AirPods collect particles of dust, dirt, lint, and earwax, leading to the growth of bacteria and even fungi. Like most tech items, AirPods have a lot of crevices that are difficult to reach - and cleaning them the wrong way can actually damage them. So, what is the best way to clean your earbuds, and how often should you do it? In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about how to safely clean and sanitize your AirPods Pro.

Why Is It Important To Clean Your AirPods?

AirPods are prone to picking up dirt, dust, and earwax. When these substances accumulate on or in the mesh of your AirPods, it can impact the sound quality, making them sound muffled or distorted. Bacteria and fungi thrive in moist, warm areas, such as the ear canal, which may lead to ear infections or other health issues. Keeping your AirPods clean not only ensures that they sound great but also prevents ear infections or irritation.

Signs That Your AirPods Need Cleaning

This should be obvious, but if you notice a buildup of dirt, earwax, or any other foreign debris on the outside or inside of the AirPods, it is a sign that they need cleaning. The easiest way to check is to hold the AirPod up to the light and inspect them closely. Additionally, If you notice that your AirPods Pro sound different than usual - it may be a sign that they need cleaning. The sound may be muffled or distorted, and the volume may sound lower than usual.

How Do You Clean AirPods?

When cleaning your AirPods, it is essential to use a gently approach to avoid causing any damage. Apple provides the following set of instructions to clean AirPods and AirPods Pro:

  • Don’t run AirPods or AirPods Pro under water.
  • Use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.
  • Make sure not to get any liquid in the openings.
  • Clean the microphone and speaker meshes with a dry cotton swab.
  • Don't use sharp objects or abrasive materials to clean your AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Although these earbuds are water-resistant, there are many liquids that can cause significant damage to your AirPods Pro, like soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, perfumes, solvents, detergent, acids or acidic foods, insect repellent, sunscreen, oil, or hair dye. If any of these substances get on or inside of your AirPods, wipe them clean with a cloth slightly dampened with fresh water and dry with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Allow them to completely dry before placing in the charging case, and do not use them until they are fully dry.

How Do You Disinfect AirPods?

There is a big difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt, dust and other substances from surfaces. Disinfecting kills harmful bacteria and viruses from surfaces.

To disinfect the exterior surfaces of your AirPods Pro, Apple provides the following guidelines:

  1. Gently wipe using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe, 75 percent ethyl alcohol wipe, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
  2. Don’t use on the speaker mesh of your AirPods, AirPods Pro, and EarPods. 
  3. Don’t use on the knit mesh canopy and ear cushions of your AirPods Max.

Unfortunately, using a Q-tip or an AirPod cleaning kit will not kill the bacteria that is infested in your AirPods mesh. As an alternative, consider a UVC sanitizer. UVC sanitizer devices are one of the most effective, and efficient ways to disinfect your AirPods. UV-C light kills 99.99% of the bacteria and microorganisms living in the mesh of your AirPods in minutes - with absolutely no effort on your part.

How To Use a UVC Sterilizer to Disinfect AirPods

Using a UVC sterilizer to clean your AirPods is simple, fast, and highly effective in disinfecting surfaces without any harsh chemicals. These devices have risen in popularity in recent years due to their ability to clean and sterilize a variety of personal items - in one quick cleaning cycle. The cleaning cycle time for this 2-in-1 UVC sterilizer device is just five minutes.

No matter what type of UV sanitizer you use, the step-by-step process is nearly the same:

  1. Place your AirPods, along with the charging case, into the UV sterilizer.
  2. Close the lid and turn on the device.
  3. Allow the UVC sanitizer to run for the full cleaning cycle.
  4. Remove the AirPods and charging case from the sterilizer and wipe them down with a microfiber cloth.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

You should never use water, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or any cleaning solutions on the mesh of the AirPods. Do not use a toothbrush or any other abrasive tool to clean them as this may damage the sound quality. Do not submerge the AirPods in water or any other liquid. Don't use products containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

Tips For Maintaining Clean AirPods

There are a few steps you can take to keep your AirPods clean. First, you should clean your AirPods regularly - this means at least once a week, or more, depending on how often you wear them. When you take your AirPods out of your ears, put them in back into the storage case - don't just throw them in a drawer or in your pocket to collect dust. Most importantly, avoid sharing your AirPods or AirPods Pro with others to prevent the transfer of bacteria or fungi.

How Often Should You Clean Your AirPods Pro?

It is recommended to clean your AirPods Pro about once a week. However, if you wear them frequently, or notice a buildup of dirt or earwax, you may need to clean them more often.

The Takeaway

Cleaning your AirPods is essential not only to maintain their lifespan, but also to reduce the risk of ear infections caused by bacteria and fungus. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your AirPods remain in pristine condition. Remember to clean them regularly, avoid common mistakes, and use a high-quality UV sterilizer for added disinfection. With these tips, you can enjoy your AirPods Pro for years to come.

Continue Reading