Wireless headphones increase your earwax

Clean AirPods: How to get rid of wax and other dirt from Apple headphones

Not least because the headphones now cost a little money, it makes sense to treat them properly. Cleaning also helps prevent the speakers from getting dirty and thus increases the sound quality over the long term.

Cleaning yes, but with what?

The technology in the small headphones is very sensitive and the plastic is also reasonably robust, but you shouldn't put too much strain on it. For this reason, we recommend the following utensils for cleaning, but you do not necessarily have to use all of them:

  • Microfiber cloth,
  • Isopropyl alcohol (70% or more),
  • damp window cleaning cloth,
  • dry window cleaning cloth,
  • Car detergent,
  • Ear swabs and
  • Compressed air.

You might be thinking: Wow, so many accessories? You only need to use most of it in particularly difficult cases.

Clean the surface of the AirPods

Has the case become dirty? For example, because you had printer's ink on your finger and then touched the AirPods? First try to clean the surface with a damp microfiber cloth, as you would use for window cleaning, and warm water. Under no circumstances use normal washing-up liquid. That just leaves a lubricating film that you don't even want to have. Use glass cleaner or wax-free car shampoo, if at all.

Remove dirt from openings

The AirPods have several openings on the top and bottom. Two of them serve as a microphone or loudspeaker. The rest are mainly used to optimize noise cancellation and audio playback. Over time, residues, for example from "ear wax", accumulate in the ear part.

If you can, you should first spray the microphone and loudspeaker openings with compressed air at regular intervals so that no dirt gets stuck there in the first place. If dirt has already accumulated, soak a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and carefully hold and twist it at the openings mentioned. You can also get isopropyl alcohol in the pharmacy. Use this as it dries very quickly. Pure water might take too long to dry. Make sure that you only soak the swab and that nothing of it drips down. Just holding on ensures that the residue loosens and loosens. You can then try again with compressed air to blow it out.

Does a toothpick help?

If some dirt has settled, you can also try to loosen the dirt with a toothpick or a comparable plastic object and then blow it away or push it away with compressed air. However, you should only do this if you can estimate the distances well and have a steady hand. Otherwise you could damage the small grilles in front of the speakers and microphones. In general, you should not use metal objects, as these can scratch the plastic of the AirPods.

Disinfect AirPods

With the help of isopropyl alcohol, you can also disinfect the entire housing of the AirPods. To do this, soak a piece of the window cloth in it, again only so that it does not drip but is only damp. After the alcohol has dried, you can still wipe the AirPods with a dry microfiber cloth.

Clean the charging case

You can also clean the charging case with the isopropyl alcohol if it got very dirty, but you should always try it without it first. If a microfiber cloth is enough, all the better. Even Apple recommends that.

If dirt has collected on the charging plug, you can remove it with a dry brush or a clean toothbrush. But don't apply too much pressure.

Have you made your own experiences with cleaning the AirPods and have additional suggestions for our readers on how to clean the AirPods? Let us know in the comments.