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How to clean your AirPods Pro

Anyone who splashed out on a pair of AirPods Pro will know just how filthy they can get after a few months. A mixture of earwax, sweat, grease, skin, and general daily grime will build up over time. If left untreated, it can seriously affect the performance of your AirPods Pro.

For example, wax build-up on the speaker grille can block the holes, negatively impacting volume levels. Excess dirt around the charging connection points on the earbuds and in the charging case can hinder the ability of your AirPods to charge properly.

To avoid these problems, you need to know the best way to keep your AirPods clean. In this article, we’ll explain how to clean your AirPods Pro the correct way. We’ll go through the best techniques to restore that “just new” look to the earbuds, ear tips, and the charging case. Not only will they look great, but they’ll perform exactly as Apple intended.

Cleaning materials required

Cleaning materials required

Here are the most important cleaning products for cleaning AirPods Pro.

  • Q-Tips/cotton buds.
  • Minimum 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  • A soft fiber toothbrush.
  • Adhesive mounting putty.
  • A lint-free microfiber cloth.
  • Paper towel.

Cleaning AirPod Pro Ear Tips

The first thing you’ll have to do is remove the silicone ear-tips from the earbuds. To do this, you turn them inside out and pull at the base of the tip until they click off.

Once off, place them in a dish of warm soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help loosen up any dirt and ear wax, making it easier to remove.

After soaking…

Dab the tips dry using the microfiber cloth. Then take a Q-tip and dip it in the rubbing alcohol. With the ear tips still inside out, give every surface a good rub down, taking care not to be too rough. This will sterilize the ear-tips as well as remove the grime.

Make sure both the interior and exterior of the tip have received this treatment. Once done, place them on a paper towel to completely dry off. That’s the first step for how to clean your AirPods Pro. Let’s move on to step two…

Cleaning AirPod Pro Earbuds

Cleaning AirPod Pro Earbuds

Take a dry microfiber cloth and give the whole exterior a good wipe down, removing any excess dirt. If there is any stubborn dirt left, dampen the cloth with a few drops of rubbing alcohol and directly tackle the problem areas.

Next, take the soft fiber toothbrush and gently brush down the exterior. Take care to get into the various seams around the earbud housing. The grille mesh, microphone port, and charge contact can also be given a gentle brush to dislodge any of the larger particles that don’t need closer attention.

Time to get into the nitty-gritty…

Dampen a Q-tip with alcohol and gently rub the grille mesh on the microphone ports, the speaker grille, and charge contact. Allow some time for the alcohol to loosen the more ingrained wax and dirt before getting to work with the magic that is mounting putty.

Mounting putty is similar to Blu-Tack but firmer. It comes in handy strips which you can press very gently over the grilles. Do not press too hard as you don’t want any of the putty getting stuck in the grille holes. Then, pull the putty away, and voila! Any wax or dirt will come out along with the putty. You can also use the putty on the charge contact point.

If this doesn’t fully clear the treated areas, you can repeat the process until successful. Once completed, give everything the once over with your toothbrush and a wipe down with the microfiber cloth. Now, you know exactly how to make your AirPods pro look new?

Cleaning the AirPods Pro Charging Case

It’s not just the earbuds that get mucky. The earbud mounting holes inside the case can attract wax from the exterior of the buds, which dust and lint can easily get stuck to. The joints and seams around the lid are also magnets for dirt.

First, open the case and give everything a good brush down with the toothbrush. Take care to avoid any pressure on the charging contacts at the bottom. If this isn’t enough to do the job properly, use dry Q-tips to work on any stubborn areas. Mounting putty is also very effective at removing surface dirt and muck that’s built up in the seams.

Unlike the earbuds…

The charging case doesn’t have any water resistance capabilities. That’s why you should avoid getting AirPods charging contacts wet.

The outside of the case can be wiped down with the microfiber cloth, which should be sufficient for the job. You can dampen the cloth with alcohol. But make sure to stay clear of the lightning charge port at the bottom of the case, and dry everything off with a non-damp towel afterward.

Things You Don’t Want To Do When Cleaning Your AirPods Pro

Things You Don’t Want To Do

Do not use sharp pointed objects as part of your cleaning kit. The AirPods Pro earbuds and case are plastic construction, and the coating will scratch easily if using anything sharp. You can also damage the mesh grilles quite easily if poking them with pointed objects.

Avoid any harsh cleaning chemicals. Over time, they can strip the coating and any painted surfaces, and even corrode the hinge on the case. Stick to very small amounts of isopropyl alcohol only.

Most importantly, never rinse your AirPods pro earbuds or case underwater. The earbuds have an IPX4 water and sweat resistance rating, but they are most certainly not waterproof. Plus, remember that the case has no water resistance either.

Need a Great Pair of AirPods or Fantastic Earbuds?

If you do, check out our in-depth Apple AirPods Pro Review, our Apple Beats Powerbeats Pro Review, and our TicPods 2 Pro Review for awesome iOS items you can buy in 2021.

Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Earbuds for Running currently on the market.

And don’t miss our detailed guide on 3 Simple Tips to Keep Airpods From Falling Out and our Apple AirPods vs Powerbeats Pro rundown for more useful information.

How to clean your AirPods Pro – Final thoughts

Now you’re equipped with the best methods to keep your AirPod Pro super clean without damaging them in the process. To keep your earbuds performing effectively and looking as hygienic as possible, we suggest you give them a good clean after every 75-100 hours of use.

Until next time, enjoy the music.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what is what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear hear and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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