The Airpods are one of Apple`s most successful stories and sought-after devices, so popular among Apple loyalists, but also by various audiophiles enjoying dope clear music or podcasts.

Airpods are small and portable with their white dental-floss-like case, lasting wireless charging, and depending on which model, noise cancellation too. Great stuff, apart from the sky-high price tags, I am looking at you Airpods Max.

Anyways, but how about hygiene? Say what?! You didn`t see that coming ha, thought so. I believe it is safe to say that the majority of us don`t clean our gadgets enough (or ever?), but it is important. Remove your Airpods for a minute, and hear us out.

Dirt, sweat and thus bacteria can amass on your precious Airpods and in our ear canals after some time, and that can lead to an unwanted ear infection apart from possibly affecting your device`s performance. I know gross, but good to know.

Airpods cleaning sounds fiddly

It can seem tricky at first since Airpods are so small, while you surely don`t want to ruin a costly headset like the Max, with all its various mix of materials on board.

To avoid cleaning your Airpods often, keep them away from water and dust.

A valid option could be using a third-party strap to hold those Airpods linked to each other, thus reducing the possibility that one of them falls, say while commuting to work! For sure with their size it won`t be an easy task to find, and there you go, your day is ruined.

Even if you manage to find the Airpod, most probably it would have rolled in the dirt or trampled. These straps come in all forms, from cheap silicone to more glamorous ones.

Same goes for your Airpods Max, don`t leave them out of their case when you`re not using them, or loose in your bag, they might get dusty, stained or worse incur a dent.

Admittedly, Apple`s case for the Max isn`t the ideal, with the headband all exposed, we are totally aware, its design is questionable to say the least. Alternatively, you can use a carry bag or a small case which engulfs the Max totally, thus doing the trick to keep it safer.

If I`m ever to clean my Airpods, what products should I use?

If you are one of the converted who was convinced by our plea to start cleaning your devices, well done, and here are some tips for you:


Lint-free cloths and cotton swabs with a bit of water can do the trick usually. This was also mentioned by Apple pre and even during Covid times, then they also added that we can clean our gadgets by using 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, 75% ethyl alcohol wipes, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on the exterior parts of AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max.

However, for the Max you would want to avoid using these wipes on the knit mesh headband, or ear cushion pads areas.

Don`t Use:

To clean any type of Airpods, avoid using bleach or anything with hydrogen peroxide.

Some regular maintenance

As they say, prevention is better than cure, or repair in this case, so it is recommended that you keep a dry lint-free cloth with you to polish those Airpods every now and again.

We are not pushing you to purchase Apple`s €19 polishing cloth, I mean, it is overkill, but the option remains. However, a normal common lint-free cloth will obtain same results without bearing the Apple logo.

For the microphones and speakers mesh we prefer to suggest a dry cotton swab.

My Airpods are a mess, and I need a deeper clean

If your Airpods incurred some serious stains like food (it fell in the egg yolk), lotion (sunscreen), or were exposed to a lot of sweat (training), well it happens. The cloth and cotton swabs might not be enough, so try dampen the lint-free cloth with a little bit of clean water, and give them a good rub-down. The lint-free cloth will also serve to dry them off, and it is suggested that you leave the Airpods out for some time before putting them back in their case.

Any stubborn food or even earwax, still stuck with the mesh area of your Airpods, must be rubbed gently with a dry cotton swab. If it is still trapped, then try with a small pointed object, like a toothpick, but go very slowly, as there is a risk that you may loosen, dislocate or even perforate your device.

What about Airpods Pro bearing an eartip?

Remove the ear tips and rinse them with clean water. Use a damp cloth if there`s dirt or earwax still attached to them. Dry them out with a lint-free cloth, and don`t attach them back with the Airpods until they are thoroughly dry.

Deep cleaning the Max

If you need to clean deeper your Airpods Max, always use a lint-free damped cloth, and a dry one after that. Since the Max is a headset there are more areas to check and clean, so if it`s still smudged, remove the ear cushions to clean them and the headband separately, and use a teaspoon of mild detergent with water to clean them out with the solution. Then a damp cloth to clear, and a dry one after.

Final thought about the cases

What about the charging cases? Of course, if needed, you can use a lint-free damp cloth, or even an alcohol wipe if necessary, and a dry one after.

We suggest that you leave them upside down for a bit afterwards, just in case, and, well, here we rest our case (both puns intended).

Happy cleaning, keep those Airpods shining and ears healthy, you`re welcome!