How to clean your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPod Max safely and effectively

Apple elevated the wireless listening game to a new level with the AirPods. The product series features some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, including the top-of-the-line AirPods Max. For iPhone users, there’s nothing quite like AirPods.

  • How to clean your AirPods or AirPods Pro
  • How to clean the eartips of your AirPods Pro
  • How to clean your AirPods Max
  • How to clean the cushions and headband of your AirPods Max

Beyond being completely wireless, AirPods have a slew of high-end features across the three models. From the integrated Siri voice assistant on all models to the active noise cancellation found on the AirPods Pro and Max, there is a lot for users to enjoy.

That said, AirPods likely spend more time out of your ears than in them and no matter where they are, they’re accumulating dirt and other grime over time. That doesn’t look great on the shiny white design.

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10 minutes

What You Need

  • Lint-free cloth, cotton swabs

  • Warm, soapy water

  • Liquid laundry detergent

Further reading
* How to clean your AirPods case
* Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them
* AirPods tips and tricks

But the proper method for cleaning AirPods isn’t the same as cleaning other earbuds or headphones. You shouldn’t use soaps, shampoos, or much liquid when cleaning them, as they could damage the buds. Instead, follow these simple steps:

Apple AirPods 3.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

How to clean your AirPods or AirPods Pro

Step 1: Slightly dampen a soft, lint-free cloth.

Step 2: Wipe the body clean while avoiding the speaker mesh.

Step 3: Use a dry cotton swab to clean the microphone and speaker meshes.

Step 4: Let them dry before placing them in the charging case or your ears.

AirPods Pro laying on the back of a phone.

How to clean the eartips of your AirPods Pro

Step 1: If any water has accumulated in the eartip, tap the AirPod on a soft, dry, lint-free cloth with the eartip opening facing downward.

Step 2: Pull the eartips off of each AirPod and rinse each tip with water. Again, do not use soap or other household cleaners.

Step 3: Wipe each eartip with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Wait for the tips to completely dry before reattaching to each AirPod.

Step 4: Click the eartips back on each AirPod. The eartips are oval-shaped, so be sure to align them correctly before you click them back on.

Before you know it, your AirPods will look as good as new. The most important thing to remember is to use as little liquid as possible. Now, go forth with the cleanest AirPods Pro on the block.

The Apple AirPods Max on a surface, viewed from the side.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

How to clean your AirPods Max

First off, never run your AirPods Max under water. Instead, wipe the body with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.

If your AirPods Max were exposed to something that might cause stains, like soap, shampoos, or lotions, then wipe them clean with a cloth slightly dampened with fresh water. Then, dry them with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Do not attempt to use them until they are completely dry.

Apple Airpods Max.


How to clean the cushions and headband of your AirPods Max

Step 1: In a clean container, mix 1 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent and 1 cup of fresh water.

Step 2: Remove the cushions from the ear cups by gently pulling them off.

Step 3: Dip a lint-free cloth into the soapy water solution, wring it out, and rub the cloth on the cushions and headband for a minute each. Tip: Hold your AirPods Max upside down while you clean to prevent liquid from flowing into the headband attachment point.

Step 4: Dry the cushions and headband with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to remove any excess moisture.

Step 5: Lay your AirPods Max flat to dry for at least 24 hours before reattaching and using the cushions.

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