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How to Clean Your AirPods and Case (Without Destroying Them)

They’re your favorite tech item.


Cleaning your AirPods is a good habit to get into. Not only will it help keep your latest investment looking new, but there are also potential performance benefits; cleaning your AirPods could improve sound quality — earwax and all that — but really, they just get gross. You touch them all the time and, if you’re like me, you’ve been known to leave your AirPods on random surfaces or even drop the case on the floor. And because the charging case basically lives in your pocket or bag, it’s a magnet for lint. Fortunately, cleaning your AirPods takes a few minutes, max.

What you need:

A microfiber cloth. Q-tips or cotton swabs. Water and vinegar. A soft-bristled brush, a toothbrush or the brush that cleans your electric razor will also do. A compressed air canister. Toothpicks. Alternatively, you can get a custom-made AirPods cleaning kit.

1. Take the AirPods out of the case. Firmly buff each AirPod and the charging case with a microfiber cloth. The more surface area you can clean without any liquid, the better.

2. For the difficult-to-remove lint and grime, use a soft-bristled brush. If it’s still not making a dent, use a solution of water and plain white vinegar (50/50); lightly wet the microfiber cloth, Q-tip or cotton swab with it.

3. Remember: using moisture is OK, but you don’t want to get moisture on the inside of the charging case or in the AirPods’s drivers. Avoid over-saturating the cloth or swab with the solution. Dry everything with a dry microfiber cloth afterward.

4. Finish the cleanse by spraying the earbuds and case with a compressed air canister. This will remove any last remnants of dust or lint.

Q-tips: $6Cleaning Brush: $7Microfiber Cloth: $5AirPods Cleaning Kit: $25

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