Your AirPods are probably disgusting - here's how to clean them
Lisa EadiciccoMar 31, 2019, 17:00 IST
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
If you wear your Apple AirPods on a regular basis, chances are they're long overdue for a cleaning.
You can clean your AirPods using rubbing alcohol and some household items as long as you're careful.
You probably wouldn't wear the same outfit day after day without tossing it in the laundry, just like you wouldn't eat off of the same fork without washing it. But most people probably can't say the same for their earbuds.
When Business Insider swabbed 22 pairs of earbuds last year to see what types of germs might be residing on them, Columbia's microbiology lab found that two samples had grown yeast and one sample had grown a type of bacteria associated with dirt. While that test did not include Apple's AirPods, it's still in your best interest to keep yours clean.
See below for tips and tricks on how to clean your AirPods. Be careful to avoid getting liquid in any of the AirPods' openings, especially the charging ports, since they're not water resistant.
First let's start with the individual AirPods. We'll get to the case later.
In my own experience, I found that wiping down the earbuds with a microfiber cloth like the ones typically used to clean eyeglass lenses worked well.
To dig out debris and earwax from the mesh speakers, I used a the pointed end of a dental floss stick. If you use a pointed item like this, be careful not to accidentally push the dirt into the speaker when trying to scrape the gunk out.
There are other household items that could work, too.
Now, moving on to the AirPods case...
If you need to remove dirt or debris from the Lightning connector, use a clean and dry soft-bristled brush.
A microfiber cloth will work just fine for wiping away newly settled dust and dirt. But if your AirPod case is covered in earwax and dirt that's been sitting there for a prolonged period of time, you might need to try something else.
I alternated between using a Q-tip and a toothbrush to scrub away persistent grime and debris.
Here's what a friend's AirPods looked like before I scrubbed them down with a Q-tip and toothbrush dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol.