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From the lint in our pockets to the wax inside our ears, AirPods pick up much more than just a Bluetooth connection. And whether you can see the dirt and grime or not, it’s always a good idea to maintain your AirPods and keep them sanitized and clean. The good news is that doing so is relatively easy!
Here is how to clean your AirPods case or AirPods Pro case, inside and out, so it looks good as new and lasts a long time. After all, maintaining your earbuds and their protective case means one less piece of e-waste. Once you learn how to clean the original AirPods case, we’ll introduce you to the Pela AirPods cases and show you precisely how to clean those, too!
How to Clean an AirPods Case (Apple Original)
Cleaning your Apple AirPods case is pretty straightforward. Before you begin, you will need to gather a few supplies:
- Dry microfiber cloth
- Dry cotton swabs
- Isopropyl Alcohol
The Outside Casing
Start with cleaning the outside casing of your Apple AirPods. Take the dry microfiber cloth and wipe down the outer casing as best as possible. If there are areas where there's more grime and residue, you will need to use the isopropyl alcohol to dissolve it away. Of course, when using a liquid of any kind near your AirPods, use only a minuscule amount and pour it into the cloth first, never directly onto the electronic device. Keep in mind that your AirPods are not water-resistant, so getting water or liquid of any kind into the charging ports or the AirPods themselves can shorten the device’s lifespan.
With the Airpods case exterior good and squeaky clean, it’s time to focus on the inside compartment.
The Inside Compartment
Cleaning the interior space of your AirPods case is similar to cleaning the exterior. But since the earbud compartments are relatively small, it can be challenging to clean the area with your fingers. So instead, you may need to use a cotton swab.
To start, dampen the cotton swab with the rubbing alcohol and wipe down all the nooks and crannies of the interior. Remember: Your Apple AirPods case is susceptible to water and liquids of any sort, so take caution when cleaning and use a tiny amount of alcohol on the tip of the cotton swab. Don’t drench it!
If you can’t reach tighter edges and smaller cracks, you can use a toothpick or even a toothbrush. Just make sure to be extra gentle. Don’t put too much pressure on these areas. Cleaning the interior of your AirPods case takes time, but have patience and you’ll get the gunk out completely.
The Charging Port
The Lightning port in the bottom of your AirPods case can also accumulate dirt and lint after it’s spent some time traveling in your pocket, purse or backpack. If enough gunk gets into the port, it can prevent the case from charging (similar to the phenomenon many of us have experienced with our iPhones).
However, this can be one of the trickiest areas to clean because the tiny connectors in the charging port are very sensitive and easy to damage. Thus, you usually don’t need to clean the port unless it’s having trouble charging (and even then, start by making sure it’s not a problem with the charging cable).
If you do need to clean the port, a can of compressed air is your best option. Gently spray the compressed air into the port for a few seconds (don’t blast it) and then wipe away anything that comes out with a lint-free cloth. Test the port with a charger afterwards to see whether you’ve solved the problem.
You’re better off avoiding toothpicks, paper clips and any other thin, pointed objects that you might have seen someone use to clean their charging ports. Sticking any kind of sharp objects into the charging ports isn’t a good idea, and Apple officially recommends against it so you’re at risk of voiding your warranty if you try anyway and damage the connectors.
How to Clean AirPods
With your case clean, it’s time to switch gears and get the grime (ahem, earwax) off the AirPods themselves. This step is very important, especially when it comes to cleaning the inner speaker, which is why a soft-bristled toothbrush comes in handy.
Taking the toothbrush, gently brush the grilles of the miniature speaker. This should remove any buildup like earwax, lint, etc. Again, use a cotton swab dabbed in a small amount of alcohol if you need to dissolve anything that feels more permanently stuck. Just be cautious not to get the liquid near the speaker mesh.
If you have a pair of AirPods Pro, you might also want to clean the soft earpiece attached to each earbud unit. Remove the ear tip pieces and wipe them down with your soft cloth and brush. If you need a deeper clean, Apple recommends using a little bit of water and then turning them upside down on a drying mat. Don’t reattach the earpieces until you’re sure they’ve dried all the way.
That’s it! You’ve now completely cleaned your Apple AirPods case. But what if your AirPods are also tucked inside another protective case? Whatever kind of case you have, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the material. But since we know our products best, we’re going to break down how to clean an AirPods case made by Pela.
How to Clean an AirPods Case by Pela
Due to the plant-based material used to create our products, it’s important to avoid harsh chemicals or cleaning agents. For our clear or printed phone cases, we even recommend avoiding alcohol.
When it comes to cleaning Pela AirPods cases, we advise a gentle hand wash with warm soapy water and a soft sponge if needed. Alcohol and a toothbrush can be used on more challenging spots, but be sure to rinse it away once you’re finished.
Sometimes, our activities and daily lives tend to make everyday gear dirtier. If this sounds like you, and you’re concerned about your Pela AirPods case showing its age quicker than necessary, choose a dark-colored case to hide dirt and stains.
One great thing about the Pela AirPods case is that it will protect your AirPods from drops, scratches and dents. Plus, they are designed with a convenient keyring that can keep it secured to belt loops or a purse so you never drop them in the dirt or lose them in the black hole of your bag.
Not happy with how your original AirPods case looks even after a thorough cleaning? Give it a refresh and protect it with a new Pela AirPods case instead!