Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

When it comes to cleaning your AirPods and their charging case, safety is paramount. Using incorrect methods can damage your devices.

Safe Cleaning Methods

Here’s a guide to safe cleaning methods:

  1. Use Soft, Lint-Free Cloths: Always opt for soft, lint-free cloths for cleaning. This reduces the risk of scratching the surface of your AirPods and charging case.
  2. Avoid Liquids: Direct exposure to liquids can damage the internal components. If you need a damp cloth, ensure it’s only slightly moist and never wet.
  3. Gentle Earbud Cleaning: Clean the earbuds with a dry cotton swab. Be gentle around the speaker meshes to prevent pushing debris inside.
  4. Charging Case Interior: For the charging case, use a dry cotton swab to clean the charging ports gently. Avoid using any sharp objects as they can cause damage.
  5. Disinfecting Wipes: If you want to disinfect, use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes. Gently wipe the exterior surfaces of the AirPods and the case. Do not use them on the speaker mesh of the AirPods.
  6. Avoid Aerosol Sprays and Solvents: Never use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives. These can cause irreparable harm to the coating and material of your devices.
  7. Air Dry Before Use: After cleaning, let your AirPods and case air dry completely before using or charging them.

By following these steps, you can ensure your AirPods and charging case are cleaned safely, prolonging their life and performance.

Avoiding Common Cleaning Mistakes

Cleaning your AirPods and charging case is essential for maintaining their performance and longevity. However, it’s easy to fall into common pitfalls that can harm these delicate devices.

Understanding what to avoid is as crucial as knowing the correct cleaning methods. This section will highlight some frequent cleaning errors and guide you on how to sidestep them, ensuring that your devices stay safe and functional while being cleaned.

Using Excessive Liquid

Properly cleaning your AirPods and charging case is crucial, but knowing what mistakes to avoid is equally important. A common misstep is the use of excessive liquid.

While a slightly damp cloth can be beneficial, too much moisture can easily seep into the small openings of the AirPods or charging case, leading to potential damage to the internal components. Using just enough moisture to clean the surface without allowing any liquid to drip or seep inside is essential.

Inserting Objects into Openings

Another frequent mistake is inserting objects into the AirPods or charging case openings. This includes using toothpicks or metal pins to clean the charging ports or speaker mesh.

While it might seem effective for removing dirt or earwax, this method can push debris further into the device, potentially causing internal damage or blocking the ports, which can lead to charging issues or degraded audio quality.

Using Harsh Chemicals

The use of harsh chemicals is a further error to avoid. Cleaning agents like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or strong solvents can harm the protective coatings on your AirPods and charging case.

These substances can erode the surface, leading to discoloration, peeling, or other damage affecting your devices’ functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Applying Direct Heat or Sunlight

Direct heat or sunlight is another factor that is often overlooked. Drying your AirPods or charging case with an external heat source, such as a hairdryer, or leaving them in direct sunlight can cause the plastic to warp or the internal components to overheat.

This can lead to permanent damage, reducing the lifespan of your devices.

Ignoring the Mesh Screens

Neglecting the mesh screens on the AirPods is a common oversight. These screens can accumulate earwax and other debris, significantly affecting sound quality.

However, cleaning these areas requires a gentle touch and the correct tools, as aggressive cleaning can push debris deeper or damage the delicate mesh.


Over-cleaning or cleaning with too much vigor is another mistake. While keeping your AirPods and charging case clean is essential, overdoing it or using excessive force can wear down the materials and protective coatings over time.

This can result in a less aesthetically pleasing look and potentially expose the devices to damage further.

Using Cotton Swabs Improperly

The improper use of cotton swabs is a common error. While cotton swabs can be a helpful tool for cleaning, using them with too much force or inappropriately can compact debris in smaller areas rather than remove it.

Gentle and careful use is key to effectively cleaning without causing damage.

By steering clear of these common cleaning mistakes, you ensure not just the cleanliness but also the longevity and optimal performance of your AirPods and their charging case.

Regular Maintenance for Optimal Performance

Maintaining your AirPods and charging case regularly is key to ensuring their optimal performance over time. Regular maintenance keeps them clean and helps identify and address potential issues before they become significant problems.

Routine Cleaning

Incorporate a routine cleaning schedule for your AirPods and charging case. Depending on your usage, a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning can be effective. This prevents the buildup of earwax, debris, and dust, affecting sound quality and charging efficiency.

Check for Firmware Updates

Regularly check for and install firmware updates for your AirPods. These updates often include improvements to performance, bug fixes, and sometimes even new features. Staying updated ensures that your AirPods are functioning at their best.

Inspect for Physical Damage

Inspect your AirPods and charging case for any signs of physical damage, such as cracks or loose components. Early detection of such issues can prevent further damage or malfunction.

Proper Storage

Store your AirPods in their charging case when not in use. This keeps them safe, minimizes exposure to dirt and debris, and ensures they are charged and ready for use. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures and moisture.

Battery Care

To maximize the lifespan of your AirPods’ battery, avoid letting the battery completely drain before recharging. Also, try not to leave them charging for extended periods after they have reached full charge. This can help preserve battery health over time.

Avoid Heavy Impacts

Avoid not dropping your AirPods or the charging case. Heavy impacts can damage internal components, even without visible damage on the outside.

Monitor Sound Quality

Pay attention to changes in sound quality, as this can indicate a need for cleaning or that there might be an internal issue. Regularly cleaning the speaker meshes and ensuring no debris can often resolve minor sound quality issues.

By following these regular maintenance practices, you can significantly extend the life of your AirPods and charging case, ensuring they remain in top working condition for as long as possible. This proactive approach enhances your listening experience and saves time and money on potential repairs or replacements.