How to Clean AirPods, AirPods Pro Mesh + Case from Ear Wax

Odi Productions Mar 22, 2024
190 People Read
Cleaning AirPods case ear wax

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

In this article, I'm going to share my BEST method for how to clean your AirPods and AirPods Pro mesh and case from earwax and other dirt. If you're like me and wear your AirPods daily, then you NEED to be cleaning your AirPods thoroughly at least once per week.

Let's face it, your AirPods spend all day inside of your ears and ear canal which generates earwax that sticks to the mesh. Cleaning this buildup will ensure the optimal sound quality of your AirPods, along with maintaining your personal hygiene.

I have tested many different cleaning methods, but I'm going to share the most effective one I've found below.



How to clean out ear wax from AirPods and AirPods Pro?

AirPods and AirPods Pro next to cleaning tool

Although I have tried the free methods shared online such as using a q-tip, the BEST method I have found is this specialized cleaning tool which is currently available for just $6.99 below.

AirPods are expensive products, with my beloved AirPods Pro 2 retailing at a whopping $249. Even the regular AirPods 2nd generation still sells at just under $100.

Spending less than $10 to maintain my $249 purchase is worth the investment, especially considering how much they are being worn on a daily basis. This should help maintain sound quality, and improve personal hygiene as well.

AirPods and AirPods Pro 2 cleaning tool

The way that this tool works is that it has 2 ends, which you can slide between.

Pictured above is the pointy end that is similar to a fountain pen tip.

This sharp, slightly-curved tip is amazingly effective at scraping the earwax from the AirPods mesh, especially the hard-to-reach edges that q-tips miss completely.

Cleaning AirPods mesh from ear wax using tool

When using the sharp end, it's important to be careful not to be too rough on the mesh, and I find that I can lightly scrape with little pressure and the ear wax just comes off effortlessly due to the sharpness of the edge.

There are a few mesh areas depending on the AirPods model, and it is extremely satisfying to scrape out the ear wax and return them back to new condition.

This cleaning ritual is quite cathartic, like when flossing your teeth and seeing all the plaque get scraped out.

After completing this, you can also mix a solution of alcohol and water and lightly wipe the exterior of the AirPods for extra disinfecting.

Make sure to NOT submerge your AirPods or run them under water as they are not completely waterproof and you could damage them.

Now that your AirPods are clean from ear wax and bacteria, it's time to clean the case as well.


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How to clean AirPods and AirPods Pro case from ear wax inside?

Cleaning AirPods and AirPods Pro 2 case from ear wax using soft brush cleaning tool

Here's the best method I've found on how to clean the inside of the AirPods and AirPods Pro case from ear wax and other dirt buildup.

The same specialized cleaning tool used above to clean the mesh has a second end with a soft microfiber brush.

This soft brush is perfectly sized to reach the very bottom of both AirPods and AirPods Pro cases.

The bottom of these cases can really accumulate the dirty and debris, which in turn will clog up the microphones found at the bottom of the AirPods.

Cleaning the AirPods case should ensure optimal charging performance as well.


How to clean AirPods Max?

AirPods Max headphones laying on computer keyboard

Unlike the AirPods and AirPods Pro which are wireless earbuds, the AirPods Max is a traditional over-ear headphone.

Because of this design, we don't have to worry about ear wax, but I do find some dirt build up inside of the earcups and on the earpads themselves.

In order to clean the earcups, you can actually detach the foam earpads for cleaning without damaging the internals.

Once you detach the removable earpads, I gently wipe and agitate the foam and headband material with a mix of soap and water, avoiding alcohol which may be too harsh.

Then I let it air dry for a few hours, then replace the earpads back onto the headphone.

It's important to note that you don't want to use any sharp objects inside of the earcups as you may puncture the mesh and damage the product.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to clean AirPods with wet wipes?

Yes, it is generally safe to lightly wipe the exterior of the AirPods with a disinfectant, but try not to submerge them in liquid or underwater as they are not waterproof and may get damaged.

Can you soak your AirPods in alcohol?

No, do not submerge your AirPods entirely in any liquid, whether it is water or alcohol, as they are not waterproof and will get damaged permanently. Instead, just lightly wipe the exterior of the AirPods using a diluted disinfectant solution.

Can earwax actually cause damage to AirPods?

Yes, earwax can damage AirPods by getting through the mesh and negatively affecting sound quality. Earwax, dust, and sweat can all enter the mesh opening of AirPods and hurt overall performance.


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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.