With the main portion of AirPods being white, it can be easy to focus on wiping down the outside of the earbuds and forget to check out the black speaker grilles. If you haven’t been cleaning out your AirPods’ grilles regularly, you’ve probably got some build up going on. And here’s how to clean your dirty AirPods and charging case:
1. Grab a cotton swab and microfiber cloth.
2. Remove some of the excess cotton from an end for a more precise, yet still soft tool.
3. Try your best to clean your AirPods and charging case without using any liquids.
4. A couple other great options below including using Blu Tack or using a toothpick/paperclip wrapped with tissue if you need a finer tool (be careful).
Apple’s only direction on the matter is to “Clean your AirPods with charging case regularly with a soft, lint-free cloth. Don’t get moisture in any openings, and don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives.”
While a microfiber cloth is handy for the exterior of the AirPods and the main body of the charging case, a Q-Tip (cotton swab) works well to clean out the speaker grilles.
If you must, cautiously try a little bit of screen cleaner, or distilled water on a microfiber cloth or cotton swab to remove any tough debris.
If you end up with debris or build up down toward the charging contacts in your charging case, you could try a manual air blower before giving canned air a try. It’s best to refrain sticking anything down toward the charging contacts to avoid damage. Head to your local Apple Store or AASP if you find yourself in a tough situation.