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How Apple tells you to clean AirPods is wrong

By Claire Mueller

Updated: April 13th, 2022

But this hack will make them sound brand new.

No matter how neat you are, if you own Apple AirPods they’re going to end up grimy and full of earwax. Hello, grossness, goodbye sound quality. So how do you clean them to sound as good as new?

How to clean Apple Airpods | Airtasker Life Skills

Apple Support suggests using a “soft, dry, lint-free cloth” to clean AirPods, but if you’ve tried you’ll know this doesn’t do much to help low or muffled sound quality. To bring that bass back you need to get the built-up wax out.

You need to do an AirPod deep clean. Here’s how.

This is what you need to deep clean your AirPods:

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide
  2. A paperclip
  3. Cotton Tips / Q-tips
  4. Your Apple Airpod earphones
  5. A cloth or wet wipe
  6. A hairdryer

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

First things first. Let’s get the terminology right.

When we refer to the ‘big’ hole we mean the one that goes in your ear.

When we refer to the ‘side’ holes we mean the smaller vents on either side of each earbud.

Step 1: Unfold the paperclip

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

You just need a strong but small tool – you could also use the point of a nail file or the edge of a biro lid.

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Step 2: Carefully scrape external build-up from the edge of the big hole with the paperclip

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Be careful and don’t poke the mesh too hard, this is just to scratch off any superficial gunk built up around the outer edge.

Step 3: Tap the AirPod on a flat surface to dislodge loose gunk.

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Keep the big hole face down so the dirt and wax fall out, not back in.

Step 4: Dip a cotton tip in the hydrogen peroxide solution

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Think damp, not soaking. You’re not re-bleaching your AirPods back to box-fresh white. The peroxide is to soften the built-up earwax caught in the mesh.

Hydrogen peroxide is considered a safe way to soften earwax and is commonly recommended by health professionals for this purpose.

Step 5: Wipe over the big hole with the peroxide-dipped cotton tip

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Wipe over the side holes too. This softens the earwax lodged in the mesh.

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Step 6: Gently heat with the hairdryer to liquefy the wax

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Common sense is required here – don’t blast them on high heat for 10 minutes. You just want to heat them enough to melt any wax inside.

Now, this is where it gets a bit weird but bear with us.

Step 7: Blow hard through the big hole

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Then blow through the side holes. These should be short, sharp breaths.

This is a bit gross but presumably, it’s your own earwax, so…

Step 8: Suck through the big hole

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Seriously, stay with us.

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Step 9: Blow through the big hole again

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

…then clean up the outside with a cloth or wet wipe.

Step 10: Repeat it all on the other AirPod and TA-DA!

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Super clean, sound quality like new. Sorry Apple, but no amount of buffing with a soft cloth will have the same effect.

Clean your Apple Airpods like new | Airtasker Life Skills

Thanks to AskUncleDave for this technique.

Have you tried this? Let us know!

Do you have an awesome life hack to share? Tell us about it!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire

Creative, runner and startup enthusiast. Claire is passionate about sustainable innovation and loves a good Instagram Story.

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Comments

  1. jifdsuaoibguqh

    it was quite helpful

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