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Sounds better: how to clean earphones, including airpods

Want to know how to clean earphones? Use our easy-to-follow guide!


Headphones against blue backdrop

We run with them in, sit on the train with them in, and even do work with them in. But if you don’t know how to clean earphones, they’re not going to perform at their best for very long. And dirty headphones are unhygienic, so you could even end up with an ear infection. Don’t worry though, we’re going to show you the best way to clean earphones.

Once you know how to clean airpods and other earphones the right way, it’ll help preserve their performance. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the process of cleaning earbuds, be gentle and always be careful not to get liquid inside the headphones.

How to clean your earphones

Cleaning headphones or earphones is actually really easy. The following guide shows you how:

  1. Dry clean first. Sometimes all you need is a quick brush over to remove earwax and debris. Regularly cleaning headphones this way will limit the build-up over time.

  2. Clean silicone covers. If your headphones have them, you can remove silicone covers and soak them in warm water to clean them. Remember to rinse off and dry.

  3. Wipe clean with water. After brushing loose wax off your earbuds, take your cotton bud or toothbrush and dip it in warm soapy water. Gently clean the headphones with a small amount of cleaning solution – too much and you risk water damage.

  4. Wipe dry. Take your soft cloth and wipe your headphones dry, making sure you get rid of any remaining residue.

How to clean Apple AirPods

You love listening to music in your Apple device and love your new headphones, but do you know how to clean AirPods, EarPods or earbuds? Apple recommends you:

  • Remove debris by gently brushing the mesh of the speaker with a soft brush. Never use a sharp object.

  • Clean the exterior with a soft microfibre cloth. Be careful not to get liquid in the openings.

  • Wipe the case with a microfiber cloth, using a little rubbing alcohol if necessary.

  • Clean the lightning connector with a dry soft-bristle brush – never use abrasive materials or stick anything in the charging ports.

Do’s and don’ts for cleaning earbuds and headphones

  • DO unplug your headphones before cleaning

  • DO remove debris with a dry brush or cloth

  • DO clean regularly

  • DO remove silicone covers for soaking and dry completely before use

  • DON’T use sharp objects or abrasive cleaners

  • DON’T use too much liquid or let water get inside your headphones

  • DON’T put silicone covers on before they’re completely dry

Remember, if learning how to clean Apple earbuds and other branded headphones then always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidance. Failure to do so could damage your precious earphones and invalidate the warranty.

Key steps

Want to know how to clean headphones properly? Remember these rules:

  1. Always unplug your headphones before cleaning.

  2. Use a soft brush and/or cloth on all parts.

  3. Be careful not to get liquid inside the ports or any part of your headphones.

  4. Dry earphones thoroughly before using them again.

  • Cotton buds and/or a soft brush

  • Light soap

  • Soft cloth

  • Warm water

Originally published