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Are your Apple AirPods looking a little less shiny and white recently? Just like your underpants, those earbuds you wear every day need to be regularly cleaned. We don’t know about you, but we’ve certainly had a few accidents over the past two years where we’ve knocked our earbuds out while taking off our facemasks. Not to mention the constant build-up of wax in the ear tips.
For some of us, the only time we’ve given our earbuds a proper wash is when we’ve accidentally put them through the wash because we left them in our pocket. Whether you prefer to rock a pair of AirPods, the Bose QuietComfort or Jabra Elite, this cleaning guide will be plenty helpful regardless of your choice of earbuds.
How to clean your earbuds
It probably goes without saying that you should absolutely avoid washing your earbuds by running water over them, but just to reiterate, you should absolutely avoid washing your earbuds by running water over them.
The best way to keep your earbuds clean is to give them a wipe over with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth whenever possible. If you predominately wear your earbuds while working out, giving them a regular cleaning is particularly important because your sweat could get inside them and mess with the internal tech while also possibly corroding the external charging contacts. Just make sure you’re gentle while doing it.
When cleaning around the microphone and speaker meshes, you should use a dry cotton bud to really get in there and work out any stubborn wax build-ups. If you need to scrub off any earwax or dirt from your earbud’s silicone ear tips, you’re best off using a dry cotton bud or brush to slowly work away any debris. Avoid a metal or wire brush, as these harder bristles could damage your earbuds.
If any earwax or dirt has transferred from your earbuds to your charging case, you can give this a wipe down with a soft, dry cloth and cotton buds. Again, the best way to clean your earbuds case without damaging it is to work slowly and gently.
Grab a cleaning kit
If you’re looking for a reliable way to keep your earbuds clean, a cleaning kit could be a worthwhile investment. Most of these kits will only set you back $20 at most and are small enough that you can keep them in your pocket. That portability is handy if you need to give your AirPods a clean after you accidentally dropped them on the ground.
The Hagibis 3-in-1 earbuds cleaning kit, in particular, is a great option if you want something that will let you thoroughly clean your AirPods without taking up much space.
This pen-shaped cleaning kit includes a high-density brush so you can gently scrub off any excess earwax, along with a flocking sponge so you can give your earbud charging case a wipe down too. The kit also includes a metal pen tip, so you can dig out those trickier deposits of wax and dirt – although you’ll need to be careful with it so you don’t accidentally damage your earbuds.