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It is time to clear the gross earwax and gunk out of your AirPods. We’ll inform you how


Clear your earbuds frequently.

Katie Teague/CNET

When’s the final time you cleaned your AirPods or earbuds? It does not take lengthy for them to get stuffed with icky gunk, Over time, earwax, grease and dust can get caught inside your earbuds. It is gross and might affect the crisp, clear sound that you just’re most likely used to listening to. And soiled earbuds can result in infections (extra under). So, if you have not given them an excellent cleansing, it is time. 

Getting the gunk out the unsuitable means can harm your earbuds, even when they’re waterproof. As an illustration, you will wish to be further cautious when cleansing the mesh speaker and microphone on AirPods when eradicating sticky gunk — don’t fret, we’ll inform you how. 

Learn extra: AirPods 3 evaluation: Huge sound improve

Earlier than you begin getting your earbuds squeaky clear once more, be certain that they’re off and disconnected from all the paired gadgets.  And for those who’re trying into getting a brand new pair, this is what to learn about buying and selling in or promoting your earbuds to purchase the most recent, third-generation AirPods.This story was lately up to date. 

Not cleansing your earbuds can result in infections

Your ears naturally produce earwax, medically often known as cerumen, to guard your ears. Whenever you use earbuds typically, that wax can persist with them and harbor micro organism. Repeatedly placing the earphones in your ears with out disinfecting them can switch the micro organism into your ear canal, which can result in an an infection, in line with Baton Rouge Basic.

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How to clean earbuds with removable silicone tips

If you own a set of earbuds with removable silicone tips, like the AirPods Pro or the JBL Reflect Flow Pro, you’re in luck because they’re a bit easier to keep clean. The silicone tip helps protect the speaker from earwax and other debris, and they easily pop off. 

To clean the tips, remove them from the earphones and soak in warm, soapy water for 30 minutes. If they’re really dirty, you can agitate the container to loosen up the gunk. Next, use a clean cloth or cotton swab to remove any remaining earwax or dirt and let the silicone tips completely dry.

If you have a pair of earbuds that don’t come with silicone tips, you can purchase some on Amazon, depending on the style of earbuds. For instance, regular AirPods don’t come with the tips, but we like these $10 ear tips you can add yourself.

Read more: See our picks of the best AirPods Pro accessories

Apple Airpods Pro

Clean the silicone tips often.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The best ways to clean your AirPods and other earbuds

Apple has a few suggestions for the right way to clean your AirPods. One method is using a disinfecting or alcohol wipe to clean the exterior surfaces — but do not use it on the speaker mesh. If you use any liquids to clean your earbuds, dry them completely before use.

For the microphone and speaker meshes, use a dry cotton swab and a soft-bristled brush to gently wipe away dirt. Don’t press too hard, since you don’t want to push the wax through the mesh. It would be nearly impossible to get it out from there. 

CNET contributor Matt Elliott suggests using Fun-Tak to remove stubborn leftover earwax. To do so, rub the Fun-Tak together to warm it up and then press it against the speaker. You can then use a wooden toothpick to scrape off anything stuck to the sides of the speaker hollow.

If you want to stick with only Apple products, the giant tech company released its own Polishing Cloth, which costs $19 and has a compatibility list. While AirPods don’t appear to be on the list of products compatible with… a cloth, it could still be useful for hard-core Apple fans wanting to give their earbuds a shine. Otherwise, you might seek out a basic microfiber cloth for external dusting.

You should clean your charging case, too. Here’s how 

If you’ve got wireless earbuds, they typically live in a charging case. (We hope you’re not just tossing them into your jacket pocket or backpack to collect lint.) Since that’s their home, you’ll want to keep it clean, too. 

First, use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe away dirt. If needed, you can slightly dampen the cloth with water or alcohol, but avoid getting any liquid at all inside the charging ports.


Keep your charging case clean, too.

Rick Broida/CNET

But don’t clean your earbuds like this

While we understand some earbuds are waterproof or water-resistant, we don’t recommend submerging them in water to clean them — just the removable silicone tips. Too many things could go wrong. For instance, some waterproof earbuds are only designed to be submerged in water for roughly 30 minutes. But what happens if you forget? Instead, stay on the safe side and dampen a microfiber cloth or a cotton swab and gently wipe away the dirt. 

We also don’t recommend using a sharp object, such as a safety pin, to clean your speaker or microphone meshes, as it could puncture the speaker. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush or wooden toothpick to gently remove any gunk.

For more information, here’s what you need to know about Apple’s newest AirPods, as well as the differences between the new AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro.



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