clean AirPods
clean AirPods

How to Clean AirPods and Other Headphones

Headphones have become an indispensable accessory in our daily lives, whether it’s for listening to music, taking calls, or immersing ourselves in podcasts. With regular use, however, they can accumulate dirt, earwax, and grime, leading to a decrease in sound quality and potentially causing hygiene issues. Proper cleaning is essential to maintain both the performance and longevity of your headphones how to clean airpods. In this guide, we’ll explore effective methods for cleaning different types of headphones, including AirPods, over-ear, and in-ear headphones.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to understand the basic components of your headphones. Most headphones consist of earpieces, ear cushions (in the case of over-ear headphones), and various ports or openings. Over time, these components can collect dust, sweat, and debris, leading to reduced audio quality and potential discomfort during use.

Cleaning Tools and Supplies

To effectively clean your headphones, you’ll need a few basic tools and supplies. Soft, lint-free cloths are ideal for wiping away surface dirt and oil without scratching delicate surfaces. Cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol can help remove stubborn grime from crevices and ports without damaging electronic components.

Cleaning AirPods

AirPods, with their sleek design and compact size, require special care during cleaning. Begin by gently wiping the exterior surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol. Avoid getting moisture into the charging ports or speaker grilles. Use a dry cotton swab to clean the microphone and speaker openings, being careful not to apply too much pressure.

Cleaning Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones offer excellent sound quality and comfort but can be more challenging to clean due to their larger size. Start by removing the ear cushions and wiping them down with a damp cloth. Use a dry cloth or soft brush to remove any dirt or debris from the headphone drivers and headband. Allow the components to air dry completely before reassembling.

clean AirPods
clean AirPods

Cleaning In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones, such as earbuds, require regular cleaning to maintain optimal performance and hygiene. Begin by removing the silicone or foam ear tips and washing them with mild soap and water. Use a soft brush or cotton swab to remove any debris from the earpiece housing. Be sure to allow the ear tips to dry completely before reattaching them to the headphones.

Maintaining Hygiene

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s essential to establish a maintenance routine for your headphones. Consider wiping them down with a soft cloth after each use to remove sweat and oils from your skin. Store them in a clean, dry case when not in use to prevent dust and debris from accumulating.

Avoiding Damage

While cleaning your headphones, it’s crucial to exercise caution to avoid causing any damage to the delicate components. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or solvents that may harm the plastic or electronic parts. Be gentle when cleaning ports and openings to prevent pushing debris further into the device.


Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of your headphones. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can keep your AirPods and other headphones clean and hygienic, allowing you to enjoy your favorite music and podcasts with crystal-clear sound quality.


  1. How often should I clean my headphones?
    • It’s recommended to clean your headphones at least once a week to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime.
  2. Can I use water to clean my headphones?
    • While water can be used to clean certain components, such as ear tips, it’s essential to avoid getting moisture into electronic parts to prevent damage.
  3. Is it safe to use isopropyl alcohol on my headphones?
    • Isopropyl alcohol can be safely used to clean headphone surfaces, but it’s essential to use it sparingly and avoid contact with sensitive electronic components.
  4. Can I remove ear cushions from over-ear headphones for cleaning?
    • Yes, most over-ear headphones feature removable ear cushions that can be cleaned separately from the rest of the device.
  5. What should I do if my headphones aren’t working after cleaning?
    • If your headphones experience issues after cleaning, try allowing them to dry completely before attempting to use them again. If problems persist, contact the manufacturer for assistance.

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