Here's how to make your gross, waxy wireless headphones look brand-new. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated: May 10, 2019
Apple/Getty Images

If you listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts regularly, chances are your AirPods or wireless headphones are pretty gross. Think about it: your AirPods sit in your ear for hours a day, collecting wax, then they sit in their charging case which gets thrown into your bag or pocket, gathering dust and germs along the way. To make your gross, waxy wireless headphones look pristine again and ensure a crystal clear sound, you'll want to learn how to clean AirPods without destroying them.

And because your wireless headphones spend most of their time nestled in their charging case, you're going to need to clean that, too. Here's our step-by-step guide to getting your AirPods and their convenient charging case sparkling clean. An added bonus: you'll be amazed how much sharper the sound is when your headphones aren't clogged with wax and dust. 

RELATED: How to Deep Clean a Germy Cell Phone (Without Destroying It)

What You'll Need: 

  • Lint-free cloth
  • Cotton swabs 
  • Dry, soft-bristled brush (like a clean, soft toothbrush or anti-static brush)  
  • 70-percent isopropyl alcohol

Follow These Steps: 

How to Clean AirPods:

1. Start by wiping down your AirPods with a clean, dry cloth. Don't use any liquids or sprays, which can potentially damage them. 

2. Using a clean cotton swab, wipe down the microphone and speaker meshes.

3. If there is dust or wax caught in the mesh, grab a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brush away the debris. As tempting as it may be, avoid using sharp objects to clean your wireless headphones. 

How to Clean AirPods Case: 

1. Begin by wiping down the case with a clean cloth. If the outside of the case is particularly dirty, you can dampen the cloth with 70-percent isopropyl alcohol, but be careful not to get any liquid inside the charging ports. 

2. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently clean any dirt or dust from the connector. Don't use sharp objects like a toothpick or knife to clean out the charging ports, as it could potentially damage the metal contacts. Instead, use an anti-static brush designed specifically for cleaning tech devices, or else try a clean cotton swab. 

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