How to Clean Your AirPods Pro’s Ear Tips, Earbuds, Mesh, and Case

Learn how to clean your AirPods Pro and their case.
Learn how to clean your AirPods Pro and their case.

These simple yet effective ways will help you restore the shine to your AirPods Pro and keep them gunk-free before every use!

Compared to the AirPods (Gen 1, 2, and 3), AirPods Pro can get dirty faster because of their in-ear design – which also means there are more parts to clean, such as the silicone ear tips.

Unfortunately, aside from aesthetic concerns, dirt in your AirPods Pro can result in functionality issues like muffled sounds, disconnections, or even charging hiccups. But a quick clean now and then should prevent this from happening.

Luckily, cleaning the AirPods Pro isn’t difficult – and this article will walk you through every step so you won’t miss a thing when you’re trying to clean your AirPods Pro and their case. Let’s dig in!

What You Need When Cleaning AirPods Pro

Apple advises against using sharp objects or abrasive materials for cleaning, so it’s best to gather the correct supplies to avoid damaging your AirPods Pro. The recommended supplies include:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Dry lint-free cloth
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Solutions with isopropyl alcohol (preferably, 70% alcohol)
  • Soapy water (for the ear tips only)

Another common material you’ll come across on the internet is an adhesive putty-like Blu Tack.

However, we’re not including Blu Tacks in this guide, and for a good reason: Blu Tacks push the wax in your AirPods Pro deeper instead of digging it out. They may also break apart and get stuck in the speaker mesh, creating a more stubborn blockage.

Other resources to avoid include water. AirPods Pros aren’t waterproof. Instead, they’re water-resistant, which means they can keep water from entering the system at a specific capacity and depth. Going beyond this can cause irreparable damage to your AirPods.

You can check the water resistance ratings of electronic devices using the IP code. For example, the AirPods Pro have a rating of IPX4. This implies that while your AirPods Pro can resist water splashes from any direction, they cannot survive an underwater submersion.

That’s why it’s recommended to use alcohol for cleaning electronics instead of water, as it evaporates faster and doesn’t leave traces of oil from the cleaning.

You can, however, use water to clean your AirPods’ ear tips since they technically have no electronic components.

Lastly, pointy tools should also be avoided. If you’re looking for something to use to reach edges during your cleanup, it’s best to use wooden toothpicks instead. They’re less likely to scratch your AirPods Pro because their wooden tips are easier to bend, unlike metal.

How to Clean AirPods Pro Ear Tips

Separating the silicone ear tips from the AirPods Pro helps you clean them easily and prevents you from damaging the AirPods Pro accidentally since you’ll be using soapy water for this.

This also lets you access other parts of the AirPods Pro, like the speaker mesh, for deeper cleaning.

Here’s how to take off the AirPods Pro ear tips:

  1. Hold the base of the ear tip. This is where the ear tips connect to the AirPods Pro.

    Showing connected AirPods Pro tips
    Showing connected AirPods Pro tips
  2. Firmly but gently pull the ear tip back until it’s separated from the AirPod.

    Removing AirPods Pro tips
    Removing AirPods Pro tips
Got a stubborn ear tip? Check out our guide on how to remove AirPods Pro tips.

Cleaning the ear tips

Now that you’ve removed the ear tip, it’s time for cleaning. Follow the steps below:

  1. Wipe the outside of the ear tips with the clean lint-free cloth.

    Wiping AirPods Pro tips with lint-free cloth
    Wiping AirPods Pro tips with lint-free cloth
  2. Lightly rinse the removed ear tips with the previously prepared soapy water solution.

    Cleaning AirPods Pro tips with soapy water
    Cleaning AirPods Pro tips with soapy water
  3. Use your clean, lint-free cloth to wipe off the traces of water.

    Drying off AirPods Pro tips
    Drying off AirPods Pro tips

Make sure to allow the ear tips to dry for some time before placing them back on. While waiting, you can continue cleaning the other parts of your AirPods Pro.

When reattaching the ear tips, simply align the ear tip with the oval-shaped connectors on your AirPods and push until you hear a click. If you don’t get it right, you can read more on how to reattach the ear tip.

How to Clean AirPods Pro: Earbuds & Mesh

Despite the common consensus on how gross and unclean that gunk in our ears is, earwax is actually quite crucial in maintaining ear health, and is a sign of normal, healthy ears.

That said, earwax has a knack for getting stuck in the earbuds and mesh of AirPods Pro, leaving them looking unhygienic and even affecting some of their functions.

Fortunately, cleaning wax out of AirPods Pro is easy. In fact, it isn’t very different from cleaning your standard AirPods, once you separate the ear tips. Here’s what to do:

  1. Wipe your AirPods Pro with a clean lint-free cloth. You can lightly damp the cloth in isopropyl alcohol for better results.

    Wipe the AirPods with lint-free cloth
    Wipe the AirPods with lint-free cloth
  2. Make sure to dip the cotton swabs in the isopropyl alcohol too. Then, use them to clean the gunk in the earbuds and the mesh.

    Cleaning the AirPods with cotton swabs
    Cleaning the AirPods with cotton swabs
  3. Use a wooden toothpick to remove the dirt in hard-to-reach crevices.
    Toothpicks are more efficient and safer compared to other sharp tools. Yet, you still need to use the toothpick carefully, or else you might damage the speaker mesh. It’s rather delicate and can tear if excessive force is applied.

    Removing hard-to-reach dirt using tooth pick
    Removing hard-to-reach dirt using tooth pick
  4. Use the soft brush to reach the finer, more stubborn dirt or debris from each earbud. Again, you must be gentle with the brushing as you don’t want to damage the mesh.

    Using brush to clean the AirPods
    Using brush to clean the AirPods
  5. Finally, wipe the area with the lint-free cloth.

    Wiping the AirPods one last time with lint-free cloth
    Wiping the AirPods one last time with lint-free cloth
As previously mentioned, avoid using abrasive materials in your cleanup. Also, ensure no liquid enters the AirPods Pro and that they’re fully dry from the cleaning before you can continue using them.

How to Clean AirPods Pro Case

AirPods Pro come with a white case for storing and charging. Since the charging cases are small, it’s easy to carry them around. You can tuck them in your pocket or shove them into your bag without complications.

However, this portability comes at an expense. Unless you own an exterior covering for your AirPods Pro case, your snow-white case will probably get dirty.

Unknown to many, dirty charging cases can also create problems such as your AirPods Pro not charging or resetting. This happens when the dirt inside your AirPods Pro’s case accumulates in the bottom charge port (where you place your earbuds) and prevents your AirPods Pro from connecting with the contact points.

Here’s how to clean your case:

  1. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe the outside of the charging case and a Q-tip to remove dirt from inside the case.
    Avoid blowing the dirt out as it may introduce saliva particles that can wet the contact points.

    Cleaning the AirPods case with cotton swab
    Cleaning the AirPods case with cotton swab
  2. If that doesn’t work, lightly soak your cotton swab or ball in isopropyl alcohol and use it to clean the dirt off of your case. Make sure no liquid enters the charging ports.

    Using cotton balls damp with alcohol to clean AirPods case
    Using cotton balls damp with alcohol to clean AirPods case
  3. Next, use a toothpick to reach the finer dirt in the case’s crevices. Be careful not to apply too much force while using the toothpick.

    Using a toothpick to clean the AirPods case' crevices
    Using a toothpick to clean the AirPods case’ crevices
  4. Finish off by using the lint-free cloth to wipe your case dry.

    Wiping the AirPods case
    Wiping the AirPods case

3 Tips for Keeping Your AirPods Pro Clean

Like every other electronic device, you don’t need to wait until your AirPods Pro malfunction before maintaining them. Instead, you can prevent a host of AirPods-related problems by simply keeping them clean.

Not to worry, we’ve highlighted some handy tips to keep your AirPods Pro clean.

These tips also apply when keeping your AirPods Max clean, as well as your other AirPods variants.

Clean your AirPods Pro regularly

It’s best to wipe your AirPods Pro and the case after every use.

That’s why, it’s advisable to keep a lint-free cloth (or at least a clean, dry tissue) handy when you go out. This neat little practice can help you quickly wipe dirt and grime off your AirPods Pro before they can ‘settle in’ and cause harder buildup.

These cleaning tips can, at best, give you a relatively cleaner pair of AirPods Pro. They may, however, not work if you’re trying to reverse prolonged discoloration of the earbuds or their case. Thus, it’s best to deep clean your AirPods Pro every 72 hours of accumulated use time to prevent wax buildup and stains from setting in.

Clean your ears

Cleaning your ears does more than keep your AirPods Pro neat. It also reduces your risk of having ear problems from the frequent use of earbuds.

So, to prevent further buildup, clean your ears regularly. About three drops of earwax removal oil should do the trick.

For this, simply tilt your head for about 4 minutes after you put a drop in one ear so the oil can work. Then, tilt your head so the oil can trickle out. Repeat the process for the other ear.

Baby oil and glycerin are good alternatives as well to use in earwax removal.

Do this for two consecutive days, and you’ll notice less wax buildup when you next use your AirPods Pro.

However, if your earwax buildup feels too hard to be tackled with these simple home remedies, or you’re experiencing pain/itching in one or both your ears, it would be prudent to seek professional help instead to prevent ear infection, or worse, hearing loss.

Contrary to popular opinion, cotton buds aren’t the best option for cleaning your ears. Instead, cotton buds push earwax further into your ears. That is why you can’t brush off learning how to properly clean your ears.

Avoid sharing your AirPods Pro

As sentimental as it is, sharing your AirPods Pro with anyone, even your closest people, is a bad idea. When you share AirPods, you share more than just music.

Several bacteria hide in earwax, which tends to stick to the crevices of the AirPods Pro. Thus, sharing them may also involve sharing bacteria.

However, there are times when you just can’t say no to sharing your AirPods. If that’s the case, ensure you disinfect your AirPods Pro before using them again. You can also change your ear tips regularly.


AirPods Pro aren’t going out of style anytime soon and continue to be user favorites because of their sleek design and a variety of high-end features. And so, it’s essential to consistently maintain their hygiene and shine so you can enjoy the best these true wireless earbuds have to offer!

Hopefully, with this article, you’ll have learned how to properly clean all the different parts of your AirPods Pro and their charging case. Including all the additional tips on maintaining ear health and not sharing your precious earbuds with anybody else.

There, you have it! You no longer have to face the embarrassment of being seen with dirty AirPods.

How did you find your guide? Did you find any of the tips in this article helpful? Or are there other secret ways you know to keep AirPods Pro clean and would like to share the same? Please drop us a comment below!

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