With an in-ear design, AirPods Pro (gen 1 and 2) can become dirty more quickly than AirPods. But cleaning them is easy enough when you know what to avoid and what materials/tools are best. Read on for how to clean AirPods Pro and the charging case with step-by-step do’s and don’ts.

The steps below work for AirPods as well as AirPods Pro but we’ll get into some specifics that are unique to the latter with their removable ear tips and in-ear design.

How to clean your dirty AirPods Pro and charging case

AirPods Pro cleaning DON’Ts

  • Don’t run AirPods Pro or the charging case underwater
  • Don’t use sharp or abrasive tools, materials, or cleaners
  • Don’t get water or objects in the charging case or charging contacts

Best materials and tools to clean AirPods Pro?

Clean AirPods Pro earbuds

  1. Wipe down your AirPods Pro with a clean microfiber cloth
  2. Slightly dampen your cloth with fresh water if needed
    • Apple says it’s ok to use a Clorox disinfecting wipe or 70% isopropyl/ethyl alcohol similar on AirPods/AirPods Pro
  3. Make sure to let them totally dry before putting them back in the charging case or in your ears
  4. Remove some of the excess cotton from an end for a more precise cotton swab tool
  5. Gently use a flosser pick to break up and remove tough-to-reach spots – make sure to not poke at or through the grilles, mics, or other important components
  6. Blue Tack is another great way to remove dirt and gunk from the black speaker grilles

Clean AirPods Pro ear tips

  1. Use a dry, clean microfiber cloth or a cotton swab to clean the outside
  2. To thoroughly clean them, pull firmly on the silicone ear tips to remove them
  3. Rinse them with fresh water (Apple says to skip the soap and other cleaners)
  4. Dry them off with your clean cloth
  5. Blue Tack can be used to clean the speaker grilles when you have the ear tips off
  6. Push them back into place until you hear a click (make sure the oval shape is lined up)

AirPods Pro charging case

  1. Use a dry, clean cloth to wipe down your AirPods Pro charging case
  2. If needed, slightly dampen your cloth with isopropyl alcohol or use a Clorox wipe
  3. Make sure to keep liquid and other objects out of the charging port/contacts
  4. Blue Tack is again a great way to remove dirt and gunk from the outside and inside of the charging case
Clean AirPods Pro charging case

Debris in your charging case?

If you end up with debris or build-up down toward the charging contacts in your charging case:

  • You could try a manual air blower before giving canned air a try.
  • It’s ideal to not stick anything down toward the charging contacts to avoid damage – but you could carefully try a flosser pick or cotton swab if you want
  • Head to your local Apple Store or AASP if you need more help

Thanks for reading our guide on how to clean AirPods Pro! Check out Apple’s full support document here.

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.