The Best Way To Clean Your AirPods

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In a recent issue of the Recomendo newsletter, Mark Frauenfelder suggested a three-tool kit for cleaning earwax out of the mesh screen of your AirPods. My AirPods were in dire need of a deep clean, and the cleaning method we once recommended on Lifehacker is just gross, so I ran out and bought the wax-loosening tiny brushes, wax-catching Blu Tack and work-checking magnifying light Frauenfelder recomendo’ed.

I’m here to report that this method is indeed effective, but I’d like to modify it. Save a couple bucks on the brushes and use an old toothbrush to loosen the wax, then go to town with the blu tack. There is little more satisfying than lifting loosened earwax from a mesh screen with a sticky wad of blu tack that you then throw away. (Suffice it to say this is a project best done in private, kind of like zit popping.)

Instead of the magnifying light, which is nifty but not essential if you’ve got decent eyesight, I’d recommend taking a cotton swab and dampening it ever-so-slightly with 70 per cent rubbing alcohol and running it gently over the plastic parts of the buds and the top crevices of the case to remove whatever’s built up there. Apple sanctions this method but cautions against getting any liquid in the charging ports or any of the openings on either pods or case, so swab at your own risk.

I find Recomendo to be a spiritual cousin of Lifehacker and nearly always take away some smart bit of advice from the newsletter — you should definitely subscribe.


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