Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to clean an Apple AirPods case

If you have a pair of Apple AirPods or AirPods Pro, chances are you take them with you pretty much everywhere you go.

They’re so light and compact it’s easy to squeeze them into a pocket or chuck them in your bag, just in case you get a few minutes to catch up on that new true crime podcast you’re addicted to.

That also means the case is liable to pick up grime, so you’ll want to give it the occasional once over. Here’s how to keep things looking fresh and clean.

Hardware used

  • AirPods
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Toothbrush
  • Cotton bud

The short version

  • Use a cloth
  • Add some alcohol
  • Use a toothbrush
  • Use a cotton bud
  • Empty the Lightning port
  1. Step

    Use a cloth

    Apple recommends using a “soft, dry, lint-free cloth” to clean the case of your AirPods or AirPods Pro. Don’t be tempted to use any abrasive cleaning products to help.How to clean AirPods Step-1

  2. Step

    Add some alcohol

    If there are some stubborn marks that need a little extra convincing to come off, you can slightly dampen the cloth with 70% rubbing alcohol. Never apply it directly to the case though and make sure it doesn’t get in the charging ports.How to clean AirPods Step-2

  3. Step

    Use a toothbrush

    There are some nooks and crannies on the AirPods and AirPods Pro cases that can be difficult to clean properly, particularly the hinge of the lid. The bristles of a soft toothbrush usually do the job, ever so slightly moistened if necessary. Just be careful of those charging ports.How to clean AirPods Step-3

  4. Step

    Use a cotton bud

    If you need to be more intricate with your cleaning a cotton bud is ideal, moistened slightly with water or rubbing alcohol for particularly stubborn dirt. Keep the other end dry and use that to give the charging slots a wipe.How to clean AirPods Step-4

  5. Step

    Clean out the Lightning port

    The Lightning port on your AirPods case can get clogged up with unidentified fluff, which sometimes stops the cable connecting properly with the charging points. Apple suggests using a dry, soft-bristled brush, but the SIM removal tool that you got with your iPhone is good for removing this, just be very careful not to scratch the pick-ups.How to clean AirPods Step-5


Can you clean AirPods case with nail polish remover?

As acetone is commonly used in nail polish remover, it’s not recommended to use any brand of nail polish remover in the act of cleaning the AirPods case.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.