How To Clean Airpod Max Ear Cups Safely

Keeping your AirPod Max ear cups clean is essential for maintaining their performance and longevity. Proper cleaning not only ensures optimal sound quality but also promotes hygiene, especially if you use your headphones regularly. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to safely clean your AirPod Max ear cups, using both official guidelines from Apple and additional expert tips.

Why Cleaning Your AirPod Max Ear Cups is Important


Ear cups can accumulate sweat, oil, and dirt over time, leading to potential skin irritation and discomfort. Regular cleaning helps maintain hygiene and prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria.


Debris and grime can affect the acoustic performance of your AirPod Max, leading to diminished sound quality. Keeping the ear cups clean ensures that you continue to enjoy the high-quality audio experience that these headphones are known for.


Proper maintenance extends the lifespan of your AirPod Max. Regular cleaning prevents material degradation and keeps the ear cups looking and feeling like new.

Essential Cleaning Supplies

Basic Supplies

  • Microfiber Cloth: Gentle on the fabric and effective at picking up dust and oils.
  • Mild Detergent: For cleaning the ear cups without causing damage.
  • Water: Lukewarm water to mix with the detergent for cleaning.
  • Cotton Swabs: For detailed cleaning of hard-to-reach areas.

Optional Supplies

  • Disinfecting Wipes: Alcohol-free wipes for additional sanitization.
  • Soft Brush: A small, soft-bristled brush for removing stubborn dirt.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

1. Remove the Ear Cushions

To start, gently remove the ear cushions from the AirPod Max. This makes it easier to clean both the ear cups and the cushions thoroughly. The ear cushions are magnetically attached, so they should come off easily with a gentle pull.

2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Mix a small amount of mild detergent with lukewarm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the fabric and materials of your AirPod Max.

3. Clean the Ear Cushions

Dip a microfiber cloth into the cleaning solution and wring out excess liquid. Gently wipe the ear cushions, focusing on any areas with visible dirt or stains. Avoid soaking the cushions, as too much moisture can damage them. After wiping, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any excess moisture.

4. Clean the Headband and Frame

Using a slightly damp microfiber cloth, wipe down the headband and frame of the AirPod Max. Be gentle around the mesh and fabric areas to prevent any damage. For tougher spots, a cotton swab dipped in the cleaning solution can help reach and clean smaller areas.

5. Disinfect the Ear Cushions (Optional)

If you want to disinfect the ear cushions, use alcohol-free disinfecting wipes. Avoid using wipes with alcohol, as they can degrade the materials over time. Gently wipe the surfaces and let them air dry completely before reattaching them to the headphones.

6. Reattach the Ear Cushions

Once the ear cushions and the AirPod Max are completely dry, reattach the cushions by aligning them with the ear cups and letting the magnets snap them back into place.

Advanced Cleaning Techniques

Using a Soft Brush

For stubborn dirt or debris stuck in the mesh or fabric, a soft brush can be very effective. Gently brush the affected areas to lift the dirt, and then wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Deep Cleaning with Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs are excellent for cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as the edges of the ear cups and the seams of the headband. Dampen a cotton swab with the cleaning solution and carefully clean these areas, then follow with a dry swab to remove any excess moisture.

Avoiding Common Cleaning Mistakes

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using Too Much Water

Excessive moisture can damage the electronic components of your AirPod Max. Always wring out excess water from your cloth and avoid soaking the ear cushions or headband.

Using Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can damage the materials of your AirPod Max. Stick to mild detergents and alcohol-free wipes to avoid degrading the fabric and mesh.

Not Drying Properly

Ensure that all components are completely dry before reattaching the ear cushions or using the headphones. Moisture can lead to mold growth and damage to the internal electronics.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Clean Regularly

Make it a habit to clean your AirPod Max ear cups regularly, especially if you use them daily. A quick wipe down after each use can prevent buildup and make deep cleaning sessions easier.

Store Properly

When not in use, store your AirPod Max in their case to protect them from dust and dirt. Avoid leaving them in humid or dusty environments.

Check for Wear and Tear

Regularly inspect the ear cushions and headband for signs of wear and tear. Replacing worn-out cushions promptly can maintain comfort and sound quality.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Persistent Odors

If your ear cushions develop a persistent odor, try cleaning them with a mixture of water and a few drops of white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help eliminate unpleasant smells. Ensure the cushions are thoroughly dried before reattaching them.

Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains, create a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft brush. Wipe away the paste with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.

Reduced Comfort

Over time, the ear cushions may lose their shape and comfort. If this happens, consider purchasing replacement cushions from Apple or a reputable third-party provider to restore the comfort and fit of your AirPod Max.

How To Clean Airpod Max Headphones

Keeping your AirPod Max ear cups clean is crucial for maintaining their performance, hygiene, and longevity. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can safely and effectively clean your AirPod Max ear cups, ensuring they remain in excellent condition. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance will help you enjoy the best possible audio experience from your headphones.


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