Belkin has released a kit that will help you deal with the most dangerous thing about using AirPods: earwax buildup.
The seemingly simple and safe-to-use equipment will enable you to remove wax and other dirt that has accumulated on your favorite earphones, and Belkin claims that its tools will restore them to their former glory in terms of appearance and audio performance so you don’t have to be embarrassed about them anymore.
Belkin’s AirPods Cleaning Kit is compatible with the base models of Apple’s AirPods: Apple AirPods, Apple AirPods 2, and Apple AirPods 3, and comes with four components. There is an earwax softener, cleaning gel, microfiber cloth, and cleaning brush to help you remove dirt from the earphone ports.
At the moment, the kit is only available in the official Belkin store in the United States (Opens in a new tab), for $14.99 (about £12.50 / AU$22), but we expect Belkin to launch it in other regions in the not too distant future. Is this something we should all rush to buy?
Analysis: Do you really need to clean your earphones?
We all admit that our earphones need the occasional wipe down, but do you really need a whole lot to clean them? Well, as much as it sounds like one of those unnecessary extras stores try to sell you, Belkin’s Airpods cleaning kit might be more vital than you think.
Whether you use a custom kit, or one you put together yourself using a brush, some cotton swabs, and some sort of safe-to-use cleaning solution, we should all be cleaning our earbuds regularly — and that’s especially true if they’re an expensive pair of the best-selling earbuds that don’t. Plan to replace it regularly.
From a performance perspective, dirt buildup can cause your earphones to sound more muted and less powerful than they did out of the box. By clearing the ports, you can restore the earphones’ sound quality, though you’ll need to be careful not to damage the earphones. We recommend avoiding metal utensils, and if you use substances such as alcohol to help speed up the cleaning process, use them sparingly, as liquid getting into the buds could cause more problems than it solves.
Performance issues aside, it’s important to clean your earbuds frequently (about once a week) to help keep your ears healthy, too.
While most of us wouldn’t think anything about the crackling of a pair of earbuds, you’re actually putting a foreign object inside your body. And just as you don’t want to use a dirty knife or fork to eat food, dirty earphones shouldn’t go into your ears.
For this reason, it’s generally recommended that you clean your earphones—even just a thorough rub with an alcohol swab—about once a week if you want to reduce your chances of developing an ear infection. And if you’re using a pair of the best workout earphones and you’re sweating a lot, you might want to clean them more frequently.