Belkin has released a kit that will help you tackle the worst part of using your AirPods: earwax buildup.
The seemingly simple and safe-to-use equipment allows you to remove wax and other debris that has accumulated on your favorite earbuds, and Belkin claims its tools will restore them to their former glory, both in appearance and audio performance, so you don’t have to not to be ashamed of anymore.
Belkin’s AirPods Cleaning Kit is compatible with the base models of Apple’s AirPods: the Apple AirPods, Apple AirPods 2, and Apple AirPods 3, and comes with four components. There’s wax softener, cleaning gel, a microfiber cloth, and a cleaning brush to help you get the gunk out of your earbud ports.
Currently, the kit is only available in the US at Belkin’s official store (opens in 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 earbuds?
We’d all admit that our earbuds need a wipe down from time to time, but do you really need a full kit to clean them? As much as it sounds like one of those unnecessary add-ons stores try to sell you, Belkin’s Airpods Cleaning Kit may be more important than you think.
Whether you use a special kit or one you put together yourself that includes a brush, some cotton swabs and some sort of safe-to-use cleaning solution, we should all be cleaning our earbuds regularly – especially if they’re an expensive pair of the best earbuds out there that you don’t plan on replacing on a regular basis.
From a performance perspective, the buildup of dirt can make your earbuds sound more muffled and less powerful than they were out of the box. By freeing up the ports, you can restore the sound quality of your earbuds, but you need to be careful not to damage the earbuds. We recommend avoiding metal objects, and if you’re using agents like alcohol to speed up cleaning, use it sparingly, as liquid getting into the buds can cause more problems than it solves.
Aside from performance issues, it’s important to clean your earbuds occasionally (about once a week) to keep your ears healthy too.
While most of us don’t like putting in a pair of earplugs, you’re putting a foreign object in your body. And just as you wouldn’t want to use a dirty knife or fork to eat, you don’t put dirty earplugs in your ears either.
That’s why it’s generally recommended that you clean your earbuds about once a week — even if it’s just a gentle rub with an alcohol wipe — if you want to reduce the chance of an ear infection. And if you use some of the best workout earplugs and you start to sweat, you may want to clean them more often.