Clean AirPods Case - my hardcore test

airpods case featured image

I admire the YouTubers and bloggers whose Apple devices in the videos and photos still look the same years later as they did on day one. The opposite is usually the case for me.

My AirPods go straight into my pocket, hanging out alongside a bunch of keys and other things that don't exactly help improve their looks.

My AirPods case is absolutely unphotogenic. Scratched and stained, it's almost useless for blog photos.
My AirPods case is absolutely unphotogenic. Scratched and stained, it's hardly usable for blog photos.

For the people who don't value my story and want the tip directly: Clean the AirPods case too 70% isopropanol. That works fine.

Isopropanol 70% purity with 30% distilled water - 750ml cleaning fluid
  • Isopropanol is also used as cleaning alcohol, degreaser for cleaning in the household, kitchen, cosmetics and hobbies....
  • 70% pure with 30% distilled water & free of dyes and fragrances. Residue-free & leaves no odors.
  • Also as a degreaser, de-icing agent, adhesive residue remover for removing wax and ink.

The problem with dirty AirPods

I have to take a picture of them every once in a while. Today, for example, because I had a charging station on the test stand that also has a place for AirPods. Of course, I also wanted to take photos with the AirPods on the charging dock, but hey: my AirPods case looked really bad.

Due to the bunch of keys in my pocket, there are plenty of stubborn marks from abrasion on the case (photos: Sir Apfelot).
Due to the bunch of keys in my pocket, there are plenty of stubborn marks from abrasion on the case (photos: Sir Apfelot).

When I read the article about the Apple polishing cloth (Apple microfiber cloth – secret weapon or money-making?) I stumbled across the tip from Apple itself to clean products like the Apple Studio Display or iPhone and iPad with 70% isopropanol.

Note: To remove occasionally difficult-to-remove substances from nanotexture or standard glass, you can use a 70 percent solution of isopropyl alcohol (IPA). (Source: Apple)

I got myself a bottle of it immediately after reading the information, since the cleaning liquid will certainly also work for other Apple products.

99,9% or 70% - why does it matter?

As you can see from the photo, I stupidly bought 99,9% isopropanol. This didn't damage the case, but Apple certainly doesn't recommend the 70 percent solution for cleaning the Apple display without reason.

I assume that this reduces the attack on the anti-grease coating on the iPhone and iPad. For iPhone and iPad I therefore also ordered the diluted isopropanol.

As you can see from the photo, I accidentally bought 99,9% isopropanol. To protect the surfaces, I would recommend the 70 percent.
As you can see from the photo, I accidentally bought 99,9% isopropanol. To protect the surfaces, I would recommend the 70 percent.

Clean AirPods case with isopropanol

So I went straight to my AirPods case and rubbed it down with a kitchen towel and a dash of propanol. The result was quite impressive. A number of stains came off that I couldn't get rid of before by rubbing with the t-shirt.

But don't expect miracles. The keys caused some scratches and a rough surface on my case, which of course also accepts discolouration more than a smooth AirPods case.

The photo may not show it so clearly, but the case has really gotten quite well cleaned.
The photo may not show it so clearly, but the case has really gotten quite well cleaned.
Of course, the many small scratches cannot be removed (perhaps by polishing?!), but the case looks much cleaner in photos.
Of course, the many small scratches cannot be removed (perhaps by polishing?!), but the case looks much cleaner in photos.

However, the strong stains came off and so I can save myself a lot of retouching work in Photoshop, which I usually had to do when I installed the case on photos.

Isopropanol definitely gets a thumbs up from me. You can also use the stuff to remove adhesive residue from labels or remove finger grease from keyboards and mice.

However, Apple recommends a 70% solution, which can also be mixed - for example here at Amazon – can get. Or via this product box:

Isopropanol 70% purity with 30% distilled water - 750ml cleaning fluid
  • Isopropanol is also used as cleaning alcohol, degreaser for cleaning in the household, kitchen, cosmetics and hobbies....
  • 70% pure with 30% distilled water & free of dyes and fragrances. Residue-free & leaves no odors.
  • Also as a degreaser, de-icing agent, adhesive residue remover for removing wax and ink.

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

4 comments on “Cleaning AirPods Case – my hardcore test”

  1. Hello Jens, I also have 99,9 percent isopropanol lying around (cosmetic alcohol?), a whole liter. Can't you just dilute it 1:3 with water to clean keyboards etc, what do you think?
    Greetings from Eve

    1. Hello Eva! Yes, I think nothing else is a 70% solution too. But I would use distilled water (e.g. from the tumble dryer) so that you don't have any limescale residue on the display.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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