Microphone in a left AirPod not working as it should after cleaning

Hardware and Accessories

I just cleaned my AirPods with a tooth brush tonight, hoping to get all the gunk out. The left one was sounding weak, but after cleaning it, it sounds better. However, when I tried to activate Siri while using that AirPod, the mike didn't appear to work/Siri didn't hear me. Before the cleaning, however, she understood me through this pod just fine. I've had these second generation AirPods for about a year now, and they were a couple hundred dollars. The right mike works fine, but I'm a user who's blind so hope I didn't do anything wrong. Has anyone had this problem before, and how can I tell whether the mike's working without activating Siri all the time. The connection sound the AirPods play when in my ears is also stronger than it was before cleaning them. I bought them in Kansas City, Missouri but don't have the receipt any more.
Thanks for any tips I can accessably use,
Ashleigh Piccinino



Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, July 27, 2020

I admit I've not cleaned mine, a thought that gives met he willies. Seriously though, what did you use to clean it besides a toothbrush? I know Apple doesn't recommend much more than a cloth carefullyrun over the pods themselves. Depending on how safe you feel going out, you might want to try going to Geeksquad or something similar and see what they can do. If you don't want to go out, I'm not sure what else might be able to be done. Sorry I'm not more help.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Monday, July 27, 2020

You might wish to reinstalling it. If so, go to setting, bluetooth, your AP, slide to more info, in there you may see forget this device. After that you my pear it again. Hope you did not damage the microphone.

Submitted by Soupy on Monday, July 27, 2020

Some gentle brushing with a toothbrush will loosen any build-up of crud on the mesh that covers the open areas of the AirPods, but you might want to then use some poster putty to lift away that crud.

I would recommend gently pressing the putty on to the mesh (not too firmly so as to avoid pushing the crud in to the mesh), and then lift. Repeat as necessary.

Another popular option (but one that might not appeal to everybody) is to place your mouth over the mesh and suck strongly. Yes, I know it sounds gross, but it does actually work. Of course, if you happen to have a can of compressed air, this might be a more palatable option 😉

The one thing to try and avoid is pushing crud through the mesh. So, be gentle and take your time.

The above has enabled me on at least two occasions to salvage some AirPods which I thought were beyond saving.