You could be wondering what is causing the weird smell from your AirPods Pro. The smell could have lasted for a few days, or has stayed for a long time and you don’t have any idea what could be the cause. You may also feel the smell when charging and there are different reasons for the different odors you may feel from your device.
AirPods can smell weird due to short-circuiting issues, off-gassing by new plastic materials, or extremely high temperatures that make the plastic parts melt. The smell can dissipate with time for the new plastic materials, but in some cases, the smell that comes with silicone tips may last since it may be originating from the case.
In this article, I will discuss the different odors that you may feel from your device, the reasons behind that smell, and perhaps how to fix the issue where possible. Therefore, the odors that you may feel and the causes include the following:
Most of the AirPods users have reported a number of cases of blueberry smell. This smell, however, may disappear after a few days. Some of the reasons for the blueberry smell, according to the experts is a normal smell for new plastic materials. That explains why other materials made from plastic smell weird – perhaps due to off-gassing.
If your AirPods are smelling blueberries, there is nothing to worry about, unless you don’t like the smell. Other experts indicate that the blueberry-like smell is the chemical compound called esters that are used for the manufacture of plastics.
The blueberry smell could be causing some discomfort to you but you ought to understand that it only lasts for a few days after you purchase or start using the AirPods. Some users
have even reported that the smell only lasts for a few hours, and therefore, you don’t need to do anything to fix the issue since it only lasts for a short time.
The strange smell on the silicone tips
This is only limited to AirPods Pro. Some users have reported some weird smell on the silicone tips of the AirPods. Most of the users have reported that the smell is so strong that it can last for a long period, or doesn’t even dissipate in some instances where the users have found the smell long-lasting.
According to some users, the smell originates from the case, and the silicone ear tips just absorb the smell from the case. This has been proven by most of the users, and the reason for this is that the tips absorb the smell or odor more than any other hard plastic headphones, hence the weird smell.
One of the users reported using 75% ethanol to clean the case but the smell on the tips remained strong even after cleaning. And since there seems to be no lasting solution for the strange smell on the silicone tips, perhaps you can use it the way it is but if you can’t, you may return it if you are still within the 14-day return period.
This is another weird smell that you may experience with your AirPods. If this is the case, you need to take a lot of precautions because that could be dangerous. Some worrying cases of AirPods exploding in the ears of users have been reported.
Therefore, whenever you have a burnt smell with your AirPods, don’t take it for granted since it could be a ticking time bomb. It may explode anytime you may be expecting the smell to disappear. Therefore, it is important to note that the burnt smell is not a usual thing to experience with your AirPods.
Of course, if you are experiencing the burnt smell, the high chances are that there is a short-circuiting issue causing the plastic parts to melt. This problem could be caused by a number of factors including the following:
Hard surface damage
When the AirPods fall or get hit by a hard object, the internal components may get in contact with each other – especially the wiring system. This may, therefore, cause short- circuiting and hence melting the plastic parts, when in use, or even while charging it.
Contact with water
Whether it is salt or tap water, the impurities and salt in the water make it a good conductor of electricity. Therefore, when the water gets in contact with the internal parts of the AirPods, it can also cause short-circuiting issues.
Extremely high temperatures
Extremely high temperatures can melt the plastic parts of the AirPods and this makes it have a burnt smell. To prevent this, you need to ensure that your AirPods are always in a safe place that is free of high temperatures.
Overheating when charging the AirPods can also cause them to have a burnt smell. This happens especially when you are using a fake or faulty charging case. Therefore, to avoid overheating, you need to always use a genuine charging case for AirPods.
Other weird smell
If the smell doesn’t fit any of the above that I have mentioned; burnt smell or blueberry smell, then it could be due to the accumulation of wax from the ears that have happened over time. The accumulation of wax and other dirt from the ears can make the AirPods damp on the inside and that may cause some molds to grow inside.
It is also important to note that the molds can pose some health risks and it is recommendable to always clean the AirPods. Apple has recommended the use of isopropyl alcohol for cleaning as it kills the germs and dirt that would otherwise be harmful to your health.
Of course, to find the right solution, you need to have identified what is causing the weird smell. As per the user reports, the smell that the silicone tips absorb lasts for a long period since it comes from the case, and therefore, you may need to live with it or seek the right solution from the manufacturer.
Cleaning AirPods Pro
As I mentioned, some weird smells may come due to the accumulation of dirt and wax from the ears. This when happens over time can even cause some molds to grow inside the
damp areas of your device. It is, therefore, recommendable to clean the AirPods to avoid posing some health hazards to yourself.
You need to follow the due procedures recommended by Apple so that you don’t damage your device in the process. Some users are concerned about whether it is safe to submerge the device in alcohol or not. Of course, it is not recommendable to submerge everything in alcohol. Apple recommends that you use isopropyl alcohol by gently rubbing the surface with a dry lint-free cloth.
For thorough cleaning, you may need to have the following items:
- 70% isopropyl alcohol solution.
- Soft toothbrush
- Soapy water
- Cotton swabs and dry lint-free cloth
Before cleaning, it is important that you separate the AirPods Pro from the silicone ear tips. This is to ensure safe cleaning and also to make your cleaning easy. In this case, you can use soapy water to clean the silicone ear tips only.
After you have removed the ear tips, then you can gently begin cleaning this part. Remember, this is the part that has all the accumulated dirt and wax from your ears. Therefore, you need first to wipe the outside of the ear tips with the lint-free cloth in your supplies. After wiping, then rinse with soapy water, and wipe again with the lint-free cloth to dry.
Once you have cleaned the ear tips, it is now time to clean the earbuds and mesh. While doing this, hold the AirPods from their base and wipe them with a lint-free cloth damped in isopropyl alcohol. Use the cotton swabs to clean the mesh, but ensure you dip it in alcohol to make it damp. On the hard-to-reach areas or edges, you can use a wooden toothpick to remove the dirt that would otherwise be difficult to remove or clean.
Of course, the soft toothbrush is also useful for brushing the most stubborn dirt but you ought to do it gently so that you don’t damage the earbuds mesh while brushing. Use the same procedure to clean the case as well.
At this point, you should have known what could be causing the weird smell that comes from your AirPods Pro. If you have tried to deal with the issue and still don’t get the right solution, it is always important to raise the issue with Apple so that they can advise on the best way forward.
For temporary issues such as new AirPods, you may need to give it time since it is usually the case for new plastic to smell. Of course, in most cases, the smell disappears within a few days or even hours.
The other thing to keep is that you can as well return the product if the smell is strong and has persisted for a long time. But in this case, you need to ensure that it is not a result of short-circuiting, water, or physical damage. Also, for Apple to accept the product back, you should return it within the return window period that the company gives – usually 14 days after the purchase of the product.