How to Remove Scratches From Airpods: Four Simple Methods You Can Use Today

Where did that scratch come from?

You have been extremely careful. You only remove the devices from your ears or case for wireless charging or regular cleaning.

But, no matter how careful you’ve been, or the amount of protection from damage you used, it didn’t matter. Scuff marks and scratches have still compromised the sparkly white surface.

While it may seem like irreversible damage to many of us, there are a few remedies to return our Apple AirPods to their original smooth surface. 

This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to remove scratches from AirPods. From the best methods for removing damage to the top cleaning techniques, this comprehensive guide has it all.

Let’s get into it.

Do AirPods Get Scratched Easily?

how to remove scratches from airpods

Apple Airpods are insanely prone to scratches. Their white surfaces and choice of materials make it very likely that any rough surface coming into contact with your device will leave some type of mark.

Apple creates the AirPods with a durable material that protects against impact, like dropping them. However, abrasive materials, like your jean pockets, can still damage the exterior.

What Are The Common Reasons Airpods Scratch?

There are a variety of reasons your audio device can succumb to scuffs and damage, with the most commonly reported ones being the following: 

Cleaning with abrasive cloth:

Many people who have reported damage to their AirPods have one thing in common: Caked-on dirt. If your device accumulates dust particles on the surface, which then come into contact with abrasive materials, you can expect deep scratches to arise.

Lots of dirt:

Many people who have reported damage to their AirPods have one thing in common: Caked-on dirt. If your device accumulates dust particles on the surface, which then come into contact with abrasive materials, you can expect deep scratches to arise.

Storing your AirPods incorrectly:

Do you keep your AirPods in their case when you are not using them, or do you tend to leave them in your clothes for a while? If the answer is the latter, it is a lot more likely that future damage can occur.

4 Ways You Can Remove Scratch Marks From Your AirPods

Use A White Varnish

The first method you can use to keep scratches out of sight and out of mind is applying a white varnish or magic eraser to the mark.

While this doesn’t completely fix the issue, it does remove the damage at first glance. It’s a quicker, more straightforward solution than many of the other methods in this list.

First of all, you will need to buy paint or varnish that has the exact same color as the surface of your AirPods.

Then, apply this to the damage using cotton swabs or a dry microfiber cloth. Try to do this as lightly as possible, making sure to even out any streaks or lines. 

Many people find this method ineffective for deeper scratches. They find it will only work for very thin scratches on the surface.

Even so, it is unlikely that you will be able to paint the surface of your AirPods and make it unnoticeable that you have done so. You will likely need to cover the whole device with the varnish to make it blend in.

Apply A White Toothpaste

Toothpaste is no longer just for cleaning your teeth.

Abrasive particles mixed with ingredients like baking soda make toothpaste an extremely handy product for removing damage and stains from pieces of furniture and even your skin.

Toothpaste with grit can be rubbed into a scratch on an AirPod to sand it down and leave it looking fresh and squeaky clean. It’s just like your teeth look after you use the stuff!

But, you need to ensure you choose the correct toothpaste for the job. 

If we apply gel toothpaste to the scratched area, the scuffs will remain, and with an added mess on our devices. This is due to the lack of gritty particles that work to sand it down and polish it back up. 

Unfortunately, this method will not work for deeper scratches. If you have more severe damage on the exterior of your AirPod, then move on to the next method.

How To Use Toothpaste To Remove Scratches

  1. You want to start by removing any dust particles and pieces of pocket fluff from the surface. Then, use alcohol-soaked cotton wool to completely clean the wireless headphones.
  2. Dry it thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  3. Apply toothpaste to a damp piece of cloth, and rub it into the scratch in a circular motion.
  4. Do this until the whole scratch has been covered, and gently sand until you are left with an even, languid surface.
  5. Get another soft cloth and dip it into distilled water.
  6. Start to rub this over the working area, removing all of the excess toothpaste around the scratch.
  7. Check to see the progress you have made. Apply more toothpaste, and repeat the process if necessary.

Sand and Polish

Having such a versatile piece of equipment like sandpaper at our disposal is extremely useful for removing scratches.

Mechanics use it for buffing their cars, furniture restorers use it for sanding their products, and we will be using it to get those pesky scuffs out of our expensive equipment and restore them to their polished look.

Using this method to get scratches off the surface of our audio device requires a lot of time and precision. Be sure not to sand it down to its interior hardware, and expose areas usually covered by plastic.

To get started with this method, we first need to ensure we have everything at our disposal. A handy user on the AppleCare website recommends P3000 sandpaper, with dry cotton wool and Isopropyl alcohol for polishing.

You should also have a soft, lint-free cloth for that final finish.

How To Remove Scratches From AirPods Using This Method

  1. Start by cleaning your AirPods using alcohol and some scratch-free microfiber cloth. This ensures that we are not scratching the surface even further with dirt particles.
  2. Make sure you finish this cleaning procedure by drying the AirPod completely with some cotton wool.
  3. Using the sandpaper, begin gently filing down the area with the scratches in a circular motion. After a couple of minutes, you should notice the AirPod’s finish slightly wearing down, leaving a matte surface. 
  4. When you notice the scratches fading, try to get the sanded area as even as possible.
  5. Apply some alcohol to a dry cotton swab and begin to moisturize the surface. Go over the damp area with the sandpaper to make it shiny again.
  6. Polish the surface with a dry cloth by gently rubbing it over the damp area.
  7. If you are unhappy with the finish, repeat steps 5-6.

Take It To a Professional

Fixing a deep scratch can be scary. You are probably worried about the damage you could add by rubbing sandpaper on your AirPods.

If having scuff marks across your wireless headphones and case is embarrassing, but it would take too much time, effort, and care for you to fix, then you should take them to a reputable repair person.

Most of these tech repairs will be able to restore the surface of your AirPod quickly and affordably, without you having to worry about breaking it yourself. Usually, if they damage it, they will replace it.

It’s also worth double-checking for any warranty or insurance you have on your device, whether that be through Apple or the merchant you purchased your AirPods from.

Apple offers a year warranty against any manufacturing issues you may have with your earphones or their accessories. This is unlikely to get them to fix any minor scratches on your equipment.

However, if you get a deeper scratch within the first 90 days of purchase, you may be entitled to replacement parts. It is always worth double-checking to see if they will fix it.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix an Airpod?

So, you decided to have a go at removing the scratches on the surface of your AirPods, but now they have stopped working.

Maybe it’s water damage or something even worse.

Either way, you may want to send them to your local tech repair, or if you have Applecare, send them back to the manufacturer to be fixed.

The cost for fixing an AirPod can vary dramatically depending on the damage, and whether you have insurance or not. 

Usually, without insurance, the cost of repairing wireless headphones would be around $70. This price is per bud. The reason for this expense is that this device is very difficult to work with, and many outside companies will deem them unfixable. 

If the issue is the batteries, it can get a whole lot cheaper. But in most cases, if you are not covered by warranty or AppleCare, you are better off replacing your device.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace an Airpod?

Something you will notice when sending your AirPod back to the manufacturer to be repaired is that they will usually just send back a replacement.

This is because the cost is very similar, and it will be a lot easier to replace the bud than to try and open it up and repair it.

So, without a warranty or AppleCare, it will cost you a hefty $70 to replace each bud, with it coming to almost $90 to replace each of the AirPod Pro. 

Now, if both of your devices are broken or scratched to the point of no return, and you do not have the insurance or guarantee to get a free replacement, you may have to bite the bullet and invest in a new pair.  

It will be cheaper than replacing each bud separately through AppleCare, and you will have a brand new pair with no scuffs or scratches. This will be around $130, or sometimes a bit cheaper if you find and pick up some restored devices.

Tips To Avoid Damaging Your Airpods Further

airpods on hand

First and foremost, the best way to avoid scratching your AirPods, or their case, is to invest in a high-quality elastic silicone cover. 

This provides all-around protection for your device, preventing it from being damaged if it is dropped or being scuffed by abrasive materials. 

Not only does it protect from scratches, but a silicone skin cover on your case will also give you shock-proof protection, and the prevention of dust build-up.

Speaking of the accumulation of dirt, it is always wise to have a routine cleaning process for your wireless earphones. 

By making sure you use soft lint-free cloth, cotton wool and the correct cleaning products, you can make sure any damaging particles are removed from the surface without causing any new scratches yourself.

Finally, make sure you remove your AirPods from your clothing pockets after use.

If you do not, then you are making it a lot more likely that damage and scratches will occur.


So, there we have it.

Everything you need to know about how to remove scratches from AirPods as well as the cost in the unfortunate case of repair or replacement.

Your best plan of action would be to attempt to sand down the scratches and scuffs and then polish them back to their usual shiny standard.

What is your favorite way of removing scratches? What tips can you give to AirPod users to keep their headphones in good shape?

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