Can this viral putty clean your AirPods in just 5 seconds?

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This viral AirPods cleaning putty claims it can clean your headphones in five seconds flat.

But is it too good to be true? Clearing out the inside of an AirPod is one of the weirdest tiny annoyances of our modern age. Cleaning something that small is never easy.

This headphone cleaner from AirSquares allegedly makes it easy, though.

Shop: AirSquares Earbud Cleaning Putty, $16.99 (24 pack)

Credit: Amazon

The science here is pretty simple. You press the AirSquares into your AirPods, and they pull out all the earwax and other gunk that gets caught in there. That, and the strangely satisfying image of the putty in action, seems to be why this product has blown up on TikTok.

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But is this gadget really better than other tried-and-true AirPods cleaning methods, like using a Q-tip? To find out, we compared the two methods on this week’s episode of Tried It!

Is this AirPods cleaning putty the best way to clean AirPods?

To test both methods, In The Know producer Poppy Shen cleaned her AirPods with Q-tips and the cleaning putty, then examined her AirPods under a microscope to see which was more effective.

As it turns out, the AirPods cleaning putty was a lot more effective. It pulled out more debris than a Q-tip, and it took fewer attempts to fully clean Poppy’s headphones. That result was clear both under the microscope and to the naked eye.

Convenience, though, was a different story. While this putty claims to be extremely fast, it actually took longer than a Q-tip — mainly due to the putty getting stuck inside the earbuds. So, while both methods are pretty quick, the Q-tip got a little edge there.

Overall though, there’s nothing like having fully cleaned AirPods, and the putty is the best option for getting that result.

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