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Google could soon remind you to clean your dirty Pixel Buds

Google’s earbud cleaning reminder might sound a bit hand-holdy, but whether you’ve got Android and Pixel Buds, or iPhone and AirPods, keeping clean matters.

Google earbuds cleaning reminder header showing a phone and earbuds in a case on a mango yellow background. The earbuds are all white, in a egg-shaped case with two buds sticking out the top, and the phone has a picture of the earbuds below the date on a blue header.

Ears. We’ve all got ‘em. And you know what ears are? Pretty gross – there’s wax and grease and all manner of gunk that can hang out in there. And as my good friend and the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, once said, cleanliness is next to godliness. Well, Google’s earbud cleaning reminder would seem to agree – but, if you’re using the best earbuds for iPhone, you might need to remember for yourself.

As reported by 9to5Google, Google is planning to remind users to clean their dirty earbuds after 120 hours of air time – in fact, some users report that this feature is already live. It’s a simple message, too: “Time to clean your earbuds / Improves audio quality, charging, and access to updates.” Now, I get the first two in that list, but how can cleaning your earbuds make update access easier?

Anyway, a similar message can appear in the Pixel Buds app or Pixel phone settings app, removing the confusing option: “Clean your earbuds / Improves audio quality and charging.” Tapping one of these notifications then brings up Google’s earbud cleaning guide, a YouTube video which you can check out below.

It’s an interesting feature, but as an avid earbud user, I find cleaning them regularly is a must to ensure a comfortable fit – these sorts of headphones can get greasy and slippery after lots of use, especially after working out, so it’s pretty easy to remember to clean them, at least for me.

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For more beyond Google’s earbud cleaning reminder, check out our guide to the best Google Pixel phones to pick up something new. Alternatively, we’ve got the best foldable phones if you want to see some Pixel Fold competitors.