It's really hard to clean earwax from the speaker meshes in Apple AirPods and EarPods. I've assembled a kit of 3 tools to make the job easier. 1) OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set — use the smaller of the two brushes and the silicone wiper to loosen up and wipe out as much wax as you can; 2) Poster Putty — press this into the opening and it will pull out a surprising amount of residual gunk. Resist the temptation to press the putty too hard, or you'll push the earwax through the mesh; 3) Handheld Illuminated Magnifier — this will help you make sure you've thoroughly cleaned the mesh openings.
My AirPods now look great, not grungy.