How to clean your earbuds

Everyone is leading busy lives nowadays. Whether you catch a train or spend long hours working at home or in the office, earphones will be your best friends. These small tools help you enjoy your favourite tunes, podcasts, and news. They are certainly an irreplaceable part of everyone’s everyday life.

If you wear your earbuds on a daily basis, however, you may notice that at some point, you cannot hear all the funky beats from that song you love listening to. The reason for that most probably is ear wax – either in your ears or in your earbuds. While the wax is completely normal, and even healthy, for your ears, it is not good for your earbuds.
Whenever you are listening to music, heat is produced by your body. This heat melts the wax and helps it get into all the tiny places. That will cause sound distortion, will attract soil and grime, and worst of all – will look disgusting.

To maintain your earbuds in decent condition, you should give them a wipe once a week (you can include this in your regular electronic appliance cleaning routine). If you don’t skip the weekly cleaning, wax accumulation will be reduced and you will be able to enjoy your favourite sounds again. If you use your earbuds in the gym or when jogging, sweat and wax will accumulate a lot quicker and you may need to tackle that cleaning once every couple of days.

This article will show you how to clean your earbuds in the best way possible. This method is suitable for both wireless earbuds and ones with a cord. An important thing to remember, however, is to never submerge or wet your earbuds. You should also avoid cleaning them while they are connected to your laptop, phone, or any other device.

List of maintenance tasks to keep your earbuds clean

  1. Clean the tips – If your earbuds have silicone or foam tips, remove them. Fill a small bowl with lukewarm water and add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid inside. Make sure you mix the cleaning solution well. Add the tips in the liquid and allow them to sit in there for about 30 minutes. When the soaking time has finished, grab a cotton swab and get into all the tiny places. The soaking will help loosen all grime and make it easier to remove. Rinse the tips with plain water, then allow them to air dry completely.
  2. Scrub the mesh cover – If there is visible wax stuck to the mesh cover of your earbuds, grab an old toothbrush and begin scrubbing it. Hold them upside down so that all particles fall off.
  3. Disinfect the mesh – Once you remove all visible grime from the mesh, it is time to disinfect it. Grab a cotton swab and dip it in a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Make sure it is not too wet, since moisture should never enter the inside of your earbuds. You should read the instructions of your earbuds before doing that. Some brands recommend that you do not use anything wet or damp on your earbuds.
  4. Cleaning the body – Grab a microfiber cloth, add a drop of rubbing alcohol, and begin wiping down the body of your earbuds. While microfiber cloths are great for the job, you can use a commercial disinfectant wipe. Do not forget to wipe down the cord of your wired earbuds.
  5. Air dry – Allow the earbuds to air dry for at least 15 minutes away from direct heat before using or storing them in a case. A fan or hair dryer should not be used because they can blow lint back into the mesh screen.

Additional tips on cleaning your earbuds and maintaining them in top condition:

  • Store your earbuds in their original case when you are not using them. That way, you will reduce the grime, dust, and lint that accumulates in your purse or pockets.
  • You should not forget to clean your case once in a while too. Once a week, when you are cleaning your earbuds (and other electronics), grab a microfiber cloth sipped in a bit of rubbing alcohol and wipe the inside of your case.
  • Some earbuds are waterproof. Even if that is the case, make sure you don’t keep yours too wet for too long. Eventually, water may seep inside and damage the inside. If they are very wet, allow them to air dry but never use direct heat.
  • Carry your case with you when working out. Keeping your earbuds naked in your pocket or sports bra will expose them to excess amounts of sweat and cause them to become dirty much faster.
  • If you use your earbuds quite often, buy a spare set of rubber tips. Whenever they become dirty, you can place a new pair while the old ones are being cleaned. You should also consider replacing them altogether once in a while. They are durable but may get worn out and super grimy.