Home Headphones How to clean your earbuds — a detailed guide

How to clean your earbuds — a detailed guide

by Paul Dmitryev

Earphones, earbuds, or in-ear headphones, these are the general names of the most used tech piece. We also have on-ear and over-ear headphones and their huge size in comparison with tiny earbuds makes them gather greater amount of dirt. But, hold on, earbuds have been accused of accumulating something else, you know what, earwax. I don’t know why but the name itself makes me puke and just think how gross it can be to carry that gross with you every time, in your pocket or bag, and what about putting that gross back in the ears every now and then. Just think and you will realize how clumsy you are if you have not thought to clean your earbuds yet, but yeah, it’s never too late, to finally begin with it.

I am sure you are going to learn a lot through this thread today.

Here’s how you can clean your earbuds the very first time and then pursuing this cleanliness is sheerly up to you, the wisest ones will stick to it.

Time it takes: 5 minutes

Things at hand:

  • Cotton pad
  • Toothbrush (old)
  • Toothpick
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Handwash
  • Clean dry cloth
  • Warm water
  • Tissue paper

Oh, you must think this is a complete list of things you will be needing but read again, you have all of them at your home, within reach. Let’s start with the process.

Step by step guide

  • Bring on your earbuds (wired or wireless), just find them and tell them it’s time for straightening up.
  • Take off the ear tips. If it’s silicone, good going, if not, switch to the silicone ear tips for best listening experience sustained along with inward solace.
  • Take a bowl half-filled with warm water and add a tablespoon of hand-wash in it. If the hand wash is tagged to target germs, more than good, you can also use Dettol hand wash otherwise.
  • Soak the ear tips in the freshly made soapy mixture and leave for a solid 3 minutes. This has to be done if the life of these ear tips is under three months. If you have been using these for more than three months, discard them straight, no need to prepare a mixture then. Just put on the new ear tips after the rest of the cleaning is done.
  • Take the toothpick and insert the tip in the mesh of the earbuds, as much as the tip goes inside, you don’t have to force it by yourself.
  • Make sure you don’t try to loosen the holes and making them bigger, the quality of your earbuds may get wasted in this case.
  • Take a tissue paper and gently clean the earbuds and the wire.
  • Take the cotton pad (the ladies at your home must have the store-bought cotton pads used to wipe makeup or apply toner) and apply the rubbing alcohol on it.
  • Now rub this cotton pad on the earbuds thoroughly, wire included.
  • Repeat this gentle rubbing.
  • Take a clean and soft piece of cloth and finally dry the earbuds with it.
  • Meanwhile, take your dipped ear tips out and leave to dry.
  • Put on the ear tips back in their place and boom, your earbuds are just as new.

Note: The articles once used for the cleaning, as toothpick and cotton pad, must be disposed of right away and use the new pieces the next time.

What happens if you don’t clean your earbuds?
The earbuds invite a lot of ear wax to sit on the ear tips everywhere when you listen to the music. The ear wax is actually cultivated through the heat forged inside the ear by the flow of the music. It’s all-natural you know.
But we don’t have to blame the ear wax for it, surely it neither does sounds good nor seems, but it is established to protect our ear canals by layering up wax inside there. This is nature’s mechanism to keep dust particles, microorganisms, and other bacteria at bay from entering into our ears and residing there with the help of ear wax.

Although, we also have to clean the excess ear wax out of our ears because the constant accumulation can cause temporary hear loss.

However, similar is the case with our earbuds, you have to clean them off of any build-up ear wax because the glued earwax on the tips can not only compromise the sound quality but also take the unwanted bacteria back to the organ.

How often should you clean earbuds?
The thorough cleaning, as the one mentioned above, must be practiced religiously every two weeks. More with it, I prefer disinfecting them twice every week and definitely the day when someone borrows them from me. You can use rubbing alcohol or simply the warm water mixed with dish soap or hand wash to clean the earbuds and it’s all done.

For ear tips, if you are a heavy user, like 18 hours out of 24, you need to replace the ear tips within two months at maximum otherwise switching them normally after 3 months is good to go with.

It took me a lot of time to learn the fact that cleaning your technology devices genuinely works positively in their performance and until then, I am committed to such usual rituals in the form of routine. You do the same with your earbuds!

Guest post by Asim Bashir

You may also like