How to Clean Earbuds

Everyone enjoys using clean earbuds or headphones to listen to music, make calls, listen to an audiobook etc. It’s the one thing that helps the time pass better while we commute to work, at work, on a trip or even while doing chores at home. It’s a pleasure that even older people seem to have gotten hooked on.

Earbuds are good. They give a life to music that you may not get just listening from the phone or even speakers. With earbuds/headphones, you will not miss any sound or note if you are listening for any.

But wearing them and enjoying good music is the fun part. The other not so fun part is having to maintain clean earbuds or headphones after you have used them for a certain period of time.

You don’t think they need cleaning? Here’s what happens….

When you wear your earbuds, heat is generated which clings to the piece. The heat also melts the ear wax in your ear which then settles on the buds and creates dirt. They accumulate ear wax and over time, the sound they produce might begin to be muffled or you’ll have a situation where one ear is louder than the other, not to mention the ear infection that may occur.

From a distance, they may not appear so dirty, but when you settle down and look closer, you will see just how dirty they have gotten especially if you do not clean them often enough.

See Also: Best Bluetooth Earbuds Under 50 Dollars

So, to save you the trouble of having to buy another earbud faster than you need to, here are the easiest ways you can clean your earbuds or headphones.

Method 1: Plain Old Brush and Clean

How to Clean Earbuds
Image source

For this method, you’ll need…

Cotton swabs

A cleaning toothbrush

Rubbing alcohol

Alcohol wipes

  • Using the cleaning toothbrush, dry bush the earbuds to remove the ear wax. Make sure the earbud is facing down so the dirt falls off and not back in.
  • Dip a cotton swab in the rubbing alcohol and clean the metal mesh and all edges to remove any extra debris.
  • Finally, use the alcohol wipes to clean it off. This also serves to disinfect.

For over-ear headphones, these are bigger than earbuds and may not really accumulate as much wax and heat as the later, but they sure require cleaning too. This may be a little more tricky because even though it is bigger, delicate parts like the leather or foam ear pads that can tear easily. Here’s the easiest way to go about cleaning that over-ear headphone and make it last long.

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Method 2: Using Hydrogen Peroxide

How to Clean Earbuds

So, even though Hydrogen is a dissolvent for human wax, it does enough to soften the wax and make it easier to be removed. Hence, people use hydrogen often to removed clogged wax from the ear, however, removing wax from your ear can sometimes be dangerous.

See Also: Best Over-Ear Headphones Under 100 Dollars

So in as much as you can use hydrogen peroxide to soften the clogged wax on your earbud, it is not a 100% safe because it is still in a liquid form and can get into the earbud and damage it.

I advise that you use this method for your not so expensive earbuds.

Method 3: Blue Tac

How to Clean Earbuds

You know that sticky reusable adhesive? Yes, that one. You can use it to remove the wax from your earbud. Because it is dey, it poses no risk whatsoever to your earbuds. This is probably the safest way to remove wax from the metal mesh on your earbud. This includes the tiny metal part. This method never disappoints.

Method 4: Warm Water Therapy

Clean Earbuds

This is a really easy wipe down routine. First remove the ear pads, then mix a few drops of mild dish detergent with warm water, and using a slightly dampened towel, wipe down the exterior of the headphones. Dampen another towel with rubbing alcohol and gently clean the exterior of the ear pads.

When this is done, get some cotton buds, dampen them with the rubbing alcohol and use it to clean out the crevices of the ear pads. To kill off any bacteria that may be residing in the ear pads, dab some alcohol over the surface of the foam mesh and gently rub both the right and left side together. Finally, leave all cleaned components on a paper towel till they are properly dry.

Remember: The towel should not be totally wet to avoid dripping too much water into the earbud.