clean earbuds

How To Clean Earbuds and Earphones

How often do you clean your earbuds? Most people never think about it until there is noticeable dirt on their earbuds. However, it is advisable to clean them regularly – not just when dirt and grime accumulates.

For starters, it will keep your ears and ear canals clean and healthy, as dirty earbuds can infect the canal. Additionally, it will keep your earbuds performing at their best and increase their durability.  

Learn how to clean earbuds so that your favorite pair of wireless earbuds stay sanitary and working well!

How To Clean Your Earbuds

dirty earbuds

So, how do you go about cleaning those fragile earbuds without damaging them? It is quite simple. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you. 

Inspect the Earbuds 

The cleaning process will depend on the type and amount of dirt on the earbuds. For example, you may not need to go all the way through our process if the only problem is a stain on the wires. 

As such, start by inspecting exactly what you are dealing with. Look closely along the wires and into the earbuds. Use a bright light to ensure that nothing escapes your inspection.

You can also use a pair of magnifying glasses to ensure that nothing escapes your inspection – it will also make the process more enjoyable and interesting. Take note of what you are dealing with and then proceed to get the necessary cleaning supplies. 


Get the Necessary Earbud Cleaning Tools 


Rubbing your earbuds on your shirt doesn’t solve the problem. You will need the necessary supplies to ensure that you get the dirt out, regardless of whether it is debris or a smudge or stain. As such, get the necessary supplies and ready your workstation. 

The basic cleaning supplies are a soft cloth to wipe the dirt away, a toothbrush to get rid of stubborn stains and reach difficult areas, and a cleaning agent.

You also have several options when it comes to the cleaning agent. You can choose to use soap and water and do it the old-school way. Alternatively, you can get rubbing alcohol and ensure that you get every germ and pathogen – in fact, using soap and water creates the risk of exposing the earbuds to water, which is guaranteed to damage them unless you have waterproof earbuds

You will also need a clean workstation where you will do all the scrubbing and rubbing. A desk with an overhead lamp will do, as long as it is spacious. You can also go all the way and get a magnifying glass to see even the smallest stains and dirt particles as you clean.

Finally, you can be daring and disconnect any removable parts to ensure that you clean every inch – however, this requires someone with basic technical skills.  


Start Wiping and Rubbing, Gently 

This is where the real work lies. You need to be thorough to ensure that you get every stain and speck of dust. You will also need to be gentle not to damage your earbuds. Don’t worry, however – just try to feel the tension on the earbuds as you clean and be gentle. 

The soft cloth and rubbing alcohol will come in handy when cleaning the exposed surfaces. Dip the cloth in the rubbing alcohol and string the wire through it while holding it tight between your fingers. Do this several time before moving on to the buds housing the speakers. You may encounter some difficulty cleaning the soft buds, but be gentle and make sure that you swab even the buds’ insides. 

The soft toothbrush or a q-tip, on the other hand, will come in handy for dislodging small debris and scrubbing away tough stains and small debris lodged in hard-to-reach places. It will especially come in handy when cleaning the insides of the earbuds.

You can also dip the toothbrush in rubbing alcohol before scrubbing away – however, be careful not to use too much rubbing alcohol, and wait for some time for some of the alcohol to evaporate. You don’t want the liquids to damage the electronic features of your earbuds.

P.S. As mentioned, exposing the earbuds to water or liquid of any kind will damage them. As such, be careful not to use too much rubbing alcohol, and use minimal water and soap if you go with that option. 


Assess for Any Damages

Hopefully, your earbuds are now clean and working just as good as before, if not better. However, you have to consider that you may have caused damages to your earbuds when cleaning. As such, perform a thorough inspection to ensure that everything is working correctly. 

Start by giving the earbuds a thorough check, and pay particular attention to the buds housing the speakers. You will be looking out for damages to the wiring system and loose connections between the buds.

Next, plug the earbuds into your phone (or any other device) and play your favorite song to hear how they hold up. Make sure all parts are dry before you plug your earphones in. Listen to each bud individually to make sure that they both work, and be keen to note any discrepancies in the sound streams. 


Set a Earbud Cleaning Schedule 


Your earbuds don’t have to accumulate dirt to necessitate cleaning. They will start accumulating dirt again immediately after cleaning them, which means that you will need to clean them again sooner or later. Besides, many of the harmful germs and pathogens are not visible to the naked eye. 

It is also advisable to keep your earbuds clean to prevent more dirt and dust accumulating. It is especially advisable to store the earbuds in an enclosed casing to keep them off dirt. It is also prudent to have an extra pair of earbuds, just in case your current ones get too dirty to clean or too damaged to repair.

Finally, you may also hire a professional technician to clean your special earbuds and assess for any damages, especially if your earbuds are the high-end kind that you cannot afford to replace. 


Final Thoughts 

Cleaning earbuds is not difficult. If anything, it is easy and enjoyable. However, the process is delicate and requires that you be both thorough and gentle.

As such, steady your hands, get the necessary cleaning supplies, and get scrubbing and wiping. Your ear canals will thank you for keeping the germs out, and the earbuds will become more durable and keep working at peak performance. 

Find the best earbuds for your needs here on iDapt, from noise-cancelling earbuds to AirPods and more. Use this video for a visual lesson in how to clean earbuds!

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