How To Clean Earbuds Of Your Earphones?

All of us need to learn how to clean earbuds. It is undeniable that most of us are using in-ear headphones for entertainment or work purposes.

On the first look, you might assume that your earbuds are clean. However, you should realize by now that you are always sticking this thing in your ears.

Are your ears always clean? Do you wax it all the time? If you are quite reluctant to answer this, then the earbuds of your earphones really need cleaning. No need to get ashamed. All of us are guilty about this.

The fact that you are reading this article right now means that you are quite concerned about the cleanliness of your earbuds.


Why Are Your Earbuds Dirty

Why Are Your Earbuds Dirty

Your ears are constantly producing earwax. This is your body's mechanism to protect this organ. Moreover, the wax is a form of lubrication, too.

That sounds cool, right? Wax is beneficial to your ears but not to your earbuds. In fact, they are quite disgusting.

Technically, your earbuds produce heat while it is functioning. This heat can easily melt the wax easily. When it turns into its liquid form, these waxes will move to your earbuds. They will get hard again as they are settling in.

Aside from being gross, the wax can affect the audio quality of your earphones. You will notice the difference once you listen to a clean earphone and dirty earphone at the same time.

Cleaning your earbuds is actually clean. That's why we are recommending that you should do this regularly. Any headset manufacturer can teach you about this useful skill.

But since you are here, let us do the honor of showing the right steps on how to clean the earbuds.

How To Clean Earbuds

How To Clean Earbuds

What You Need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Toothbrush
  • ​Dish soap or mild detergent
  • ​Alcohol wipes
  • ​Rubbing Alcohol

The Silicon Covers

If your earphones have silicon covers, you need to clean them first. You can do this by soaking them in a warm and soapy water.

Take your cotton swabs and use them to expel any discoloration or debris that is on the covers. You should do this step after you soak them in your soap solution.

After cleaning, rinse the silicon covers. Next, you need to leave them overnight for drying. Wiping them with a cloth won't guarantee that these covers will get dry.

You need an air drying to ensure that they are safe to put back in your earphones. You should know that a wet cover can compromise the wirings of your earphones.


Now, we go to the most important part. To clean your earbuds, you need to get a soft toothbrush. Use this brush away the way from the earbud. Moreover, the brush must be dry so that it won't melt the wax.

In cleaning, you need to hold the earbuds with their mesh facing down. In this way, debris and waxes can fall easily. Once you again, you need to do the brushing gently. You don't want to push down the gunk in the earbuds!

Once you are finished dry brushing, you can already declare that the earbuds are clean! However, if you can still see some wax and gunk, then you have to proceed to the next process.

Take a cotton swab and soak it in a rubbing alcohol. Use this swab to tap the buds so that it can peel off those waxy build-ups.

Do the tapping gently and quickly so the wax won't melt. If you are already finished, wipe the bud with a dry cloth.

Lastly, you need the clean the earbud and its surrounding area with alcohol wipes. In doing this, you are disinfecting the earbuds from the possible formation of fungi and bacteria.

Ideally, you should use rubbing alcohol. This type of alcohol can dry fast and won't soak the bud.


You should know that aggressive cleaning products and perfumes are not ideal for cleaning your earbuds. Their chemical composition is too strong.

Moreover, they can seep through the earbuds, which could damage the wiring system of your earphones.

Also, the toothbrush that you have to use should have a nylon bristle. Any materials could break while cleaning the earbuds.

If this happens, those tiny strands can potentially sink into the buds. As a result, your earbuds could get damaged.

Additionally, nylon has an anti-static property. Therefore, they won't get fried in your earbuds while you are cleaning!

Alcohol wipes are the best cleaning materials for earbuds. Wiping your earbuds regularly can prevent the formation of wax and other gunk.

Overall, you can do all these cleaning regimens once a month or as frequent as you want!

Maintenance Tips For Your Earbuds

Aside from cleaning, there are other ways to take care of your earbuds. All of these tips can ensure that your earbuds will get a longer lifespan.

Get A Case For Your Earbuds

The first maintenance you should do is getting a specific case for your earbuds. This case or storage should be sturdy enough to secure the pieces. It should also have an area in where you can place the cord.

This design, which you can often see on Apple earphone cases, is effective in preventing the tangling of cords.

Moreover, having a proper case can protect the other sensitive parts of your headphones. Such of these are the microphone and the speaker buttons.

If you just place them anywhere, they could suffer from unwanted impacts from accidental falls.

Also, when the speaker of the headphone is bent, the sound will get distorted as well.

Clean Your Ears

Of course, the problem does not always lie on your earbuds. You should also pay attention to your ears as well! Therefore, you have to clean your ears regularly. This is not only a form of hygiene but a way to protect your earbuds from excessive wax.

Moreover, the wax that is in the earbuds can cause infections to your ears. This is quite a serious issue that you can prevent by grooming your ears once in a while.

Replace Foam

You can also improve the cleanliness of your earbuds by replacing its foam often. You should know that the foam tips wear down as time passes. The more you use your earphones, the faster this component degrades.

The noise resistance of your headphones decreases when the foam deteriorates. Moreover, it can also result in the accumulation of dead skin cells that could distort the sound.

Honestly, this will not affect the functionality of your earphones. However, it can drastically degrade its sound quality.

You have to replace the foam to prevent all of these from happening. As you know, you cannot clean the foam with the use of a damp cloth.

Do Not Share Your Earbuds

We all got that friend who likes to share with our earbuds. This is a romantic thing to do, especially for couples. However, we discourage you from doing this.

You should realize that earbuds are for internal usage. If you share it with other people, you will also be getting the wax from their ears. It will mix with yours, and that is disgusting. Moreover, this could lead sharing of germs and bacteria.

Turn The Volume Down

Earbuds can get damaged if you consistently pump up the volume of your headphone. This is especially true for those headphones that have strong bass components. As a recommendation, always keep the volume at a minimal but audible level.

It does not only save your earbuds from damage. It also protects your ears from permanent hearing impairments.

Keep Your Earbuds From Getting Wet

Your earbuds and the internal part of your earphones can get damaged if you soak them in water. If this happens by accident, you need to put your earphones is a rice container immediately. Let it stay there for a couple of days before you take them out.

Rice is a good absorber of moisture. Specifically, it can prevent further damages from happening. In fact, you can do this process with your other electronic devices, too!

Keep The Magnets Safe

Always avoid putting your earbuds on areas where there is extreme heat such as sunlight. The heat can damage the earbuds and the magnet of your earphones.

Similarly, you should expose your earphones to large magnets, speakers, and other electronics that could compromise the quality of the magnets.


Learning how to clean earbuds of your headphones is essential. Always remember that your earbuds are susceptible from acquiring wax and other rubbish.

Aside from being repulsive, they can also deter the quality of sound transmittal that your earphones produce.

Moreover, we highly suggest that you will follow all the maintenance procedure we listed. They can improve the lifespan not only of the earbuds but your entire earphones as well!

As a reminder, you should not carry your earphones in your pocket, unless they are stored in the case. The cord could tangle while inside. Moreover, your pockets are home to dust, debris, and lint that could get inside your earbuds!

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