If you’ve got a mobile phone or a music device, chances are you also own a pair of earphones. Other than the freebies that come with your gadget, there are of course a large selection of brands that cater to audiophiles. You have over the ear headphones, in-ear models, wired, and of course wireless Bluetooth pairs that’s all the rage right now. Anyone who has ever had to buy headphones knows that they do not come cheap so it is only right to take proper care of them and with it, your ear health.
Interestingly enough, not a lot of earphone owners make an effort to clean this accessory regularly. Which I think is pretty gross! If you don’t agree with me, why not take out your earphones and examine them closely.
I’ve noticed that mine often get an accumulation of grease, dust, and possibly earwax trapped on the wire mesh and on the other tiny crevices of this accessory. And I happen to think of myself as a clean person.
I shower and change out of my clothes after a workout because I’d be sweaty and dirty. But I’ve realized that I have not done the same with my headphones after a rigorous run, or a long commute from work. I’ve lost track of the number of times I simply chuck them into my bag or push them into my pockets where they are likely mixing around with dirt and grime.
That said, cleaning earphones isn’t difficult, although there are kits being sold out there, a few everyday items that can be found around the house will do the trick just fine.
What You’ll Need:
- clean piece of cloth
- q-tip or cotton swab
- hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol
- soft-bristled toothbrush
- dish soap
Start by gently dry brushing any visible dirt and grime from your earphones especially in areas that are in direct contact with your ear, particularly the part that gets inserted into it. Using a soft toothbrush, gently loosen up any dust or buildup, by opting for a brush with softer bristles you reduce the possibility of scratching or damaging any components. Make sure that you are holding the earbuds with the mesh part facing down to allow debris to fall off rather than breaking down into smaller pieces and getting the gunk stuck even more.
Next take a q-tip or cotton swab that is dipped in rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Do not soak too much, just enough to dampen the cotton. Wipe down the areas you have brushed previously. This swabbing step ensures you get out any other wax or dirt left behind. It also further sanitizes your earbuds thus reducing the risk of ear infections. Once there are no more traces of dirt, get a clean and dry q-tip to wipe off any excess alcohol.
Dip a small portion of a piece of cloth in soapy water or some alcohol. Proceed by cleaning the other components of your earphones. The outer shell and the wires get dirty too. When sanitizing non wireless earphones, do not neglect to clean the jack. Any build up in this area can result in poor connection and sound transfer quality.
Use a clean soft cloth to give your earbuds final wipe down. Wireless earbuds often come with its own case — I like to wipe that down to since it gets a fair amount of dirt transfer. Plus, I like to keep it looking good as new.
Leave your earphones to dry properly before using them. Do this thorough cleaning method at least twice a month.
As a final piece of advice, it is also a good practice to keep the earphones clean by sanitizing it with alcohol based wipes after every use. This simple trick has kept my earbuds from accumulating too much dirt.