Earbuds are among those gadgets that require cleaning just like all the rest of your belongings, yet sometimes people overlook this when making out their long list of housecleaning duties. Whether you jog with them in place, or simply listen to some music on occasion with them, they can get very dirty and need some regular attention. Ear wax, sweat, and dust eventually overtake your earbuds, rendering the tiny speakers inside them much less efficient. You can’t possibly enjoy the best of Beyoncé if your they aren’t working at peak performance.


How to Clean Your Earbuds


Gather the Tools to Clean Your Earbuds

A few simple tools—most of which you likely have at home already—are needed in order to properly clean them. You will need a small amount of liquid dish soap, a few cotton swabs, an old toothbrush, rubbing alcohol, and one or two alcohol wipes.

Assemble your tools, and prepare to clean—and possibly salvage—your earbuds. Face it, some of them are expensive. Getting the longest life possible from them is economical, and cleaning them is the next best thing to free.


Disassemble and Clean

Most in-ear earbuds have silicone covers on the ear pieces. Start by removing these tiny covers. Soak them in a small bowl of water mixed with a couple of drops of liquid dish soap. Use a cotton swab to remove any debris.

Rinse the silicone covers and turn them upside down on a clean towel. Allow them to dry overnight. Make sure not to put them back onto your earbuds until they are completely dry.

Using the toothbrush, gently brush any earwax, dust, and debris from them. Do so while tipping the mesh portion downward, so the debris doesn’t fall further inside them. Dip one of your cotton swabs into the alcohol. Tap off the excess. Wipe each of them thoroughly, yet wiping carefully so that you don’t pull too hard causing damage.

Take one of your alcohol wipes and clean the remainder of the earbuds—including the wires and plug. Use a second alcohol wipe if they require additional cleaning. Hang them in a clean, dry place while waiting overnight for the silicone covers to dry.



Replace the silicone covers. Your earbuds are now clean and germ-free. The sound you now hear from them should be crisper and clearer than ever before.

Make cleaning this accessory and other personal gadgets a part of your biweekly or monthly housecleaning plan. You’ll likely find you get much more time out of every set of earbuds this way.