You probably use your earbuds all day- during your commute to work, work itself, and your commute home. After extended use your earbuds get pretty dirty- both on the microscopic and the visible “that came out of my ear?” level. When these are in your ears, heat is being generated. Heat makes them practically a magnet for earwax. Heat melts the earwax and it re-settles on the earbud or in the earbud, so even after a couple of uses, you’ll start to see some sort of residue build up.

HOW TO CLEAN Earphones & Earbuds Obviously you can’t just toss your earbuds in the dishwasher to clean them. While doing some research, I came across a few suggestions of how to properly clean earbuds. Here’s how:

  • If there’s a lot of dirt or dust in the metal part of your earbuds, try brushing them with a dry toothbrush to dislodge the dust. Alternatively you could dip the toothbrush in 3% hydrogen peroxide and brush the ear bud; and finally wipe it with a dry towel.
  • Wipe down your headphones or ear buds with the kind of alcohol-soaked moist towelettes you find in first aid kits. This will remove any germs or bacteria that may have collected. Dry with a soft cloth.
  • You could pry out any visible ear wax that has collected in the speaker holes of your headphones with a toothpick. Be extremely careful not to poke the wax farther into the headphones or ear buds.
  • Coat a cotton swab in mineral oil and lightly dab at the wax. Oil dissolves oil, which is why mineral oil is recommended for use in peoples’ ears. Once it has softened, wipe it away with an alcohol-soaked moist towelette.