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How to Clean Earbuds and Wireless Headphones Properly

The topic of how to clean earbuds is an important topic to deal with. This is because as our technology becomes more sophisticated, our daily gadgets and tech accessories become highly convenient as well. One example is the humble headphones which have definitely come a long way from the large bulky headphones of the 80s; we now have the high-tech wireless earbuds such as the soundcore wireless earbuds that are easily hidden from view.

As advanced as they are now, one issue still remains, and that is cleaning them and getting rid of the earwax that has accumulated over the periods. And if you’re here today to know how you can effectively clean and keep it that way for long periods, then the article I have prepared for today is specially written just for you!

So let’s begin today’s article and provide a solution to the concern of how to clean your earbuds…

Why Do You Need to Clean Earbuds?

Before we continue discussing how do you clean ear buds, it’s imperative to know first the potential health risk involve by being not hygienic with your items.

As you may often wear your earbuds during a workout like most do, your earbuds are occasionally exposed to sweat, which not only makes your earbuds dirty, but also does potential harm to the functionality.

Aside from dirt, you may have noticed earwax buildup deep inside your Bluetooth earpiece. And the reason why this happens is due to what ear health professionals refer to as the contact stimulus.

The most apparent consequence of a dirty earbud is it affects the sound quality of the earpiece. It blocks the sound waves, which leads to broken and sometimes blurry audio that is unpleasing. Most often, people would also believe that the earpiece is already broken due to the poor quality of the audio. However, you can get instant ramifications once you have removed the elements.

In addition, it may not seem that much to the user, but regularly cleaning your earbuds has health implications as well. The dirt and earwax contain bacteria that could potentially harm the ear’s lining and cause ear infections.

Tools You Need to Clean Earbuds

To effectively tackle the issue of how to clean your earbuds, you will need the proper tools to go about it. The following are some of the usual tools necessary to clean earwax out of earbud mesh and other debris accumulated over the periods without damaging the item.

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cotton swab
  • Anti-static brush
  • Toothbrush with a soft bristle (optional)

As you see, the tools needed to clean wireless earbuds and remove dirt and earwax are common, except maybe for the anti-static brush, which you can definitely find in your home.

With this being said—there should be no reason for you not to slide this important matter, especially if it affects your health. Does it make sense?

How to Clean Earbuds

So how to clean earbuds mesh properly? Although the items needed are pretty much the same, the procedure you have to go through varies depending on the earbuds you’re working with. The most common ones are as follows—

  • Standard Earbuds
  • In-Ear Earbuds
  • Over-Ear/On-Ear Earbuds

Let’s take a look at them to help you properly remove the dirt and wax buildup deep inside the earpiece.

Standard Earbuds

Standard earbuds refer to the earpiece with the typical hard plastic tips. Because of this characteristic, this type of accessory is much easier to clean earwax out of earbuds.

  • Firstly, prepare lukewarm water and dampen the microfiber cloth
  • Wipe the piece to clean earbud tips thoroughly
  • For tougher grimes, you need to prepare a solution of tap water and dishwashing liquid
  • Apply the solution to the tips but make sure that they’re upside down to prevent from damaging the earpiece
  • Brush the tips to remove the grimes
  • Wipe them dry using another piece of microfiber cloth

In-Ear Earbuds (Silicone/Memory Foam)

The in-ear earbuds usually have two kinds of earbuds tips: silicon tips and memory foam tips. Whether is a memory foam earbud or silicone plastic earbuds, they are all soft that fit perfectly well to the contours of the ear. However, maintaining their hygiene could be a little challenging due to the eartips' material.

So the question is, how to clean memory foam earbuds or Silicone earbuds? Let’s continue and find out.

  • The first step is to remove the silicone plastic from the ear tips
  • Soak the ear tips in a hydrogen peroxide solution for five minutes
  • Using a microfiber cloth, wipe the earbuds and rub the grime residue
  • Make sure that the tips are properly dried before putting them but on
  • As for the micro speakers, you can brush off the earwax by using an anti-static brush or a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • And to remove any excess gripes, dip the cotton buds in an isopropyl alcohol solution and apply it to the earbuds
  • And then wipe them dry using the microfiber cloth

Over-Ear/On-Ear Earbuds

Over-ear earbuds or on-ear earbuds are actually similar to in-ear earbuds, with the only exception that there’s an extra hard plastic tread that goes around the ear. Therefore, the procedure is pretty much similar compared to the previous section in tackling how to clean in-ear earbuds.

Also, another difference is that you will need to wipe the plastic tread as well using isopropyl alcohol and cotton buds. Apply them from end to end and wipe them using a microfiber cloth.

Tips to Keep Your Headphones Clean for a Long Time

You can clean your earbuds at least once a week to prevent the buildup of wax and debris. However, the ideal cleaning period is seventy-two hours playtime. And the reason why many experts suggest this time span is because wax accumulation normally begins during this period. Therefore, cleaning them beforehand gives you the advantage of easily ridding off the buildup.

Now, three days is very much advisable if you are using your earpiece all the time or more than eight hours a day. You have to remember that earwax starts to accumulate even after a day of usage. Thus, the cleaning of your earpiece as early as seventy-two hours prevents the further growth of bacteria or fungus.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Clean Earbuds

Now, below are some of the common concerns about the topic of how to clean earbuds—

What to Use to Clean Ear Wax Out of Earbuds?

The earwax buildup can be easily scraped out by using common household items. The primary materials you’ll need are isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.

Can I Clean My Earbuds with Alcohol?

Yes. You can absolutely use isopropyl alcohol. But you have to be sure that it’s a 70% solution to prevent the surface from damaging.

Can Earwax Damage earbuds?

The earwax buildup affects the audio quality of the earbuds by blocking the sound waves. Thus, regular cleaning and removal of the accumulation of wax are highly recommendable to gain the best sound experience possible.


I hope today’s topic provided you with the necessary help in regards to the topic of how to clean earbuds. It may look difficult and an arduous task to begin with, but the good news is that it is not that hard, and you can finish them in just a matter of a few minutes, as I have discussed.

Also, you have to take into consideration the importance of being hygienic with your earpiece. Not only that it affects the audio quality of the buds, but it can also cause ear infection. The wax and dirt accumulated in the earbuds harbor bacteria and fungi that could potentially lead to complications which is why this is an essential matter in the topic of how to clean earbuds.


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