Millions of people are using AirPods or earbuds as they work, talk on the phone, work out, or even shop. And just like everything else we wear (like shirts and socks), your earbuds should be cleaned regularly.
Earbuds pick up skin cells, ear wax, facial products, and dirt every time we pick them up, put them in, take them out, and put them down. In fact, they can harbor thousands of bacteria that can cause ear infections and other illnesses. Not only will cleaning your earbuds help remove this buildup and keep them sanitary, it can also help them last longer and sound better.
Here are a few tips for how to clean your earbuds.
WIPE THEM DOWN
At least once per week, wipe down the earpads and tips with a mixture of soap and warm water on a lightly damp cloth. Dry them fully with a soft cloth immediately after wiping. You can also use a rubbing alcohol wipe or sanitizing wipe.
GET THE INSIDE
You can use a small soft brush or purchase a cleaning tool designed for clearing out wax. You can even gently use a toothpick to get in the holes in each bud. First, pull the eartips off the earbud (if applicable) or remove any silicone covers. Then, use the brush to gently scoop out any wax or debris and clean off anything stuck to the earbuds. You can also use a cotton swab lightly dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Be sure you don’t press too hard when cleaning the inside. If you do, you can push the gunk further inside and do more damage. If you have ear tips or covers on your headphones, wipe those with a soapy wet cloth, and be sure to dry them thoroughly.
KEEP THE DRY
If you wear your headphones when you work out, they probably get sweaty. However, even if they’re water- or sweat-resistant, keeping them wet for a long period of time can affect the battery or earbuds, and short them out or damage them.
After your workout, shake out any access moisture and store them inside a baggie or water-resistant case. Don’t place them in your pocket, sports bra, sock, or any other place that can be damp. Once you get home, clean them with soapy water and dry thoroughly.
STORE THEM PROPERLY
Once they are clean and dry, store them in a bag or case when you aren’t using them. This helps keep them clean and protected from dirt and scratches. Also avoid storing them in wet or humid areas.