How to Clean Earphones

Cleaner is Healthier

If you frequently use them, then knowing how to clean earphones effectively will also help keep your ears stay cleaner and healthier.

Earphones tend to spend a lot of time our ears, which can be quite dirty places. Earwax (or “cerumen”) is natural and helps keep our ears clean and healthy, but repeatedly pushing dirty headphones into your ear can push earwax further into your ear and impact it, or can also lead to a build-up of bacteria that could eventually lead to an infection.

We have put together a guide on how to clean earphones safely and effectively.

Before proceeding, it’s always worth checking the manufacturer’s instructions.

Important – What to Avoid

Earphones are an electrical appliance that are designed to be used in a delicate part of our anatomy, so take care to do the job properly.
Q-tips (or cotton buds) should be avoided because the tiny fibres can work their way deep into your ears. Instead, choose a clean lint-free cleaning cloth.

Also avoid using metal, plastics, or anything else that can scratch; as well as potentially damaging your equipment, scratches are difficult to clean in and so harbour more bacteria.

How to Clean Earphones in Easy Steps:

We recommend a cleaning solution consisting of pure isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or a mild washing up solution (dish soap and water – but only a few drops of soap to avoid leaving a residue).

A sanitary dry toothbrush is perfect, or alternatively, a clean sanitary toothpick or cocktail stick.

  1. Ensure the earphones are unplugged from the media device.
  2. Remove the rubber caps (if you have them) and set them aside.
  3. Use the toothbrush to brush away dirt from the small metal grill – don’t push too hard because we don’t want to push dirt through to the inside.
  4. Take your lint-free cloth and dab a corner into your cleaning solution – leave some of it dry. Wring it out until it stops dripping, and then wipe over the hard surfaces and rubber caps until clean. The caps can be submerged in water if necessary, but not the headphones themselves. Don’t rely on the rice-trick because the steel inside could begin to rust, and you certainly want to avoid rust in your ears.
  5. Use the dry part of your lint-free cloth to dry the surfaces.
  6. Leave overnight to dry thoroughly and when completely dry, plug back in and enjoy!

Afterwards, make sure to sanitise or dispose of the toothbrush.

Please note that this advice is given freely as a guide and LMB can in no way be held responsible for any damage.