Unless your earphones are waterproof, washing them isn’t going to be an option, cleaning your pair of earphones is an important thing, not only does it keep your earphones well maintained but is also a hygienic habit.
Unmaintained earbuds can result in degraded performance. In some cases, one or both earbuds can experience a noticeable decrease in volume or even stop working altogether
Step 1: Check for Gunk
There’s a good chance ear wax and gunk is causing problems. A superficial glance may not show the extent of the problem. your ear tips may look relatively clean but be hiding some serious buildup.
Step 2: Brush the Grill Surface
Make sure to unplug the earbuds before starting the cleaning. The first thing I do is to hold the earbuds grill down and use a stiff brush to work at the surface material (some people use a toothbrush). Don’t apply too much pressure as you don’t want to push the material into the grill. You also don’t want to push the grill itself in, as that is also going to impact the sound --and will be a lot tougher to fix. Any material removed should either stick to the brush bristles or fall down to the table surface.
Step 3: Cotton Swab and Rubbing Alcohol
After the brushing, use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to clean around the grill and the earbud itself. It helps to sterilize the surface, and the alcohol helps to remove remaining ear wax. When scrubbing the grill, don’t oversaturate the swab as you don’t want to risk liquid running in and damaging the drivers.
Step 4: Putty
The final stage of cleaning is putty. I use the stuff meant to stick paper to walls. It’s sticky, but not too goopy or crumbly, so I don’t have to worry about it seeping through the grill or breaking off in the grill. I gently push the earbud into the putty so the grill makes contact (remember, don’t push too hard or you risk denting that grill). Pull it out, and the putty grabs the remaining gunk that’s clogging the speaker grill. You may have to do this a few times to get everything.
Step 5: Wash or replace the Ear Tips
At this point, you probably want to either wash or replace the ear tips. Soap and water work fine for cleaning most, although foam ear tips generally don’t wash up as well as silicone versions.
If you’d rather just wish you could wash your earphones, you could check out the 1MORE iBFree Sport Bluetooth Earphones that come with an IPX6 waterproof rating, if you’d like to know what waterproof ratings mean and do, head over to our blog explaining if IPX ratings matter, and why?