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How to clean your earphones


If you regularly use earbuds or in-ear earphones, you might notice that they get a bit dirty over time. It’s important to make sure they stay clean to help keep your ears healthy and avoid things like ear infections or impacted earwax.

How often should you clean earbuds?

It depends on how often you use them and what you use them for. So if you wear them every day for things like virtual calls or listening to music, then once a week should do the trick.

If you wear them when you go for a run or to the gym, then it’s worth giving them a clean before or after you use them. You should also clean them regularly during summer, when you generally sweat a bit more.

How do you clean earwax out of headphones?

It’s easy to see when there’s an earwax build-up on your earphones – you’ll notice orange-brown debris right around the rim of the speakers, or just underneath the silicone if you have those types.

To clean your earphones, we’d recommend using an alcohol wipe, or a soft cloth with something like rubbing alcohol or cleaning vinegar, to gently wipe away any earwax or debris that can build up and get stuck. Cotton buds can be useful to get to those smaller gaps that your finger can’t properly get to.

After you’re done, make sure they’re dry before you use them again or put them away.

Can you wash earphones with water?

Water and electrics aren’t the best of friends, so it’s best to avoid using water to clean your earphones so they don’t get damaged.

Some earphones might benefit from a bit more of a deep clean, in which case, a mixture or water and soap can be useful to remove more stubborn debris. If you go for this method, just make sure to properly rinse out the cloth you use, so it’s more slightly damp than wet, and lightly wipe the earphones. Then make sure to leave them to dry for a few hours before you use them again.

If your earphones have removable silicone tips, you can use soap and water to clean those out. But just always make sure they’re fully dry before you put them back on your earphones.

When should I consult my GP or audiologist?

If you have any concerns about your hearing or ear health, or you think you have symptoms of an ear infection (tender or painful ear, feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, discharge, fever), book in to see one of our audiologists for advice or get in touch with your GP.

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