Have you ever taken out your headphones and they are completely covered in earwax? Have you put them back in your ear a day later, after they were on the floor of your bedroom, with that same dried earwax sitting on it?
We all do it. We use our headphones everyday without giving a second thought to where they have been or what bacteria might be on them. The same is true for earplugs made from silicone and polymer, that we often use for flying, swimming, or even sleeping.
Everyone does it—so what’s the problem with this?
Just like when you lick your fingers, all of the germs on your hands go into your mouth and into your body. The same is true for earbuds.
The moment you insert them into your ear (learn here how to do it properly) you are introducing into your body all the germs that your earbuds have touched. This can cause serious infections that could be damaging to the ear if left untreated.
Earwax buildup is also an issue. If you leave earbuds or earplugs in for extended periods of time, it prevents the ear from draining wax as usual. This creates a build up of wax, which might reduce hearing, cause jaw pain and headaches, and even damage the ear canal.
Similarly, the wax meant to be expelled from the ear can harden on the earbud. When you put these same earbuds in the next day, this creates a cycle of germs and bacteria that can seriously damage your ear.
So what can you do to fix this?
Let us say it loud: clean your earbuds everyday!
It seems like a lot of work. Every single day? How much time will this take? Don’t worry, it’s not that time-consuming nor it’s difficult.
Caring for Your Ears – Earplug & Earbud DYI Cleaning
Below is an easy, quick way to clean off your earbuds and keep your ears safe:
- Fill a small bowl with warm water and a drop or two of dish soap.
- Remove the silicone tips of headphones and place them into the basin of water to let them soak.
- Break out a new, dry toothbrush. Do not use an existing toothbrush, as that will further spread germs.
- For the electronic part of the headphone, use the dry toothbrush to gently brush away trapped ear wax and dirt. Do not soak the metal screen portion as this could damage them.
- After the silicone has soaked, remove the tips from the bowl and use a soft cloth to gently wipe them. The grime should come off easily from the warm water and pressure of the cloth.
- Lay the silicone tips out to try on the soft towel.
In just two minutes, you will have more hygienic earbuds and earplugs that will help protect your ear from infection or damage. It will also improve the quality of your sound by preventing earwax buildup, which muffles noises.
Every day, or at least every couple of days, you should also clean your ears from earwax. Read this post to learn what are the best five ways to to do it properly, and safely.
Cleaning Earplugs & Earphones – Final Word
The bottom line is that we advise to make it a habit to brush your headphones and earplugs like you would brush your teeth. Remember to clean your ear canals from the earwax as well.
Do it for your own good, and you’ll keep your ears clean and clear and in perfect, auditory condition!