How to Remove Earwax from Earphones

Written by kristie leong m.d.
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How to Remove Earwax from Earphones
Removing earwax from earphones makes for a more pleasant listening experience. (earphones image by Christos Kyratsous from

Earphones allow you to listen to music without disturbing the people around you, but eventually earphones collect earwax and other debris. This can interfere with sound quality and give the earphones a greasy feel. Fortunately, most earphones are not difficult to clean if you follow a few simple steps. Cleaning earphones regularly improves the listening experience and makes them more pleasant to wear.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Clean towel
  • Bowl
  • Liquid soap
  • Water
  • Paper clip

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  1. 1

    Fill a bowl with water, and add one squirt of mild liquid soap. Dip a clean gauze pad into the soapy water, and lay it on a clean towel.

  2. 2

    Remove the wax guards or any other removable covers. Use the wet, soapy gauze pad to gently clean the wax guard or outer covering.

  3. 3

    Wet a clean gauze pad with water, and use it to remove any soapy residue that remains from the previous cleaning.

  4. 4

    Straighten a paper clip until you have access to one of the pointed ends. Use the pointed end to remove any wax that is inside the nozzles and speaker holes on the earphones.

  5. 5

    Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean gauze pad, and use it to gently clean the nozzles.

  6. 6

    Use a soft, clean towel to dry the nozzles. Leave them in a secure place to completely dry out for several hours.

  7. 7

    Reattach the wax guards or coverings.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid sharing earphones with other people.
  • Keep your ears clean to avoid transferring wax to your earphones.
  • Never submerge earphones in water.

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