How to Clean In-Ear Earphones

Written by todd bowerman
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How to Clean In-Ear Earphones
In-ear headphones can get dirty over time. (ear buds image by jcpjr from

In-ear headphones provide a convenient way to listen to music and other media when you are on the go. However, in-ear headphones also have a tendency to lose sound quality over time, as earwax builds up on their rubber tips and speaker grilles. You can clean your in-ear headphones with a few household supplies and a bit of careful manoeuvring.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Q-tips
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Small plate

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  1. 1

    Remove any rubber or cloth covers from your in-ear headphones.

  2. 2

    Clean the covers using a Q-tip soaked in soapy water. You may also purchase replacement covers; these should be replaced as needed.

  3. 3

    Pour a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide onto a small plate. The liquid should only be deep enough to cover the protective grilles of the headphones, not submerge the ear buds.

  4. 4

    Place one of the in-hear headphones into the hydrogen peroxide, grille down. Hold the earphone in the peroxide for two to three minutes to loosen any accumulated earwax.

  5. 5

    Dip the grille into some clean water to wash the wax and chemicals away; then dip it again in alcohol to wash away any remaining debris. Rub any excess alcohol off with a soft, clean cloth.

  6. 6

    Repeat this process for the other ear bud, then replace the protective covers.

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