Earbuds have changed the way we listen to music!
Before, we had to constantly fiddle with those annoying headphones that kept falling out of our ears, or we had to wear those big, bulky studio-style headphones. Now, with earbuds, our headphones stay in place and our music sounds so much better!
But did you know that wearing earbuds can increase your risk of ear infection, ear wax buildup, and temporary hearing loss? Check out our post “Are earbuds bad for your ears?” to find out more…
So what can you do? How can you still enjoy your music without increasing your risk of ear problems? Simple: spend time cleaning headphones before/after you use them!
Cleaning your headphones may sound silly, but it’s the best way to prevent ear problems!
Below, you will find out everything you need to know about how to clean your headphones to prevent ear wax buildup and reduce your risk of infections, hearing loss, and impacted ear wax…
How to Clean Headphones: Two Simple Reasons Why
Why should you take the time to learn how to clean headphones? As mentioned above, your headphones – earbuds, in particular – are going to increase your risk of ear problems.
Here are two simple reasons why it’s vital to spend time cleaning headphones:
When your earbuds sit in your pocket, backpack, or case, they are exposed to all sorts of dirt, germs, dust, and bacteria. These are then transferred to your ears when you insert your headphones.
There is already enough bacteria in your ears, so adding more will just increase the chance that you will develop ear infections.
2. Ear Wax
Your ears were not designed to have things inserted into them, but that’s exactly what you’re doing when you put in your headphones. Earbuds, especially, prevent your ears from cleaning themselves, thereby increasing the amount of wax in your ears.
Wax can build up to the point that it becomes impacted and blocks your ear canal, which affects your hearing. Wax buildup can get into inside your earbuds, which affects the sound quality coming out. Either way, too much wax is a BAD thing.
As you can see, it’s definitely in your best interest to learn how to clean your headphones.
By eliminating wax and bacteria, you can drastically reduce your risk of an ear infection!
How to Clean Headphones: Easy Steps for Cleaning Ear Wax out of Headphones
Thankfully, it’s not rocket science to figure out how to clean ear wax out of headphones. With a few simple tricks, you can get rid of the ear wax in headphones and reduce the risk of ear wax buildup.
Here are a few things to try:
- Dry Toothbrush
This is one of the best methods for cleaning ear wax out of headphones, particularly the classic non-earbud headphones. The wider metal screen is more likely to absorb ear wax particles.
Using a dry toothbrush to (gently) scrub the metal screen can get rid of a lot of ear wax particles, dust, and grime. This will also help to improve the sound quality of your headphones!
If you use earbuds, a toothpick (sterilized, of course) can be used to clean off the larger wax particles from the silicone tips. You can also use it to scrape ear wax off your over-the-ear or studio-style headphones. If you have a lot of large ear wax in headphones, it will work.
- Replace the Silicone
For those who notice a lot of ear wax building up after heavy headphone use, it may be time to change out the silicone tip. Changing the silicone tips will also help to reduce bacterial build-up.
How to Clean Headphones: How to Get Rid of Bacteria
Want to know how to clean your headphones effectively? It’s a lot easier than you’d think! With a few basic supplies, you’ll find around your home, you can get rid of bacteria and leave your headphones clean and free of germs.
The best way to clean headphones is using dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth. You can eliminate bacteria and leave your headphones nice and clean.
Note: This is NOT a method for cleaning the metal part of the headphones. Any water near the metal could leak into the electronic part of the headphones, damaging the components. It is ONLY for the plastic shell and the silicone tip.
1. To begin, fill a basin with warm water and dish soap.
2. Unplug your headphones from your device (iPod/iPhone/MP3 player)
3. Remove the silicone tips from the headphones and drop them into the basin to soak.
4. Dip a corner of the cloth into the warm water.
5. Scrub the plastic part of the headphones to get rid of dirt, grime, and ear wax.
6. Once the headphones are clean, remove the silicone tips from the water, rinse, and set to dry. Only replace once fully dry.
Be very careful not to let any water leak into the headphones, as that could break them.
This is a simple cleaning solution that will leave your headphones free of bacteria and germs. Do this on a semi-monthly basis to ensure that your headphones stay nice and clean.
Our Easy Solution: The Oto-Tip
Cleaning your headphones isn’t the only way to improve sound quality and hygiene. It’s a good idea to give your ears a regular cleaning, as that will remove the ear wax that builds up from extensively headphone usage.
How should you clean your ears?
DO NOT use cotton swabs, car keys, pen tips, bobby pins, or anything else that could scratch the ear canal!
DO use warm mineral oil, warm water, or hydrogen peroxide to flush your ears. Pour a few drops of the liquid into your ear, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then allow it to drip out. Your ear is designed to be self-cleaning and will be able to flush excess ear wax on its own.
DO consider the Oto-Tip as a quick and easy device to clean your ears at home and prevent wax buildup. The safety seal prevents you from ever going too deep into the ear canal and its silicone tip spins, to quickly and easily clean your ears.
Follow this advice, and you’ll be set up to have the best listening experience for your ears. You will find that it’s wonderfully easy to keep your ears healthy and clean!