Home Care

This is Why You Should Clean Your Earphones Regularly

Not seeing any dirt doesn't mean your earbuds are clean.

Photography: Shutterstock (main)

Earphones are a must-have these days, especially for those working from home and attending a lot of  online meetings. Recently, my algorithm showed a video of AirPods being professionally deep-cleaned under a microscope. At first glance, the earbuds looked pristine, but I was shocked to see that there was earwax buildup on them. 

Yes, it's gross, so if you're on the verge of grabbing your earphones to check their state, see these easy steps on how to clean them at home.

How To Clean Earphones At Home

  • Grab a toothpick to dislodge the earwax buildup.
  • Spritz alcohol to loosen up some of the debris. (Do not soak the earphones in too much alcohol! You may damage them.)
  • Brush away the debris with an old paintbrush or a cotton swab. Repeat this step until the mesh appears to be clean.
  • Let your earphones dry for 24 hours before using them again.
  • If you believe your earphones deserve a deep clean, take them to a professional.

In case you're curious what really lies on your earphones, watch this video: Just a warning, it's not for the faint-hearted.

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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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