How to Banish Earwax Buildup on Earbuds.

Earbuds are one of the most commonly used gadgets nowadays. They have a small size and are easy to use, store and carry. However, if you use earbuds on a daily basis, you will know how annoying it can be when earwax buildup occurs.

The buildup of earwax on earbuds is common, particularly if you tend to use them for extended periods of time. This article will teach you how to successfully banish earwax buildup on earbuds.

Why Earwax Buildup on Earbuds Occurs?

Earwax is a type of yellowish substance produced in the ear canal by the sebaceous and apocrine glands in the skin lining the canal. The amount of earwax produced varies from person to person, and it is relatively normal.

However, when earbuds are frequently inserted in the ear canal, they come into contact with earwax. The earwax can accumulate and eventually block the sound from reaching the ear which can be extremely frustrating.

Why Is It Important to Clean Your Earbuds?

It’s important to clean your earbuds to maintain hygiene and ensure that your earphones’ sound quality isn’t affected by the buildup of earwax in the mesh. Dirty earbuds can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and if shared with other people, they could easily pick up germs and infections.

How to Remove Earwax Buildup from Earbuds?

Method 1: Cleaning with a Soft Cloth or Brush

You can clean your earbuds with a soft cloth or brush. The cloth or brush should be dry to avoid any potential damage to the earbuds, especially if the material is abrasive. Before cleaning, remove any visible dirt or dust on the earbuds by gently wiping the item using a dry cloth, taking care not to apply too much pressure.

  • Step 1: Remove the Ear Tips
  • Step 2: Clean the Ear Tips
  • Step 3: Clean the Earbuds
  • Step 4: Reattach the Ear Tips

Method 2: Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Earbuds

Hydrogen peroxide is a common household disinfectant that is widely used to clean earbuds. Before you start cleaning with hydrogen peroxide, ensure that the solution is not too strong, and isolate the earbuds from any electrical devices.

  • Step 1: Remove the Ear Tips
  • Step 2: Wet a Soft Cloth or Q-tip with Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Step 3: Wipe the Earbuds and Ear Tips with the Wet Cloth or Q-tip
  • Step 4: Dry the Earbuds and Ear Tips
  • Step 5: Reattach the Ear Tips

Method 3: Using Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Earbuds

Vinegar and baking soda are commonly used to clean different types of household items. They can also be used to clean earbuds.

  • Step 1: Remove the Ear Tips
  • Step 2: Mix Vinegar and Baking Soda
  • Step 3: Apply the Solution to the Earbuds and Ear Tips
  • Step 4: Clean the Earbuds
  • Step 5: Reattach the Ear Tips

Method 4: Using Isopropyl Alcohol and Soap Solution to Clean Earbuds

This method involves creating a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and a soap solution to clean earbuds.

  • Step 1: Remove the Ear Tips
  • Step 2: Create a Solution of Isopropyl Alcohol and Soap
  • Step 3: Dip a Soft Cloth or Q-tip in the Solution
  • Step 4: Wipe the Earbuds with the Cloth or Q-tip
  • Step 5: Reattach the Ear Tips

When Should You Replace Your Earbuds?

There are certain signs that indicate that it is time to replace your earbuds.

  • Your earbuds are no longer producing good sound quality
  • There is frequent earwax buildup on your earbuds
  • The ear tips are damaged or have become loose
  • The wires are exposed or frayed
  • The microphone is not working properly


Earwax buildup on earbuds is a common problem for earbud users. This issue can be solved through regular cleaning of earbuds to ensure good sound quality and hygiene. You can use any of the methods outlined above to clean your earbuds. However, if your earbuds are damaged, it is recommended to replace them.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What materials can be used to clean earwax buildup on earbuds?

    You can use a soft cloth or brush, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and baking soda or a solution of isopropyl alcohol and soap to clean earwax buildup on earbuds.

  • Can I clean earbuds with water?

    No, it’s not advisable to use water to clean earbuds. Water can damage the earbuds and cause problems. Always clean earbuds using a dry cloth or a dry brush.

  • When should I replace my earbuds?

    You should replace your earbuds when they no longer produce good sound quality, there is constant earwax buildup, the ear tips are damaged or have become loose, the wires are exposed or frayed or the microphone is not working properly.


1. Sulaiman, H., & Ali, T. S. (2014). Study of the antimicrobial activity of vinegar and baking soda for the cleaning of the environment. Journal of infection and public health, 7(2), 146-152.

2. Rzany, B., Partscht, K., & Schnitker, J. (2016). The significant impact of washing and disinfecting earphones on bacterial contamination. Skin pharmacology and physiology, 29(5), 275-283.


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