Best tips for how to clean earbuds

Are you constantly having to turn your volume way up when using your earbuds? Earbuds coated in earwax, sweat, and dust often do not work as well as they should. So how do you clean earbuds

Best tips for how to clean earbuds

Having clean earbuds ensures they continue functioning correctly. Dirty earbuds often sound distorted. To clean earbuds, you will need rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, a toothbrush, and a microfiber cloth. 

It’s that simple and only requires a few everyday household items! In the rest of this article, we will be walking you through the necessary steps to clean your wireless earbuds. Soon you will have yours sparkling and working like new! 

How do you clean ear wax out of earbuds?

Earbuds are the most common way to listen to music and podcasts. In recent years, earbuds have evolved from the traditional wired headset to true wireless earbuds, such as these top-of-the-line BLX Earbuds from Etshera.

All earbuds, including wireless earbuds for android, can be cleaned with the following methods. 

One quick word of advice: never submerge your earbuds in any liquid. Submerging any electronics into liquid will damage their circuits. Instead of getting clean earbuds, you would have to buy new ones. To avoid this, keep your tech from getting too wet while cleaning. 

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning earbuds with only a microfiber cloth or a completely dry cotton swab. While either of these methods works fine, sometimes they do not do a deep enough clean. We at Etshera want to help you keep your tech as clean as possible, so let’s dive right in! 

Step one: gather the tools you need to clean earbuds

To clean earbuds, you will need to acquire the following:

  • Toothbrush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Microfiber cloth

You will want an unused, completely clean, and dry toothbrush to use to clean earbuds. Using a dirty toothbrush would deposit more debris into the mesh cover. If the toothbrush is wet, it could leave water droplets inside the earbuds, ruining them. 

Step two: remove the silicone or foam covers.

Once you have acquired all the tools above, you can start to clean your earbuds. 

Best tips for how to clean earbuds

If you have silicone or foam covers on your earbuds, the first step is to remove them. Pulling the silicone or foam tips off allows you to get closer to the mesh grid for a deeper clean. We will clean these covers or tips separately. 

Step three: clean earbud covers

In a small dish, combine dish soap with some lukewarm water. Any dish soap brand will work. You will want to mix one part soap with every five parts of water. 

Put the silicone covers into the dish and let them soak for thirty minutes. 

After thirty minutes, dip a cotton swab into the soap mixture. Scrub the earbud covers with the cotton swab to provide a deeper cleansing. 

Set the covers aside on a paper towel to dry. Do not place them back on your clean earbuds until they have completely dried. 

Step 4: Brush the earbud mesh grid

Using a toothbrush, gently brush the mesh grid of your Bluetooth earbuds. 

To do this, hold your earbud facing down towards the ground. Gravity is your friend for cleaning. Facing it downwards will allow debris brushed up to fall out and away from the clean earbuds. 

Brush gently to avoid doing any damage. 

Step 5: Clean earbud with disinfectant

Now that you have gotten most, if not all, of the debris out of the mesh covering, it is time to disinfect it. 

Dip one of the cotton swabs into a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. Gently roll the tip of the swab over the clean earbud’s mesh covering to disinfect and remove any remaining debris.

Do not submerge the cotton swab in the alcohol for too long. You only want it to be slightly damp and not soaked while using it to avoid any alcohol dripping inside the clean earbuds. 

After disinfecting the mesh grid, take a microfiber cloth and lightly dip it into the isopropyl alcohol. Use the microfiber cloth to disinfect the outside of the earbud. 

Step 6: Let the clean earbuds dry.

Once you have finished disinfecting your clean earbuds, it is essential to let them dry thoroughly.

Some people get tempted to speed up this process using a hair dryer. Do not do that. The high temperature of the hair dryer blowing onto the clean earbuds can damage the internal circuits. 

Step 7: Clean earbud charging case

While often forgotten, it is essential to clean your charging case too. Cleaning your charging case will prevent your earbuds from getting dirty as quickly as they did before. 

To clean your charging case, start by taking the microfiber cloth to clean the outside of the case. 

Sometimes it may be necessary to dampen the cloth with rubbing alcohol lightly. Make sure not to let any liquid drip into the charging ports. 

To clean the inside of the case, take the toothbrush and gently brush the inside. Dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto the brush to disinfect the case. 

Once the earbuds and charging case are completely clean and dry, you can return the clean earbuds to their case. 

Best tips for how to clean earbuds

What is the easiest way to clean earbuds?

The easiest and quickest method to clean earbuds is to use air and gravity to blow the earbuds clean and putty to remove the remaining debris. 

Step 1: Blow air to clean earbud

To start, you will need to acquire a bulb blower. Sometimes people try to clean earbuds by blowing into them with their breath. Do not-blowing into your earbuds can result in tiny droplets of saliva entering the mesh grid. 

If your earbuds have silicone or foam ends, you will want to remove those first. Hold the tips away from you. Blow through the back of the covers to clean the inside of them. Once the interior is clean, blow across the front to remove any of the outer debris. 

Face your earbud downwards. Gravity is once again your friend with this method of cleaning. Use a bulb-style blower to blow air into the mesh cover away from your face. 

Blowing away from your face will help keep the grime from ending up in your eyes. Wearing goggles can also help prevent debris from getting in your eyes. Better safe than sorry.

Step 2: Use putty to pick up the remaining debris

After you have used air to blow out debris, some stubborn gunk may still be inside. Often the air may break up more challenging pieces of gunk but will not remove it. 

To remove extra gunk, grab a small amount of putty.

Warm the putty in your hands and then carefully insert it into the grid. Gently pull the putty away from the grid slowly to clean up the remaining gunk and debris. 

If you do not have access to any putty, painters or masking tape can work too. 

Do you need to clean your earbuds?

It is essential to clean your earbuds regularly both for your health and to keep the earbuds working. Clean earbuds function better than dirty ones. 

If your earbuds are dirty, they probably are not working as well. You may be turning your volume up when you all need to do is clean earbuds. Exposure to high volumes, whether you realize it is loud or not, can greatly damage your hearing

Dirty earbuds cause you to miss the full sound of your audio. The audio will often start sounding distorted and less clear. 

On top of not working correctly, dirty earbuds can affect your health. You may get an ear infection from unclean earbuds. Ear infections are painful and can make you very sick. Not cleaning out your earbuds can also cause painful pimples to appear inside your ear.

Taking time once a week to clean earbuds will ensure that you and your tech remain happy and healthy.

Best tips for how to clean earbuds

Is it safe to clean earbuds with rubbing alcohol?

Rubbing alcohol has various uses and is completely safe on your earbuds, as long as you do not use a ton of it. 

Excess amounts of alcohol could drip inside while you clean earbuds. If it does drip inside, it could easily damage the mechanics and ruin them. By using a smaller amount, you minimize this risk while cleaning. 

One perk to using rubbing alcohol is that it dries and evaporates quickly. The quick evaporation will also help minimize the risk of damage. 

You will also want to ensure that the rubbing alcohol does not get on your skin if you use it to clean earbuds. Some people have noted skin irritation when handling rubbing alcohol. To avoid that, either wear gloves or rinse off your skin quickly. 


Routine cleaning can keep your tech working correctly and help you stay healthy. These cleaning methods work on any type of earbud, whether wireless or wired. All you need is a few everyday household items to clean earbuds. Remember to be gentle while scrubbing. If you work too roughly, it may damage them. 

Best tips for how to clean earbuds