Once And For All, This Is How--And How Often--You Should Clean Earbud Headphones

November 7, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | Style

It seems like perfectly good logic: any device we’re sticking in and out of our ears will eventually need a thorough cleaning, right? But, to be honest, our iPhone ear plugs scare us a bit. They seem fragile and prone to destruction if we so much as touch them the wrong way. When gunk accumulates on our headphones after one too many uses or from being thrown into the bottom of our gym bags, there are a few tricks iPhone devotees use to carefully clean their ear plugs without destroying them.

Using a toothpick, carefully rub all of the holes in the ear plugs to dislodge dust and dirt. Next, use a disinfecting wipe to gently clean the ear pods and cable. If you prefer to use isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab, be extremely careful that you don’t get alcohol into the holes of the ear plug, which can muffle sound and basically ruin them forevermore. No matter what type of disinfectant you choose, read the label and check to make certain it doesn’t contain acetone, which will melt plastic.

Wait at least 10 minutes after cleaning your headphones to let them dry before using them. As far as how often you should disinfect your iPhone ear plugs, that all depends on how often you use them and whether you’ve noticed the sound quality slipping recently. Before you toss them away and decide you need a new pair, try giving them new life with a good old-fashioned cleaning.

For more iPhone tips, check out 4 genius ways to organize your iPhone apps and 5 things you’re doing that will eventually break your iPhone.

Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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