Wireless earbuds are a convenient and fun way to listen to music and audio without the hassle of untangling wires every time you need to use earbuds. They are easier to carry around and don’t have wires that can break off and get stuck while you wear them. Like any earbud, wireless earbuds can accumulate a lot of dirt and gunk over time, affecting their performance and putting your health on the line. Effectively cleaning and maintaining your wireless earbuds can give them a longer life and help you enjoy your favorite tunes without worrying about all the dirt clogging your earbuds.

For a complete guide on cleaning and maintaining your earbuds and some neat tips and tricks, read on!

Why You May Need to Clean your Wireless Earbuds

We know you love your wireless earbuds. You carry them around everywhere in their case, in your pockets, backpack, purse, or pouch. Leaving out some necessary cleaning and maintenance for long periods can seriously affect your wireless earbuds. Firstly, the dust, sweat, and other debris collected in the mesh and ear tips can block the sound coming from the sound drivers. Over time, this decreases the quality of sound that you receive. It also affects battery consumption and the driver unit’s life as sound waves that do not receive a proper externalization can negatively affect the electrical components of the wireless earbuds.

Secondly, the buildup of biological material such as earwax and sweat along with the earbuds’ ear tips and mesh increases the chances of an ear infection due to the presence of harmful bacteria that start clogging your wireless earbuds.

All of this means that the life of your favorite wireless earbuds gets reduced, and you no longer get that quality performance that you love. That is why it is so incredibly important to clean your wireless earbuds regularly.

How to Get Started

#1 Understanding the Materials

Earbuds are usually made up some standard materials which have their own specific properties. Most wireless earbuds are made of a plastic outer shell made with either Polyvinylchloride (PVC), Polycarbonate (PC), or ABS (acrylic nitrile-butadiene-styrene). In addition to this, the earbuds can be made of either natural rubber or silicone. Rubber and silicone may cause allergies in some people, so only medical grade materials are used which are appropriate for a wide range of people.

Understanding these materials is important to make sure that you do not use the wrong methods or chemicals for their cleaning. All these materials are sensitive to heat, so it is a good idea to keep them away from flames or direct sunlight. Only use the chemicals and materials mentioned below to clean your headphones and to avoid loss or damage.

#2 Prepping Your Earbuds for Cleaning

Now that you’ve decided to clean your wireless earbuds, here’s what you need to know before you get started.

  1. Only concentrate on cleaning the external surface of your wireless earbuds.
  2. Do not attempt to take the earbuds apart as you might damage the internal electrical systems.
  3. Never try to submerge your wireless earbuds in liquid, as it may damage them irreparably.                                                               
  4. When using cleaning liquid such as rubbing alcohol, keep in mind to use only small amounts of the fluid, as you may short the internal electrical components.

#3 Finding the Right Place and Tools

  1. Before you start cleaning, find a comfortable spot to work with lots of light.
  2. It is suggested to use a table so that you don’t accidentally drop and lose your wireless earbuds.
  3. Make sure you have the necessary materials before you start.

#4 Things You Will Need

Here’s a list of things you will need to clean your wireless earbuds properly.

  1. A smooth, clean cloth
  2. A soft-tipped brush, such as a makeup brush or a soft toothbrush
  3. Rubbing alcohol or specialized liquid for cleaning electrical devices.
  4. A Q-tip or cotton-tip

Now that you have everything you need let’s get started!

How to Clean Your Wireless Earbuds – Step-by-Step Guide

A Complete Guide to Cleaning Your Wireless Earbuds 2 1

Step1: Cleaning the Outer Surface

When you’re ready, begin by taking off the rubber/silicon ear tips if your wireless earbuds have them. We will get to those later. First, we’ll start by cleaning the outer body of the wireless earbuds. To do that, you:

  • Take a clean cloth and dip or wet one end of it with the rubbing alcohol or cleaning liquid.
  • Use the cloth to clean the outer surface of the earbuds gently.
  • Remember to cover all angles of the outer body is some parts are contoured.
  • Once the outer body is cleaned, use a dry part of the cloth or tissue to dry the wireless earbuds.

Step2: Cleaning the Mesh/Grill

The next step is to clean the grill of the earbuds. This is the mesh that goes on top of the holes of the wireless earbuds. To clean the grill/mesh:

  • Take the soft toothbrush or makeup brush and gently clean the mesh to remove dirt or other debris by scraping.
  • Dip the Q-tip in the rubbing alcohol or cleaning liquid and very lightly clean the mesh with it, making sure that there is not enough liquid to go inside the mesh.
  • Dry the mesh with a clean Q-tip.

Step3: Cleaning the Ear Tips

Now that the outer body and the mesh are clean, we move on to the ear tips. The ear tips are the part that comes in most contact with the ears. Thus, they have a higher chance of getting dirty. To clean the ear tips:

  • Take the soft brush or toothbrush and scrape the outer surface of the ear tips.
  • Turn the ear tips outwards by taking the loose end and turning it.
  • Clean the inner surface of the flap with the toothbrush.
  • Now, clean the narrow canal of the ear tips with the brush in a circular motion.
  • Take a Q-tip and apply the alcohol to the outer flap, the inner side of the fold, and the internal canal of the ear tips.
  • Leave the ear tips to dry or gently dab with a dry cloth.

Step4: Cleaning the Case

Most wireless earbuds come with a carrying case to store them safely while not in use. These carrying cases have an equal chance of getting dirty along with the wireless earbuds and may need cleaning from time to time. To clean the casing of the wireless earbuds:

  • Take a cloth and wipe the outer body of the casing with rubbing alcohol.
  • Take a Q-tip dipped in alcohol or cleaning liquid and gently clean the charging port, making sure that too much liquid does not enter the port.
  • Dry the outer surface with a dry tissue or cloth.
  • Use the brush to scrape the inner body of the casing gently. (where the wireless earbuds go).
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in cleaning liquid or running alcohol and lightly apply it to the inner surface.
  • Dry the inner surface with a clean Q-tip.

That’s it! Your wireless earbuds are now squeaky clean. Wasn’t it easy? Now that you’re done cleaning the earbuds, here are a few tips for their continued maintenance.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Replacing Rubber Tips

Over time, the rubber or silicone tips that come with your wireless earbuds may wear down or tear. It is a good idea to replace them if you feel that they are damaged, as parts of the ear tips may dislodge and get stuck in your ear during use. You can search online for replacements or visit your nearest tech shop to find the right ones that fit your wireless earbuds. Some earbuds may come with extra ear tips from the manufacturer as well.

Things You Can Use to Keep Your Wireless Earbuds Clean

If you have a carrying case that came with your earbuds, you can safely store your wireless earbuds. If not, it is a good idea to search online to find a case that fits your wireless earbuds. Keeping your wireless earbuds in the case instead of inside pockets or bags saves them from getting dirt and debris stick to them. You can also use an electronic accessories pouch or soft cloth pouches to carry your earbuds when not in use.


Cleaning your wireless earbuds is essential to preserve the life and performance of the product. Following the simple guide above, you can make sure that your wireless earbuds remain in top condition so that you can enjoy your favorite tracks without worrying about all the gunk messing up your experience. Keeping the wireless earbuds charges, stored safely, and using them properly can also benefit the performance and life of the product. Follow any additional guidelines recommended by the manufacturer to ensure top performance for your favorite earbuds.