How to Clean iPod Earbuds

IPod's in-ear headphones, called earbuds, produce clear sound, while their small size allows them to fit nearly anywhere for storage. However, iPod earbuds have silicone and mesh components that quickly become dirty when exposed to earwax, pocket lint and household contaminants. Use gentle products to clean your iPod earbuds but avoid allowing the electronic components to become wet.

Earwax can clog the mesh screens of iPod earbuds, reducing sound quality.
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Remove Surface Debris

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe away surface debris from the outside of the earbuds and wires. A microfiber cleaning cloth is ideal for this purpose as it can remove dust without scratching logos and other details.

Clean the Silicone Caps

Some types of iPod earbuds have removable silicone tips designed to fit tightly within the ear canal. You can clean these by removing them from the earbuds and washing them in a mild solution of soap and water. Use a cotton swab to dislodge debris if needed. Rinse away the soap and allow the tips to dry completely before using them.

Clean Removable Mesh Screens

If your iPod earbuds have silicone tips, the mesh screens underneath are removable. Twist the screens to remove them and dislodge grime by placing the screens in a solution of hot water and a small amount of soap or hydrogen peroxide. According to Apple, you should avoid scrubbing the screens as they are easily warped. Replace the screens after rinsing and drying them completely.

Clean Permanent Mesh Screens

If your iPod earbuds lack removable silicone tips, the mesh screens are permanent and can't be removed. Dissolve earwax by applying a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with a strength no higher than three percent (commonly available in drugstores). After allowing a few minutes for the peroxide to loosen the earwax, remove the earwax with a soft toothbrush. Dry the earbuds before using them again.