How to Clean Foam Earbuds

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Updated October 17, 2022

If you’re investing in the best headphones, you should know how to clean them. That’s why learning how to clean foam earbuds is so essential. This popular design makes up a few of the best wireless earbuds on the market. Since this style of headphones sits in your ear canal, it’s crucial to clean them regularly so that they last. Keep reading to find out the best method for how to clean foam earbuds.


  • The first step is to check your earbuds for any damage. After that, you can begin deconstructing them. Just pop the foam tips off of the earbuds.
  • Once you have the foam tips popped off, it’s time to clean them. Use soapy water first, then rinse them thoroughly with plain water and a paper towel.
  • Finally, it’s time to clean the body of your earbuds. Do so using a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol. Use as little as possible to avoid damage to your earbuds.

Cleaning Your Earbud Foam

Knowing how to clean earbuds will help them last much longer. Since they sit directly in your ear canal, they tend to get pretty dirty. Wax removal is especially crucial if you want your earbuds to keep working. For example, if you’ve been wondering, “Why are my earbuds so quiet?” this might be the answer. An earwax blockage on the bud mesh can significantly affect volume.

Insider Tip

Regular cleaning can improve the sound quality of your earbuds.

STEP 1 Check for Damage

First, check thoroughly for signs of damage. For a wired pair, that includes checking the headphone jack. After you look them over, you’ll remove the foam earbud tips from your headphones. Do this by gently pinching them and pulling them off. Be extremely careful to avoid causing damage.

STEP 2 Clean the Foam Tips

From there, you will wash the foam tips using mild soap and warm water. After cleaning the gunk off the foam, ensure you rinse well using clean, warm water. Using a paper towel, you can gently squeeze out excess water from the foam tips. Do not use a hair dryer to dry them, or you could damage the tips.

STEP 3 Clean the Earbuds

Now that the tips are clean, it’s time to move on to the rest of your earbuds. You’ll start with the mesh screen that produces sound. First, use a dry, soft toothbrush to remove most of the gunk. Then, use a cotton swab dipped in a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to gently wipe away built-up gunk and wax.

STEP 4 Wipe Them Off

Use a different cotton swab and gently wipe off the rest of the earbud. Once done, you should have a fresh, clean pair. This will help keep your ears clean and improve audio quality. Just plug them in or wirelessly connect them to your audio device of choice and enjoy! However, you might need to learn how to connect Bluetooth earbuds to PS4 first.


Only use mild soapy water to clean your earbud foam.

STAT: Six million wired headphones were marketed in Russia in the first nine months of 2021, down from nearly nine million recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. At the same time, the sales of wireless headphones grew by 11 percent over the same timeframe. (source)

How to Clean Foam Earbuds FAQs

Why do I need to clean my foam earbuds?

Regular cleaning is necessary if you like to keep your ears clean. However, that isn’t the only reason. Keeping them clean also means they’ll last longer, so you can avoid replacing them.

Are memory foam earbud tips any good?

Yes, for several reasons. The biggest is that they can create a more immersive experience by dampening external noise. This happens because they create a tighter seal in your ear canal.

Does memory foam reduce discomfort?

That depends mainly on personal preference. However, many consumers report that memory foam is far more comfortable than traditional materials. They’re always worth trying.

How do you choose ear tips?

Most brands include different-sized ear tips because every ear shape is slightly different. You want a snug fit that doesn’t go too far into your ear canal. Try all the other sizes included to see what feels best.
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