It’s time to scrub those ear buds

How many of you watched Taylor Swift’s newest music video and used earbuds?

I’m willing to bet the majority of you did. If you walk down the street, chances are there are a bunch of people wearing headphones or earbuds and completely ignoring your request to let you pass on the sidewalk.

Just think about it. Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones last year. They also sold 2.96 million iPods. Add those numbers together and you get 38.16 million pairs of Apple earbuds acquired in 2014 alone.

Holy cow.

But have you ever wondered about the cleanliness of your earbuds as you stick them in your ear? I cringe every single time I drop my earbuds on the ground. Just thinking of all the dirt and bacteria makes me want to wipe them down.

Oh, and if you share your earbuds? Even more bacteria.

All of this leaves you increasingly at risk of getting an ear infection, and those aren’t pleasant.

Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to regularly clean your earbuds. Try regularly wiping them down with a damp cloth and some gentle cleanser, like dish soap. No harsh chemicals needed!

You could also take a dry toothbrush and softly scrape the metal part of your earbuds to brush away any dust that’s stuck in there. Need to get out some earwax? Scrape off as much as you can with a toothpick – again, be gentle – and then apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto each bud. Remember to only put small amounts of liquid, since large amounts can damage the wiring. After the hydrogen peroxide has settled in for a few minutes, brush the buds again with a toothbrush and then wipe with a damp cloth.

If your earbuds have removable silicone covers, be sure to remove those first to avoid inflicting unnecessary water damage. Remember to never put your headphones under water–that’s pretty much guaranteed to mess them up for good.

And need I say this…? Don’t clean your earbuds without detaching them from whatever they’re plugged into!

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