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Helpful Hint: Clean earbuds gently, carefully

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FARGO – Earbuds are one of those things you use daily, whether it’s at your desk at work or on the treadmill at the gym, but you rarely think to clean.

Well, they need cleaning. Earwax and oils can build up in them and bacteria can grow in them, which can affect sound quality or even cause ear infections.

There are a few different ways to freshen them up, depending on which type of buds you use, but cleaning both types requires a gentle, careful touch. Mainly, that means no submersion in water, not even running them under a faucet.

For earbuds with removable covers:

  • Remove the covers and gently clean them with a cloth dipped in a small amount of a mixture of dishwashing detergent and water. Make sure the soap doesn’t leave any residue.
  • Use a dry toothbrush to scrub out any dust or crumbs from the metal structure underneath.
  • Let the covers dry completely before you reattach them.

For earbuds without removable covers:

  • Go over the buds with a dry toothbrush.
  • Clean the sides with a cloth or Q-tip dipped in a small amount of a mixture of dishwashing detergent and water. Again, make sure the soap doesn’t leave any residue.

To help reduce dirt between cleanings, keep them in an earbud bag, a drawstring jewelry pouch or a Ziploc bag.

Sources: Good Housekeeping and PopSugar

Meredith Holt

Meredith Holt is a features/business reporter for The Forum who covers topics in health, mental health, social issues, women's issues, arts and entertainment, food and more. She also writes a column on health and wellness, body image and media representationShe was a copy editor/page designer for six years prior to joining the features team in March 2012.

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