FAQ Series: How to Clean Earbuds (Properly)


This week we’re going to talk about cleaning your headphones, while tactfully avoiding going into detail about what you need to clean them of.

As we pointed out last week, bodies are weird; and ears are weirder. 
Inevitably, using earbuds to immerse yourself in your favourite tunes, games podcasts and books for several hours a day is going to lead to some wear and tear. You can avoid this developing into heavy wear and permanent tear easily.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Not using your buds? Store. Them. In. The. Case.

Earphones – and particularly true wireless earbuds – are like string, socks or Lego; taking 10 seconds to store them properly now will save 5 minutes hunting behind a radiator or wrestling a cat* later on. For true wireless buds this has the added benefit of charging them for the next time you need them; for our other models this has the added benefit of putting your earbuds in a large, black object that won’t mate with your keys in your pocket.
* The fan-favourite RHA international 3-year warranty covers any defect arising from manufacturing. Your pets are not a result of the RHA design and manufacturing process.

Cleaning Silicone Tips

As we mentioned last week, tips can get gummed up – and this affects the fit, the sound quality and the noise isolation. As such, cleaning your tips can be a great way to quickly upgrade the quality of your listening. Remove the tips (remove the tips (remove the tips)) first, and dab them with a warm cloth, or an alcohol cleaning wipe to remove the gunk.

Cleaning the Filters

The fine metal grille over the sound pipe (that doesn’t sound like a technical name but it actually is) can become blocked with, eh, stuff. This is not abnormal: this is what it’s there for. If this happens, gently dab with an alcohol cleaning wipe or VERY gently dab with a cotton bud that is SLIGHTLY damp with warm water. If it’s time to swap these out for new filters, get in touch with our 5-star customer care team who can walk you through it.

Cleaning the Housings

Most blemishes can be removed with rubbing a clean duster (or, who are we kidding, your sleeve, preferably clean). Our headphones are made from a number of different materials – ABS, aluminium and stainless steel. The one thing that works on all of these surfaces is alcoholic cleaning wipes. We would recommend you buy these from a shop, and don’t make them yourself. That would be i) inviting trouble and ii) a terrible waste of alcohol.


Things We Have Legit Been Asked

Washing machines/dishwashers: Please don’t. IP55 protection covers a lot, but it doesn’t cover this.
Bleach: Bleach melts plastic. Don’t use bleach.
Can I take it apart? You can! If you want to break it and void the warranty!

We could continue to wax lyrical about the benefits of keeping your buds clean, but all we ask is that if you're having trouble getting sound from one of your earbuds, check it's not blocked with stuff, so we don't have to.

(We've even put together a cleaning playlist for your benefit.)

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