How a pro deep cleans AirPods encrusted with earwax

Originally published at: How a pro deep cleans AirPods encrusted with earwax | Boing Boing


Why…who…would let them get so gross?!?
Oh, is it teenagers?


If you have the stomach for it,

i don’t.


The close ups are vomit worthy. Really…

P.S. My Gross-a-Meter is now broken.


I’m moderately interested to know these secrets, but not sufficiently interested to watch a 5+ minute video. So what’s the magic ingredient? WD40? Some particular solvent? Boiling water?


Stated to be “pure alcohol”. well (says this old chemist), that isn’t very specific; but we’ll assume either isopropanol (“rubbing alcohol”) or ethanol. Neither likely “pure” just higher concentrations… there of …maybe


I watched the whole thing and while it does not register at all on the gore or toilet excrement scales, it is grody.

As a public service I will summarize so you do not have to throw up in your mouth a little:

A little soap and water, a toothpick or two for the corners around the edge, a tiny stiff brush, and round after round till its clean. Those are the secret skilz.


Yet another argument for on-ear / over-ear headphones.


I think maybe this could be an argument in favor of using Q-Tips. I use them regularly to clean my ears and my earbuds don’t look even half this gross.


That was oddly interesting.


Alcohol, but for the worst pair he used something called “mr muscle” which is a window cleaner. Probably has lots of alcohol also. I’d stick with 90% isopropanol since anything with water content would probably damage the electronics. The alcohol evaporates easily without leaving moisture behind to corrode or short the internals.

Overall very gross. People need to clean their friggin ears more often. Also, earbuds are just fucking gross in general. I mean couple anyone imagine putting even something half as dirty in their ears? Gross! ear infection much?


Having looked to the Spartans, I have denied myself the pleasure of watching this reportedly marvelous video.

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I’ve been elbow deep in watery stinking choleric guts, felt my brain fry from formalin fumes during microdissection, suctioned boogers the size of a plum, hand ground spleens and other organs, and smelt the worst that anaerobic bacterial culture has to offer growing on plates made from congealed rotting blood, but ear wax issues still make me insta-hurl.

If my family had really wanted me to become a medical doctor instead of going into biomedical research, they really shouldn’t have taken me on a tour of “this is what an infected central line looks and smells like” so young.


Glass cleaner tends to be used a lot in applications where you want something that’s going to be mostly safe and evaporate since it’s designed to do both. I’ve seen a lot of computer repair folks use it for stubborn stains on cases and even some electronics, but yeah rubbing alcohol/etc is preferred.

Part of me wants more of an explanation, and part of me doesn’t… lol I guess I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Fastest way to get immune cells out and study them!

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Ok, so these were from cadavers. That’s… good. :rofl:


Occasional cleaning with poster putty or a kneaded drawing eraser can help keep the crud from building up. Just push a little piece of room-temperature (not too warm) putty/eraser firmly against the grill and then pull it away and discard it, then maybe go around the edges with a toothpick, and voila.

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