If you don’t use earphones yourself, you are sure to know someone who does. They are the ultimate way to listen to music when people are out and about – and even in their own homes – and you’ll see them every time you go anywhere. However, if these earphones are not kept clean of wax, you could be subject to some nasty problems such as your eardrum growing bacteria, swimmer’s ear, and damage to the skin. If you share your earphones then the likelihood of getting any ear infections is doubled.

So keeping your earphones free of wax and clean will help you. You won’t get any infections, plus the sound quality will be better.

Why you should clean your earphones and keep them free of waxHere’s how it can be done

Cleaning your earphones has to be done carefully so that they are not damaged. Due to the electronics within them, too much water or chemicals can stop them from working altogether. It’s better to use a cloth that is barely damp and is soft and – of course – clean. If you want to be completely sure, you can buy special wipes to do the job, but this is an expense that you don’t need to pay out for because you should have everything you need already.

This includes a gentle kitchen detergent. These detergents are formulated to kill bacteria which is why they can be useful for cleaning earphones. Dilute the detergent with lukewarm water and use a soft cloth to dab the earpiece. Ideally, you should remove the earphone covers to clean them properly, but this isn’t always possible, and it will depend on the make and model.

For the most stubborn areas of grime, an old toothbrush can be the most useful tool, and you may need to scrub harder – but never too hard otherwise you will run the risk of damage again. To make it easier, run a cotton swab with the tiniest amount of alcohol on it into the grime before going at it with the toothbrush.