Earplugs are the most widely-used hearing protection around. They’re very simple to use; just pop them in your ears and they block out varying degrees of sound for you. At Cosmetic Hearing Solutions, we’ve provided earplugs to many clients and there’s usually one common issue they have with them; they get dirty!

Yes, the main problem with this hearing protection is that they can become quite filthy when they’re not properly maintained. Mostly, this is due to wax building up in your ears and rubbing off on the earplug. So, if you’re experiencing this issue, then take a look at the advice below to see how you clean them:

Get a bowl ready with warm water

Before we really dive into things, it’s crucial to know that you should only clean earplugs that are made of foam or a similar substance. Disposable ones are typically made out of silicone putty or soft wax, which means you shouldn’t attempt to clean them!

With foam earplugs, the easiest thing to do is to fill a small bowl full of warm water and some type of cleaning solution. Soap can work well, but hydrogen peroxide is also recommended by many audiologists.

After this, you should just leave them in there to soak in the warm water solution for a few minutes. By doing this, it helps loosen up the earwax – and any other dirt – making it much easier to remove.

Gently scrub away all the dirt

When your earplugs have been soaked for long enough, you can remove them and start scrubbing away at the dirt. Some people will use their fingers for this, while others prefer to use a toothbrush. Ideally, the second option is both more effective and a little less disgusting for you!

It doesn’t really matter how you scrub the dirt off, just make sure you get all of it off your earplugs without damaging them. To do this, you have to be gentle and not too forceful! The whole point of soaking them was to make this part as easy as possible – the wax and dirt should fall off very quickly.

Rinse, disinfect and air dry

The cleaning process is nearly complete, all that’s left to do is rinse off your earplugs, give them a bit of disinfectant and dry them. Rinsing them is as easy as just running them underneath a cold water tap for a few seconds until all soap and dirt are gone.

Next, you have an optional step depending on how clean you want to be. If you want to prevent a build-up of any bacteria, then you should disinfect your earplugs with an alcohol spray. An audiologist will highly recommend this as it prevents bacteria from entering your ears and causing infections.

Finally, you need to leave your earplugs to dry. Don’t use a hair dryer or dab them with a cloth; just let them air dry naturally. When they’re completely dry, you’ve got a clean pair of plugs to wear once more.

Maintaining your earplugs

Alongside regular cleaning, your earplugs need to be maintained in other ways. A good maintenance routine helps keep them in the best condition possible and avoids instances where they quickly become dirty and full of bacteria.

Firstly, make sure you keep them in a case whenever they’re not being used. Not only does this protect your earplugs from getting squashed and damaged, but it also keeps them clean and away from bacteria. If you just popped them in your pocket, then you have loads of fluff and dirt that can get stuck to them.

Secondly, only wear them when necessary! Too much use will lead to the earplugs getting dirty very quickly. Speak to your audiologist and they’ll tell you when it’s necessary to wear them and when it makes sense to take them out.

Lastly, to maintain your earplugs and keep them clean, you should also try and keep your ears clean! If you generate too much earwax, then you should talk to your audiologist and ask about professional ear cleaning or wax removal. This can stop your plugs from being caked in wax every time you put them in!

We hope this helps you better understand how to clean and take care of your reusable earplugs. Now, if you’re interested in getting your hands on some custom-made earplugs – or other ear protection devices – then get in touch with our team today. Call us at (571) 312-7345 and we’ll tell you more about this service – or we can book an appointment for you right now!