Why Clean Earwax from AirPods but Not Ears?

Why Clean Earwax from AirPods but Not Ears?

Firstly earwax also known as cerumen is natural and is supposed to be produced because it plays a crucial role in maintaining ear health. It’s produced by the glands in the ear canal that have protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. Having said this the primary role and reason for earwax is to trap dust, debris, and bacteria which prevents them from further entering the deeper parts of the ear where they could cause infection or damage.

Furthermore, earwax helps to keep your ear canal lubricated, preventing dryness and itching. According to an article from the Harvard Health section, it’s generally unnecessary to clean the ear as it is self-cleaning. However, exceptions include where some people might make more than the usual person, especially in the elderly where it becomes harder and drier than usual read more about ear care at Harvard Health.

Why Clean Earwax of AirPods Instead?


Earwax can impair the functionality of the AirPods components as it clogs the speakers preventing them from emitting their vibration for sound. Similarly, earwax can cover the proximity of the sensors which can disrupt the automatic play and pause features triggered by removing or inserting the AirPods. Over time, this can result in reduced responsiveness of your earbud device and therefore produce a poor user experience.

Sound Quality

The obvious effect earwax has on sound quality is that it creates a barricade medium that blocks the output volume. Not only does this obstruction result in lower volume but also can cause muffled audio which leaves an overall degradation of the listening experience.

Health Implications With Excess Earwax On AirPods

Earwax on your AirPods poses several health risks that users should be made aware of. Firstly earbuds can lead to skin irritation in and around the ear canal, which causes discomfort and can evolve into infections. Bacteria love to breed in moist earwax which is prevalent when you’re listening in with your dirty AirPods that have not been cleaned. You’re asking for an ear infection down the track if you don’t action this. One other impact is when accumulated earwax in your AirPods pushes and mixes with your already naturally produced earwax pressing against the eardrum, affecting its ability to vibrate properly and thus disturbing normal hearing processes. This is more of an indirect impact, but shouldn’t be ignored.

Simple Cleaning Best Practices For AirPods

Some simple solutions to cleaning your AirPods at home are to use soft, lint-free cloths, or cotton buds if you have any.. If you’re using a liquid solution to assist with this we recommend avoiding using it directly onto the AirPods as this could ruin the internal electronic components. Instead, pour a small amount on your lint-free cloth and wipe down gently. Here is a more thorough guide on how to clean your AirPods. Otherwise, you can opt in for a dedicated tool such as the Hybuds Pen that will do the trick to ensure your AirPods are clean anywhere at any time.

Comparative Analysis: Ears vs. AirPods

The ears produce earwax biologically as a defense mechanism, providing lubrication and protection against debris, dust, bacteria, and even fungal infections. Removing earwax aggressively directly from the ear can disrupt this natural process and can result in potential ear problems such as infections or hearing impairment. For more detailed information on the functions and importance of earwax, see Cleveland Clinic's resource here.

In contrast, AirPods is where earwax should be removed because it benefits you in terms of your device’s functionality such as better sound quality and performance.

Unlike human ears, which have a self-cleaning mechanism, AirPods need external cleaning to prevent technical issues and ensure better hygiene.

Key Takeaways

  • Natural Protection: Earwax serves as a natural barrier for ears, preventing dirt and other impurities from further entering the ear canal that could lead to hearing impairment and infection. Avoid aggressive cleaning to preserve this protection
  • Device Care: Unlike ears, AirPods lack self-cleaning mechanisms so therefore require regular maintenance to maintain sound quality and functionality
  • Hygiene Practices: Cleaner AirPods improve your hygiene and health by indirectly preventing bacteria-infested earwax from re-entering your ears.
  • Health Benefits: Following these practices benefits your personal health by preventing ear-related issues.
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