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How to Clean Musicians Earplugs: A Step-by-Step Guide

You play music, and need to know how to keep your earplugs clean?

The How To Clean Musicians Earplugs: A Step-By-Step Guide guide can show you how to clean the foam part of the earplug, which is the most vulnerable. It will tell you how to dry your earplugs so that they're easier to clean in the future, and which type of cleaner you should use.

You play music, and need to know how to keep your earplugs clean?

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

How to Clean Musicians Earplugs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Earplugs are the most widely used hearing protection around. They're easy to use; pop them in your ears, and they block out varying degrees of sound for you, but there's usually one common issue they have with them; they get dirty! If you use foam earplugs over a long period, such as singing and playing music, keeping them clean is essential.

Bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments, such as foam, that's in an ear. Over time, the bacteria from the earplugs could cause ear infection or inflammation. 

disposable earplugs

If you're using disposable earplugs, the type you get from a drugstore, the surefire way to ensure that your earplugs aren't dirty is to dispose of each pair after use. They aren't meant for long-term use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding disposal. Cleaning chemicals that you may use can be challenging to get completely out of the foam and cause ear irritation when inserted into the ear.

It's essential to know how long you can use each hearing protection device (HPD) and care for it to maintain optimal hearing protection. To prolong the lifetime of your HPD, careful use of it makes a tremendous difference—poor treatment of your earplugs can add a foreign material that may not only pose a risk but may make insertion and retention more difficult. The more often the earplugs are worn, the more pollutants increase. 

Earplug pollutants

The more you wear the earplugs, the higher the chances they produce pollutants. When it comes to earplugs, particularly when the dangerous substances on the face of a foam earplug are present or ingested in the body, it can touch the skin. It is vital to know how to clean different earplugs to help you extend their life while offering optimal hearing protection. In most cases, replace your earplugs when dirty, damaged, or don't return to their original shape.

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

Types Of Noises 

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

  1. Get a Bowl Ready With Warm Water

Before we dive into things, it's crucial to know that you should only clean earplugs made of foam or a similar substance. They typically make disposable ones out of silicone putty or soft wax, which means you shouldn't attempt to clean them! The easiest thing to do with foam earplugs is fill a small bowl full of warm water and some cleaning solution. Soap can work well, but many audiologists also recommend hydrogen peroxide. 

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

  1. Remove All Dirt Carefully

Scrub away the dirt after soaking your earplugs sufficiently. Use your fingers or a toothbrush. Preferably, the second alternative is both more productive and a little less unpleasant for you! It doesn't matter how you scrub the dirt off; make sure you get all of it off your earplugs without damaging them. Be gentle and not too aggressive while doing this! The idea for this portion to be saturated was the wax and debris be removed as fast as possible.

  1. Wash, Clean, and Air Dry

The cleaning process is almost over; you can wash your earplugs, disinfect them, and dry them. It's quick to scrub them off under cold tap water for a few seconds until all the debris and soap is removed. Next, according to how clean you want them to be, you have an alternative phase. If you're going to prevent a build-up of any bacteria, they intend the alcohol spray to disinfect your earplugs. 

An audiologist would strongly recommend this since it stops bacterial infections from invading your ears. Finally, it would help if you left your earplugs to dry. Please don't use a blow dryer or wipe with a cloth; only let them naturally get dry air. You should have an extra pair of plugs to wear again until these are thoroughly cleaned.

  1. Preserve the Earplugs

Your earplugs need to be sustained in other aspects together with daily washing. A proper cleaning system holds them in the best possible state and prevents bacteria's rapid infection. First, ensure that while not in service, keep them in a container.

This keeps not only the earplugs clean and safe; it also protects them from being crushed and destroyed. You have plenty of fluff and gravel, which can get stuck to them, right as you put them in your pocket. 

Second, if possible, wear them only when in need! Very much use can soon cause earplugs to get filthy. Talk to the audiologist, and they will advise you how important it is to wear them and how sensible it is to remove them. Last, to maintain your earplugs and keep them clean, try to keep your ears clean!

If you generate too much earwax, 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!

Summing Up

Hopefully, this will assist you to understand better how to clean up your earplugs and take care of them. 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.

Other Questions

Why do musicians wear earplugs on stage?

Throughout their life, musicians are constantly exposed to loud sounds. Protecting their hearing is just as important as protecting their voice hence a lot of musicians use hearing protection such as earplugs because constant exposure to loud noise can be very damaging for ears and may result in tinnitus or hearing loss.

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person hears ringing or buzzing in their ears, which can be very annoying. There are specially designed earplugs for musicians which let them hear all the music but at a lower level. It means that earplugs suppress the sound level and lessens its severity, making it safe for the musicians.


how do musicians earplugs work?

Musicians depend a lot on their hearing, which is why they use earplugs to protect it. Specially designed musicians’ earplugs are available in the market which lessens the frequency of the sounds which means that the musician will still be able to hear all sounds but they will not be as harsh.

These earplugs have a diaphragm which serves as an acoustic compliance, and a custom earmold, in which the volume of the air in the sound bore works as an acoustic mass. Together, these two produce resonance at approximately 2700 Hz which results in smooth, flat attenuation across the frequency spectrum.


What can I use instead of earplugs?

Earplugs are a very effective tool for blocking noise and protecting your ears, but some people feel uncomfortable due to the presence of a foreign object in their ears. Such people can use headphones instead of earplugs. Headphones also block the noise by masking it, and they are also quite comfortable to use as they go over your ears and not inside them.

Similarly, earmuffs can also be used their clamping force is higher than that of normal headphones which is why they provide excellent noise reduction and can prove to be very effective. Earmuffs are also cushioned, so they are quite comfortable as well.


If you require more information, please check these references

Audiological and electrophysiological assessment of professional pop/rock musicians , article, "www.noiseandhealth.org", retrieved on, Wed 11-November-2020

An evaluation of musician earplugs with college music students , article, "www.tandfonline.com", retrieved on, Wed 11-November-2020

Do In-Ear Monitors Protect Musicians' Hearing? , article, "www.aes.org", retrieved on, Wed 11-November-2020


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

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