Your earbuds are gross. Here's how to clean them

There's a quick fix to a really gross piece of tech.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
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If you're the type of person who refuses to borrow earbuds, here's your vindication. A recent study found that earbuds can harbor 119,186 colony-forming units

That's a lot of bacteria. In fact, that's more than 2,700 times the bacteria that can be found on a kitchen cutting board. These buggers can lead to ear infections or other illness.

Thankfully, you can clean earbuds quickly to get rid of any unwanted passengers.

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A wipe will do it

To sanitize your earbuds, wipe them down after each use with a rubbing alcohol wipe. You can find them in the first aid section of the grocery store in single use packs.

Don't forget the details

Be sure to pay attention to the holes in each bud, too. If you see any earwax in the holes, use a toothpick to wedge it out. Then, cover the end of a toothpick with an alcohol wipe and carefully swab out each hole.

Make sure to let the earbuds dry completely before you store them or wear them. Since alcohol dries quickly, you shouldn't need to wait more than 60 seconds.

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