As I’ve mentioned before, in these pages, I am a regular on the bike paths of my neighborhood. It’s an enthusiasm for exercise that comes with some complications. For example, when I take to the streets, I have to leave behind my beloved over-the-ear headphones for more practical earbuds: hough not as comfortable, the tiny speakers on my earbuds allow me to hear approaching vehicles, while still providing enough volume to enjoy whatever podcast or music I’m into.
So, forced to switch, and being just neurotic enough to worry about these things, I had to look up ways to keep the ‘buds clean. I mean, the nasty little things must be covered in bacteria, right?
Satisfying my inner-Seinfeld is this post from Geek Sugar. They suggest using “soap and warm water. No need to go too heavy-duty here; try a mix of dishwashing detergent and water… If there’s a lot of dirt or dust in the metal part of your earbuds, try brushing them with a dry toothbrush to dislodge the dust.”
Alarmingly, the same article mentions a 2008 study that says,
Harmful bacteria was found on 92 per cent of ear swabs taken from people who regularly shared their earphones with friends, compared with only eight per cent of those who shared less frequently.
Of course, as blogger Marisa Gingrich points out, “The moral of the story here is that, yes, earbuds are full of bacteria and germs. But so is everything else.” Well, that’s just great. Thanks, Marisa.