How To Clean In-ears

It’s time for a refresher on how to clean in-ears. We’ve done a few of these over the years, and while the information may not have changed much, our customer service and service/repair teams remind us of a few ways to keep your IEMs from needing to be sent back to us.

If reading’s not your thing we also made a video:


In-ear devices, such as in-ear monitors, earphones, hearing aids and earplugs are made to be worn inside of the ear canal. Since wax and debris will come into contact with these devices you must carefully and regularly clean them to ensure long-term functionality. We recommend cleaning your custom in-ear monitors after each use.

person with long hair inserting earphones
Skylar Accord inserting 64 Audio CIEMs

Whether for personal devices or multiple sets, in the case of touring bands and churches who use in-ear monitors, follow these recommended steps to safely and effectively keep them in clean and working condition.

multiple people inserting earphones before musical performance
Zara Larson’s band using 64 Audio IEMs

Getting Started

First start by prepping your cleaning station with things like gloves, paper towels, alcohol wipes, q-tips, cleaning pick/brush, and a micro-vacuum cleaner like our VAC Pro. You can also have a microfiber cloth on hand to wipe and polish after cleaning. 

Disinfect the entire shell of the earpiece with alcohol and wipe away any dried wax.

Earphones next to a cleaning tool and alcohol wipes
64 Audio custom in-ear monitors along with a pick/brush tool and alcohol wipes.

Using the pick/brush tool carefully remove wax and debris from the nozzle opening of the earpiece. Take extra precaution not to push wax deeper into the bores or damage any protective screens. Try to rely more heavily on the brush rather than dig too hard with the pick.

closeup of earphones and a cleaning tool
Tia screen being cleaning with a pick/brush tool closeup

After a final wipedown with alcohol, these first two steps should be enough for regular maintenance if you’re cleaning your devices after every use. 

Next Level Clean

For a more thorough cleaning use our VAC Pro along with the various included tips to remove tougher material on the screens or in the bores of the canal.

micro vacuum cleaning an earphone
64 Audio VAC Pro cleaning CIEM

A high-quality UV light can assist you in seeing any remaining wax. When illuminating the IEM you should see straight through the mesh screen. If there is still wax buildup you will see it reflect bright white when exposed to the UV light.

uv light shining on earphones
A UV LED Light illuminating wax buildup in an in-ear monitor.

Finish by cleaning everything with alcohol before repacking. Because our 3D printed shells are made of a high-quality hypoallergenic acrylic, you can safely use alcohol to clean them; especially since it dries so quickly. A quick buff with a micro-fiber cloth should bring back their natural shine.

Don’t Forget

Keep an eye on the included desiccant to make sure it is still able to wick moisture. Prolonged moisture exposure can cause corrosion and damage wiring, drivers, and filters. Each 64 Audio CIEM comes with a desiccant in the lid of the aluminum case. The vibrant orange color indicates that it is still able to wick moisture, if the color has faded you’ll need to replace it.

earphone case and desiccants
An example of charged and spent desiccants

If there’s significant moisture, after a particularly sweaty performance for example, you can utilize a larger desiccant jar to keep the in-ear monitors as dry as possible. 

large desiccant jar

It’s That Easy

Since most service and repairs stem from improper maintenance, following these recommendations can save you a lot of time and money throughout the lifetime of your in-ear devices.

You can also download this simple guide to always keep it handy: HERE