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Disinfect and thoroughly cleaning used/secondhand/refurb

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I searched the forums for posts on cleaning IEMs and general advice is to use non-alcohol wipes to clean followed by gently damped wipe to remove cleaning solution, finished with a pat dry.  But if you purchased a refurb pair, or a used pair, how would you thoroughly (but safely) disinfect them?  I don't want to get a staph infection or something just for trying to live slightly outside of my means you know what I'm saying? redface.gif

 

Example of problem I'd like to avoid:

http://www.ojhas.org/issue26/2008-2-4.htm

post #2 of 11

Sharing earphones is like sharing the same snot rag amongst friends. I use isopropyl alcohol with a q-tip to disinfect small electronic devices because it evaporates very quickly and doesn't leave any residue.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip N' Burn View Post

Sharing earphones is like sharing the same snot rag amongst friends. I use isopropyl alcohol with a q-tip to disinfect small electronic devices because it evaporates very quickly and doesn't leave any residue.



But isn't using alcohol risky to the fabric, foam or other materials?  This is running slightly contradictory to other posts.  For the sake of keeping track, would you mind telling what earphones + tips you are using?

post #4 of 11

I use either foam or silicon tips. With foam tips I submerge them in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (can be purchased from a local pharmacy) for 10 minutes, then I rinse them out with tap water, and then I put them in uncooked rice overnight to absorb all of the moisture. For silicon tips, I just use regular hand soap and water. That's what an audiologist recommended to me.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bummrounde View Post





But isn't using alcohol risky to the fabric, foam or other materials?  This is running slightly contradictory to other posts.  For the sake of keeping track, would you mind telling what earphones + tips you are using?



 

post #5 of 11

My first post referred to just the earphones without any tips.

post #6 of 11

Alcohol is overkill and not necessary to clean used things. Just clean your stuff like you'd clean anything else. I don't know why you'd ever use secondhand foam tips, but for regular tips, you'd very likely be fine with just a rinse with tap water and soap. For everything else, a quick wipe-down with a antibacterial wipe would suffice. You don't wash your hands regularly with alcohol or peroxide, so I'm not sure why people like to use that.

post #7 of 11

Hm, I have IEMs in need of earwax removal...but I don't have access to hydrogen peroxide right now.  Would alcohol work instead...?

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

Hm, I have IEMs in need of earwax removal...but I don't have access to hydrogen peroxide right now.  Would alcohol work instead...?


Probably depends on what they are made of.

And FYI in fact I use hand sanitizer regularly which is alcohol based. Can I just use that on tips and phones I wonder?
post #9 of 11

Wonder if I can just use some vodka I have lying around.  I don't think I have any isopropyl alcohol on hand right now. :P

post #10 of 11

I've always used isopropyl alcohol to clean any IEMs I've sold.  I clean all my tips with it too, even the foam ones.  The only problem I've found is open cell foam balloons up when using alcohol.  They go back to normal when the alcohol evaporates.  Hydrogen peroxide doesn't do this, and you could use alcohol and then H2O2 and effectively rinse the alcohol out of the foam and have it like normal right away.  There isn't anything stopping you from using both. :p

 

I will note that isopropyl doesn't get rid of some substances, like greasy stuff.  It's a good sanitizer and a wetting tool to wipe off any dust/grim.  Often this is all that is needed.  If you're a little more messy, you may still need to step to a soap of some sort to get the product fully clean.

post #11 of 11

For silicone tips, I use:

  1. One drop of soap
  2. Water
  3. Into a small dish

I drop the tips in, and let them clean...  Good as new (directions were actually given by the manufacturer; forgot which one)

 

For the headphones themselves, I just clean off the ear wax.  If it has a removable cap, I clean/replace it.  Then you can wipe off the exterior with a damp cloth (better yet, shoot it with a UV light, all around, not just the exterior).

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