Cleaning IEMs
May 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

musikaladin

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Gosh... those IEMs are collecting quite some ear-wax. Especially if there is such little ultra-fine mesh covering the sound-channel of the IEM.
Now my beloved Monster Miles Davis Trumpet was quite heavily messy. I spare you pictures of that...
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So how to get rid of the wax without actually pushing it through the mesh into the inner cavity of the IEM, since this is the last place where you wanna have wax accumulating...
 
I thought a kind of mini vacuum cleaner could help. They surely exist, but I didn't find an adequate one.
 
So I thought of ways to use a traditional vacuum cleaner.
 
Step 1
 

 
I created a paper funnel with a diameter larger than the one of the vacuum cleaner's tube.
 
Step 2
 

 
I put a drinking straw into it and fixed it with sticky-tape to the smaller end of the funnel. The straw needs to be longer than the funnel because it needs to stick out at either side of it (see step 1).
 
Step 3
 

 
I put it over the vacuum cleaner's tube
 
Step 4
 
 

 
I turn it on, and the negative pressure inside the funnel immediately squeezes it. But the straw inside remains stable enough to withstand. Air is now flowing through the straw. Just make sure that the ventilation-hole on the vacuum cleaner's tube is open far enough so the negative pressure does not become too strong and also squeezes the straw. Of course I used the lowest power-adjustment of the vacuum cleaner.
 
Step 5
 

 
I dipped the IEM's wax-covered mesh into some alcohol to dissolve the wax.
 
Step 6
 

 
Now I use the suction to get the wax / alcohol mix from the mesh.
 

 
...or in other words, let the little sucker do his job...:
 

 
The negative pressure even keeps the IEM in place. Still, make sure, that the ventilation hole of the Vacuum cleaner's tube is open wide enough so the air flow is weak enough not to damage the membrane or anything else in the IEM. In my case this was not a problem, it works all fine after cleaning.
 
Now repeat that procedure with the alcohol dipping until the mesh is clean.
 
This is how it looked like after the process:
 

 
Now, you didn't see how it looked like before, but believe me, the difference is not just subtle
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So I am a happy IEM owner again...
 

 
All of it (including the handicrafts) didn't take longer than half an hour.
 
Of course all repetitions / reproductions of this cleaning process at one's own risk!
 
Cheers
 
May 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM Post #4 of 6

TurbinePro

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Nice! this post I really enjoyed. Can't wait to try it out on my Coppers....... or maybe I'll be too lazy to do so.
 

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