OK to use alcohol wipes on IEM eartips?
June 21, 2014 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Is it fine to clean my silicone eartips with alcohol-based wipes? I've been doing it for a few years, and even the same tips for quite a while, without noticing any problem. Yet some scant audiophile advice on the Net says don't use alcohol. I'm wondering "Why not?" But I'm concerned if I am doing damage... Sometimes I do soak them in soapy water, but it's so time-saving to wipe them down with these pads from the first-aid aisle; plus, they -- and my ears -- stay pretty clean anyway. (I have standard silicone tips that came with Brainwavz and other brands of in-ear monitors.) Thank you.
posted by noelpratt2nd to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Alcohol and most cleaners will dry and make silicone brittle over time. If you decide to continue with it, use a moistened cloth to remove any alcohol residue.
posted by artdrectr at 1:53 PM on June 21, 2014

I bought a whole big packet of generic replacement tips for like two pounds on Amazon. I don't bother cleaning mine but even if I did, I wouldn't worry about damage and just replace them every 3-6 months from the big packet anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 2:46 PM on June 21, 2014

Response by poster: I've cleaned the same pair for two years this way and they still work real fine. Gets rid of germs best, too. But yes, if time allows, the alky residue wiped off is good advice. I figured the answer was that it dries things out. But again, I haven't really been able to tell. Probably folks just being cautious. Thanks.
posted by noelpratt2nd at 2:59 PM on June 21, 2014

Best answer: Avoiding the advice of audiophiles will make you a happier person, while probably not degrading your life one bit. If you've been doing it and it doesn't hurt them, then it's fine. If it screws them up, get a bag of replacement tips for a few bucks.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:06 PM on June 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just ordered 10 pair from amazon for about $4.50 including shipping. 10 black, 10 clear buds arrived, and they fit my JVC (XX, actually) in-ear headphones, but I just looked over the silicone-tipped brainwavz headphones and they look identical. Here's the item I ordered.

First thing I did was tell everyone I know, because I'll probably lose my hearing from aging before I make it through 10 spare pairs, so other people should have access too.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:47 AM on June 22, 2014

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