If you are ashamed to take your earplugs out of your ears in public because of what may be caked in there and yet too disgusting to clean them at home you better believe there’s a Kickstarter product to fix that. Imagine a washing machine reduced to sit on a desk that cleans earplugs instead of clothes. That’s what the Cardlax EarBuds Washer promises.
Cardlax admittedly sounds like a bizarre name for a product like this, mainly because it rhymes a little, but not quite, with ear wax. The name is actually a carry-over from a previous product the makers successfully crowdfunded: an electric muscle stimulation massager the size of a credit card. The two products seemingly have nothing in common, other than doing work on behalf of a user: mcalming muscles versus cleaning earplugs.
When you flip open the lid of the EarBuds Washer, you will first see a small spinning brush that is used to remove larger chunks of debris from an earplug, as well as to clean deeper crevices and hard to reach areas. Once the prewash is complete, the earplugs are dropped into what looks like a cleaning drum with a spinning core made from the same lightweight foam from which the makeup sponges are made, while adding a spray of 70% alcohol. While the core is spinning, the earplugs rub against it and the walls of the drum, removing finer wax particles until only a pair of wireless earplugs remain that should look as new as the day they started approxme out of the box.
The inner parts of the machine itself can be removed and then rinsed under water (to our knowledge, no one makes a small washer for the EarBuds Washer …anyway), because all the unwanted bits that get cleaned up end at the bottom and end up in another ugly mess over time. The makers promise that the cleaning process is gentle and won’t damage the earbuds, and while the promotional videos show Apple’s earbuds are cleaned, the machine works with many brands of earbuds, including Samsung and Bose.
That preorder now with a Kickstarter promise can claim a Cardlax EarBuds Washer for just $ 33, with shipping expected as early as June if all goes well as the project moves from the fundraising phase to actual production. With the pandemic still raging around the world and boats clogging the Suez Canal, now is a good time to be extra careful with crowdfunding products and to be prepared for unforeseen delays. If you don’t think you have the patience for that, just buy a box of Qtips.