Sound Nerds Unite How to Clean In ear monitors with Jodi-Vac

Time needed: 10 minutes

Step-by-Step Guide: Cleaning Your IEMs for Better Sound Quality

  1. Clean the shell of the IEM

    Clean the outside of ear bud using a alchohol-free cleaner such as the handy Audio-Wipes.

  2. Use the IEM cleaning tool 

    Use a simple IEM cleaning tool to remove some of the outer wax from the holes. I dip this tool/loop in a bit of the cleaning solution to loosen up the hard wax. I’ve always wanted to combine a flashlight with the traditional wax loop tool.  I developed a simple product to help see the in ear monitor ports much easier! 
    Affordable and simple! You can now order your own LED Cleaning Tool!

  3. Use Jodi-Vac to clear deeper wax in IEM

    Use an in ear vacuum like the Jodi Consumer Hearing Aid Vacuum Cleaner. Be careful to not insert the probe too far into the holes. You don’t want to push the wax deeper. Take your time here. 

  4. Test the In Ear Monitor using a IEM Listening Tube

    This tool has saved me so much troubleshooting time when an artists says something is “wrong” with their ears. You would be surprised how many IEM drivers are blown and the artist tries to compensate not knowing the failure. Buy your simple & affordable listening tube!

Other resources for how to clean your in-ear monitors (IEM’s):

JH Audio

How to clean your UE Pro IEMs

Need some help choosing the IEM model that works best for you? is a great place to start!

Futuresonics — A pioneer in the in-ear monitor development!

Big thanks to friend Steve at for the nice blog post about Sound Nerd IEM Tools!

Editors Note: This post was originally published in 2016 and I try to update as often as possible for accuracy and helpfulness.

About The Author (me!)

Hi! My name is Nicholas Radina. I’m a musician, freelance sound engineer, educator, and author proudly from Cincinnati, OH.

My 25+ year career has taken me on wonderful journeys with high-level acts, large-scale festivals, Fortune 500 corporate events, broadcast sporting events, and theater. As well as the occasional dip in large bodies of water.

You can find me stage-left as monitor engineer for the band, O.A.R  as well as stage-right smacking cowbells at Cincinnati’s Salsa on the Square  — a weekly outdoor summer latin music series I co-founded in 2008.

I love playing the 10-string Puerto Rican cuatro, nylon string guitar and timbales.

I write for the magazine Live Sound International and companion website,

I was recently featured in New York Magazine!

I chat about my touring career on this podcast.

A collection of radio interviews chatting about Cincinnati’s Salsa On The Square summer music series!

I make handy tools for my live sound friends, too!

I eat plants and love animals.

Learn more about me:

Reach out any time!