What does a company that makes earwax removal kits do when they take note of the number of people searching for “earphone cleaning”?
They will probably do what any entrepreneur would do.
People searching online for “earphone cleaners” was at a year high in mid-July, almost doubling in rate from previous months, according to Google Trends data. The search term “ear gunk” also saw a similar rise in interest.
Engrossed by the dirt and germs in earphones were also the employees at Fort Worth-based Eosera. They Googled different remedies and applied different solutions to clean their audio listening devices. The ideas ranged from brushing the tip of the earbud to alcohol wipes.
It made sense for Eosera employees to try and figure out the best practices to clean earbuds because they work for a biotech company that provides ear care products and services.
“We’re always on the lookout for underserved needs, really focused on the ear care space,” Eosera CEO Elyse Dickerson said. “We look for gaps, and then we figure out, is this something that we can fulfill.”
And that’s exactly what the company has done with the dirty earphone and earbuds problem.
Eosera just launched the earbud cleaning kit on its website. It’s an all-in-one kit equipped with sanitizing wipes, cleaning putty, a perfectly sized magnifying glass, and small, delicate brushes. The company says the kit can help clean audio devices in minutes.
“Some of our products require formulation and testing and are much, I would say, a more stringent pathway to development,” Dickerson said. “Whereas this earbud cleaning kit was not as technical but still as big of a need. And so we decided since it’s really a direct correlation to our earwax removal products because ear wax is probably the number one thing that does clog the earbuds up.”
Eosera products are founds in 13,000 stores across the U.S. The earwax dissolver is one of its top-selling products.
Each earphone cleaning kit comes with 30 squares of cleaning putty, 10 sanitizing alcohol wipes, two brush heads and a magnifying glass. It will be enclosed in a specially designed storage container that can be reused. Each kit retails for $29.99.
A clear repercussion of COVID-19 this year has been the continual reliance on technology and digitalization. With the start of the pandemic, more and more work consummated at home as self-isolation and quarantining became communal trends. Personal digital screens replaced all official meetings and family gatherings while overtaking most forms of media consumption.
And accompanying the screens are the now ever-so-vital audio devices – earphones and its new wireless relative, the earbuds. In a socially distanced pandemic year coupled with political and social unrest, people have depended on earbuds for communication, entertainment, recreation or simply to block out any external noise to retain focus or zone out.
So, naturally, a lot of consumers using such audio devices started developing a different type of concern: the gunk in their ear-speakers. Earphone cleaning became an issue.
“We saw when COVID hit, it was everybody going online for schooling, for work, for watching movies,” Dickerson said. “When everybody’s at home, everybody is sticking earbuds in their ears, whether it’s children or you know, grandparents. There’s increased use and they are also using them more often. So I think everybody had earbuds, but now they’re using them every day.”
Dickerson said her company pretty soon realized dirty earbuds were starting to be a problem. “And we kind of scratched our heads and thought there isn’t already a kit available out there.”
Eosera’s earbud cleaning kit will launch on Amazon and in select CVS stores starting in December.