8. Care & Maintenance
Both sweat and ear wax can be problematic, causing damage to plastic and foam, and also adversely affecting audio performance. Custom-moulded earpieces, in particular, need to be cleaned frequently as even small deposits of wax can drastically affect their performance. Most high-end systems are supplied with wax removal tools, cleaning solution (usually mild alcohol solution), and even special systems for drying after cleaning. In this way, expensive custom-moulded earpieces can easily be kept clean even when in daily use.
If an off-the-shelf system is shared between several users, pads should never be shared (at least not without being cleaned thoroughly). In any case, foam pads should be replaced after two or three gigs as beyond this their performance will be affected by absorbed sweat. Silicone tips can usually be used for much longer.