The human ear is a nasty place, and its unfortunate that we have to directly interact with it in order for headphones to work. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the design of true wireless earbuds, tiny, pristine bundles of incredible technology and engineering, which we must cram into our horrible head holes in order to properly use. Enter the Cardlax, the first washing machine designed exclusively for earbuds.
Okay, "washing machine" might be a glorified term for this little gadget. It's a box that you throw your earbuds into, which whirrs around for a minute or two, clearing out the earwax, oils, and other assorted gunk that gadgets accrue when forced into constant contact with our gross flesh vessels. For best results, you must first activate the tiny spinning brush that can remove fine particles from the headphone driver. And the Cardlax isn't doing anything that you couldn't accomplish just as well with a toothbrush, a Q-tip, and a bit of isopropyl alcohol.
But come on. It's freakin' adorable. And at $33 (for the early bird Kickstarter special), it's not an unreasonable ask for someone who uses earbuds daily.
The creators say that the Cardlax Buds Washer works with "99%" of true wireless earbuds, with designs from Samsung, Bose, Anker, Jaybird, and Jabra, and Aukey mentioned, though its design makes it clear that it's made with Apple's AirPods in mind. The spinning brush and silicone-covered interior parts can be removed for manual washing. The cleaning solution in its built-in spray bottle can be replaced with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
As with all Kickstarter projects, there's no guarantee that putting down your money will actually get you this product, so spend with caution. But the project has already reached its goal ten times over with two months left to sign up.