Thanks to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), this weekend I learned that one should lubricate one’s earplugs prior to inserting in the ear.
I have been an AMA member for 4 years now and I have faithfully glanced through the monthly AMA magazine and then promptly placed it in the recycle bin. Often I find some marginally interesting articles or spot lights, but this month I read an editorial from a gentlemen who happen to be on the cover of a recent issue about earplugs and hearing protection. I have used ear plugs for years and years and I have even paid too much for custom earplugs.
After using many different types of earplugs (foam, silicone, silicone w/ insert, custom, kleenex) I find foam to be the best performing, most comfortable, and very economical. I bought a big box of Moldex PuraFit 6800 earplugs from Amazon a year or two ago and have been happily using them since. I had never thought of using lubrication on them. Even my expensive custom earplugs did not come with a recommendation to use lubrication.
This morning I used a small amount of Aquaphor to lubricate my earplugs. I found them hard to roll to compress like I normally do, but was able to pinch and rotate sufficiently. Since they weren’t as compressed as usual I was concerned about being able to get them in far enough. This is one area where the lubrication helps, the earplugs slid in rather easily. Once inserted they expanded seemingly smoother than normal.
I can not confidently say that the attenuation was improved through use of lubrication but I can attest to increased comfort during my 35 minute ride to work this morning. After arriving at work I pulled them out and felt less ‘irritation’ than normal and placed them in a commandeered camera-battery case which I smeared a bit of Aquaphore in this morning.
I am curious of how quickly they will become filthy. I’m also curious if using lubrication will retard foam deterioration. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading and happy riding.