How To Clean Headphones Without Ruining Them? Full Instruction Of 2022

How To Clean Headphones Without Ruining Them
If you’re like me, you probably use your headphones every day. But how often do you clean them? And when you do, are you doing it correctly? 

Headphones are one of the dirtiest things we touch on a daily basis, and if they’re not cleaned properly, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. 

So, how can you clean your headphones without ruining them? Below are a few tips for you.

Why Do We Need to Clean Our Headphones?

Why Do We Need to Clean Our Headphones

Right now, remove your earbuds or headphones and check the wire mesh or interior of the ear pads. Because of our behaviors, the tiny pores of our headphones have been blocked with earwax, grease, and dust for months.

Because it is dirty, we always take a shower and change our clothing after going to the gym or going for a morning run. But when was the last time we ever, post-workout, washed our headphones?

Are you starting to get queasy yet? That’s not even the end of it, though.

They frequently end up in our backpacks, pockets, or other places where they mix with other dust and filth that has been collecting there since the beginning of time. Then, if necessary, we fish them out and immediately insert them back into our ears.

And doing so, my friend, is a definite way to raise your risk of developing an ear infection, developing an earwax blockage, and having to make an expensive trip to the doctor.

Why do we do that to our headphones when we wouldn’t do that to any of our other possessions? For our headphones, a little maintenance and care may go a long way. This guarantees we obtain the most value for our money while also maintaining the hygiene of our in-ears.

How to Clean Headphones

Getting Started

how to clean headphone

So let’s discuss cleaning. All the equipment we need is readily available at home, albeit it does require a little more skill and delicacy.

What you’ll need:

  • A small cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol/ hand sanitizer
  • Q-tips/cotton buds
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Blu-tack/Multipurpose adhesive

Today, we’ll cover the following two types of headphones:

  • Earphones: Earbuds and in-ear monitors (IEMs).
  • Headphones: On-ear and over-ear models

How to Clean Earphones

How to Clean Earphones

Cleaning The Driver Unit

The part of the earphones that is placed into the ears is the driver unit, which is also where the sound is created.

The mesh side of your earbuds should be facing down as you hold them. Brush the wire mesh carefully with a dry, soft toothbrush (ideally a children’s toothbrush) to remove any debris or ear wax buildup. To assist remove some of the debris, tap the earphones’ logo or non-mesh side.

Go over the wire mesh and clean off any leftover dirt and dust using a bent paperclip and some multipurpose glue, such as blu-tack or tack-it. The glue will gather all the undesirable materials, leaving your mesh clear of trash.

Use a tiny cloth dampened with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to quickly wipe the metal mesh and wires.

Warning: Use the cloth sparingly, DO NOT SOAK IT, since this could harm your gadget.

Cleaning the Ear Tips

To provide the optimal fit for your ears, these earphones, like IEMs, typically have detachable silicone sleeves/ear tips in a range of sizes.

If your IEMs only come with silicone ear tips, continue with these extra two steps. Foam earplugs and other non-waterproof earplugs are not covered by this.

Take off the silicone ear tips and let them soak in warm, slightly soapy water for around five minutes.

Before reattaching the silicone sleeves, give them a thorough cleaning and let them dry thoroughly on paper towels.

Cleaning the Case

Cleaning the Case

Some in-ear wireless headphones have charging cases. It’s crucial that you clean these properly as well; otherwise, the moment you store your clean headphones, they’ll become soiled once more.

A soft-bristled toothbrush will help you remove any accumulated filth from the hinge of AirPods or similar devices. To clean the interior of the case, use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. If there are any hard-to-reach charging bays, clean them with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol.

Just keep in mind to clean up any grime before disinfecting. Even after cleaning the case with alcohol, bacteria and other dangerous germs may still adhere to the filth.

You can spot-clean over-the-ear headphone casings with mild soap and warm water without soaking them completely. Fabric can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol, but you should spot-test it first to make sure the alcohol won’t harm it.

Last but not least, experts advise storing silica gel in your headphones’ carrying case to keep it fresh. According to the premise, less moisture within the case means fewer bacteria may develop there. If you frequently put your headphones away directly after a sweaty workout, this might be an especially smart move.

How to Clean Headphones

Cleaning headphones

These are a little difficult because they include more delicate components, such leather or foam earpads, which are more prone to tearing. Therefore, proceed cautiously unless you wish to visit Amazon and get some new ear pads for yourself.

Take off the ear cushions and use a tiny cloth dipped in warm soapy water to clean the outside of the headphones. Use some paper towels to dry off, then let the area thoroughly air dry.

Use a tiny cloth dampened with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to gently clean the outside of the ear pads. Then use a Q-tip, cotton bud, or hand sanitizer to clean the ear pads’ nooks and crannies after soaking them in alcohol or hand sanitizer.

Rub the right and left sides of the foam mesh together gently after dabbing some alcohol or hand sanitizer on its surface. The germs that are living in the ear pads will be helped to eradicate by this. Any dirt or grime should be moved by the moderate rubbing.

Before reattaching the ear pads, allow them to thoroughly air dry on some paper towels.

Watch this video to easily follow the steps:

Advanced Cleaning Method

Advanced Cleaning Method

But you’ll need a more extreme solution if you want cleanliness that’s just out of the factory.

We advise purchasing a hearing aid vacuum. As the name suggests, a hearing aid vacuum is a vacuum system. It may remove dirt and earwax effectively by using tiny vacuum pumps.

Hygiene Tips You Need to Know

Clean your headphones frequently to keep them in excellent condition. Avoid allowing ear wax or other debris to accumulate. If at all feasible, clean them with wipes with an alcohol basis after each usage.

Sharing headphones, especially in-ear models, might disrupt your ears’ natural balance and introduce new microorganisms. A painful ear infection can be brought on by an overgrowth of a particular type of bacteria. So, if at all possible, refrain from lending out your earbuds or headphones.

Finally, think about cleaning your ears as well. Q-tips or any other small, pointed things should not be used to do this, according to medical authorities, as they could harm your eardrum. Don’t put something in your ear if it is smaller than your elbow.

Instead, use a clean, wet cloth to clean the exterior of your ear canal. You can buy over-the-counter ear drops to soften earwax buildup. Continually adhere to the directions on the box. Additionally, you can purchase over-the-counter ear syringe kits that flush the ear canal with warm saline.

  • Read also: How To Clean Samsung Earbuds?


How to keep headphones clean

How to Clean Headphone Jacks?

The best way to clean headphone jacks is to use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Gently insert the cotton swab into the jack and twist it around to remove any dirt or debris.

How to Get Rid of The “Sweat” Stink?

There are a few things you can do to help get rid of the “sweat” stink:

  • Wash your clothes regularly. This will help to remove the sweat and bacteria that can cause the smell.
  • Use an antiperspirant or deodorant. These products can help to reduce the amount of sweat that is produced.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing. Tight clothing can trap sweat and bacteria against the skin, which can cause the smell.
  • Shower regularly. This will help to remove sweat and bacteria from the skin.

How to Keep Your Ears Clean?

The best way to keep your ears clean is to use a cotton swab. Gently insert the cotton swab into your ear and rotate it. Be sure not to insert the cotton swab too far into your ear.

How Often Should I Clean My Headphones?

It is recommended that you clean your headphones at least once a week.

How Do I Clean the Microphone?

How Do I Clean the Microphone

You can use a soft, dry cloth to clean the microphone. If the microphone is very dirty, you can use a mild soap and water solution.

How Can I Prolong the Life of My Headphones?

To prolong the life of your headphones, avoid using them in humid or wet conditions, as this can damage the electronics. Store them in a dry, cool place when not in use. Additionally, try to avoid tangling the cords, as this can damage the wires.

What are Some Common Problems with Headphones?

Some common problems with headphones are that they can become tangled easily, they can break easily, and the sound quality can be poor.


There you have it, then! If you follow these easy instructions as often as necessary, your headphones will continue to sound great forever, and you’ll also keep your ears clean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *