How To Clean Headphones? (2 Easy Methods To Use Now!)

Even if there is no global pandemic, there are numerous reasons to thoroughly clean your headphones. This is especially true if you use them on a regular basis. Clean headphones are happy headphones—and ones that are less infested with microbes—whether you have over-ear cans or true wireless earbuds.

This ultimate guide will show you how to clean headphones, so read more!

How to Clean Headphones?
How to Clean Headphones?

How To Clean Headphones?

As with anything else used on the body, headphones can become unclean. They appear to attract everything from earwax to lint to dust—and the muck is more than simply disgusting.


It can impair the functionality of your headphones or perhaps cause them to fail prematurely. Debris can muff the sound emanating from a headphone's driver (the component with a diaphragm that generates sound) and also cause permanent harm.

Oil from your skin can also discolor and even dissolve plastic and rubber components after prolonged exposure.

Before cleaning headphones, unplug them and switch off any battery-operated pairs. Then, as instructed below, proceed.

Why Clean Your Headphones?

Over-the-ear or in-ear headphones should be cleaned on a regular basis for hygiene and maintenance reasons. This is especially true if you listen to music while exercising, as many of us do.

Sweat can accumulate and cause the ear cups to smell bad. Ear wax can clog drivers, reducing both volume and sound clarity. Then there's the dirt you can't see, such as bacteria and other microbes that could make you sick.

You can transfer anything you've touched to your headphones if you adjust them while at the gym. Viruses, such as SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19, have been shown to survive on plastic and other hard surfaces for up to three days. If you touch a contaminated earbud, the virus may spread to other surfaces or you may become infected if you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.

According to studies, headphones promote bacterial growth inside the ear, which can be passed from one person to another if the headphones are shared. Even if you don't share yours, consider what your earphones have come into contact with and whether you want to put that inside your ear.

2 Easy Ways on How to Clean Headphone or your Best Headphone

2 Easy Ways on How to Clean Headphone or your Best Headphone
2 Easy Ways on How to Clean Headphones or your Best Headphone

Method 1: Cleaning with Hydrogen Peroxide

Step 1: Remove and clean the ear tip of your headphones. Certain headphone pads feature clear tips that conceal the buds' ends. Remove any clear tips from your headphones before cleaning them. They should be wiped down with a soft cloth dipped in a little amount of hydrogen peroxide and then left aside to dry.

Step 2: Clean the ear buds with hydrogen peroxide. Dislodge any readily visible debris. Prepare a delicate cloth that has been lightly dampened with hydrogen peroxide. Clean the earbuds' mesh screens with a soft cloth. Using your soft cloth, remove any earwax or visible dirt and debris.

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Step 3: Remove the earbuds. Remove your earbuds after applying the hydrogen peroxide. Allow about five minutes for the hydrogen peroxide to sink into your earbuds. This will assist in softening any remaining ear wax, dirt, or debris in your ear pads and prevent you alo in any ear infection.

Step 4: Using a toothbrush, clean the earphone. Utilize a toothbrush with a gentle bristle. Gently scrub your earbuds, paying special attention to the mesh screen. Scrub the buds to remove any wax or dirt that has built up in the holes of your earphones.

Step 5: Ensure that your earbuds are completely dry. Shake the earphones gently to remove any visible water. Following that, blot them dry using a paper towel. If they are still damp, set them aside to completely dry.

Step 6: Reassemble your earbuds. If you removed the tips of your headphones earlier in the procedure, replace them once the area is completely dry. You should now have clean and ready-to-use headphones.

Method 2: Cleaning with Soapy Water

Step 1: If feasible, remove the tips. Remove any removable tips from your headphones before beginning the cleaning process. Use a gentle cloth wet with warm water to wipe them down. Following that, leave them aside to dry.

Step 2: Soak a cloth in a solution of water and dishwashing soap. Utilize a teeny-tiny bit of dishwashing soap on a damp, delicate cloth. After pouring the detergent, thoroughly wring the rag over the sink. When you apply it to your headphones, it should be slightly moist and contain only a trace of soap.

Step 3: Wipe the headphones clean. With your rag, wipe down your headphones. Concentrate on the mesh screens, ensuring that no dirt or debris is clogging the holes in the headphones.

Step 4: Rinse your headphones thoroughly. Dampen a new cloth with clean water. Always wring it out to a barely damp state before applying it on your headphones. Clean your headphones with a soft cloth to remove any soap residue.

Step 5: Allow them to dry before reassembling them. Place your headphones in a dry location until they are completely dry. Once everything is completely dry to the touch, replace the caps on your headphones. You may now re-use your headphones.

READ ALSO: How To Comfortably Wear Headphones? (The Ultimate Guide)

How to Clean Earwax from Wireless Headphones or bluetooth headphones?

If earwax has accumulated on your earbuds and cannot be removed with a wipe, take these procedures to clean them.

  1. Take the tips out of your earbuds.
  2. Before you begin cleaning, put on protective gloves for your skin.
  3. Apply a little amount of hydrogen peroxide (3 percent concentration) to the mesh surface near the earbud's opening using a soft cloth or tissue. Caution: Avoid allowing extra liquid to enter the opening.
  4. Allow 5 minutes for the hydrogen peroxide to soften the wax.
  5. Hydrogen peroxide a soft-bristled tooth brush (3 percent concentration only)
  6. Scrub the mesh surface gently to dislodge and remove the wax. Take cautious not to allow any excess liquid to enter the earbud's opening.
  7. Once clean, carefully shake any extra liquid and particles off the surface.
  8. With a gentle cloth, dry the earbud.
  9. Allow your earphones to dry for an extended period before reattaching the eartips.
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How to Clean Earwax from Wireless Headphones or bluetooth headphones?
How to Clean Earwax from Wireless Headphones or Bluetooth headphones?

The Most Effective Method for Cleaning Earbuds on a Regular Basis

Fortunately for anyone who enjoys listening to music or podcasts at a reasonable decibel level, Apple has several cleaning recommendations that will keep your headphones looking brand new and help prevent infections.

Apple recommends using a “soft, dry, lint-free cloth,” a cotton swab, and a little amount of fresh, filtered water or warm soapy water. That is all you need for routine earbud maintenance.

Wipe away any debris on the earbud's surface with the towel. Then, gently work your way into the nooks and crannies, clearing up all you can. Instead of using a damp towel, clean the microphone and speaker mesh with a dry cotton swab. Allow them to thoroughly dry before using or repackaging them.

You Will Require the Following:

  • Cloth made of microfiber
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol cotton swab
  • Brushes that are gentle (optional)
  • Brush with anti-static properties for electronic devices
  • How to Disinfect True Wireless Earbuds
  1. To begin cleaning your AirPods or clean earbuds, wipe them thoroughly with a clean, dry towel. Avoid using any liquids or sprays that could endanger them.
  2. Wipe down the microphone and speaker mesh with a clean, dry cotton swab.
  3. If any dust or wax becomes trapped in the mesh, carefully brush it with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid using sharp things to clean your AirPods, such as a toothpick or craft knife.
  4. To clean the case, begin by wiping it clean with a clean cloth. If the exterior of the case is very grimy, moisten the cloth with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, taking care not to get any liquid within the charging ports.
  5. Gently clean the connector with a soft-bristled toothbrush. To clean the charging ports, either use an anti-static brush meant for cleaning electronic equipment or a clean cotton swab. Skip the liquid cleaners and the sharp objects.
The Most Effective Method for Cleaning Earbuds on a Regular Basis
The Most Effective Method for Cleaning Earbuds on a Regular Basis

Conclusion on How to Clean Headphones

It is critical to maintain your headphones clean at all times. Wipe your in-ear, on-ear, or over-ear headphones with a dry towel following each usage to avoid oil buildup and to extend the life of the product.

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Use the right cleaning solution and follow the directions above for a more thorough cleaning. Before you begin, unplug your headphones from any devices to which they are connected and remove any user-replaceable batteries.

There are two cleaning solutions and methods that are advised. The first method involves the use of a disinfecting soap or dishwashing detergent, while the second method involves the use of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Continue reading to find which solution/method is appropriate for which products.

The following are some straightforward instructions for cleaning your headphones:

  • Use Plastic, Silicone, and Foam Cleaning

The majority of headphones and earbuds are constructed primarily of plastic (for example, the external body/casing) and silicone (e.g., cables, ear tips, headband cushioning). The ideal method for cleaning these materials is a solution of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water.

  • Use Metal and wood cleaning

More expensive headphones and earbuds are usually constructed with finer and more durable materials. When altering the length of the ear cups, headbands may reveal steel, aluminum, or titanium. Earcups can also be constructed of wood (for example, the House of Marley Smile Jamaica earphones) or solid metal (e.g., Master & Dynamic MW50 on-ear headphones).

  • Use Cleaning Textiles

Headbands and ear cups — which, if removable, should be — are often made of fabric wrapped around foam/cushioning. If the material is pleather (also known as plastic leather, protein leather, faux leather, or synthetic leather) or vinyl, use the isopropyl alcohol and distilled water solution.

How to Clean Headphones: The Ultimate Guide
How to Clean Headphones: The Ultimate Guide

FAQs About How To Clean Headphones

How do you properly clean a soiled headphone?

Clean any nooks and crannies with a cotton ball or Q-tip dampened with rubbing alcohol. Carry out this procedure on both the ear cups (particularly in regions such as fabric folds) and the main headphone unit. Extend the headphones to their full length and then thoroughly wipe them with a towel or soft dry cloth and rubbing alcohol.

Is it possible to wash headphones?

While it may seem counterintuitive to wash your earbuds again, it is one of the better options if you used a powerful detergent. The second wash will be a rinse cycle in which no detergent will be used. This will drain out any ionic surfactants that may cause damage to your earbuds.

How frequently should headphones be cleaned?

By and large, you should clean your headphones at least once a week. Gymgoers who wear headphones while exercising, on the other hand, should clean their headphones after each training session. This will aid in the removal of any sweat, dust, or bacteria that may have accumulated inside your headphones.

Trina Oralde

I'm a tech writer and contributor who covers the latest in gadgets and technology. I keep my finger on the pulse of the tech world, so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date on the latest with me!


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