Do we really need to clean our headphones? Is there some particular way to do it? There are more than one reasons that demand cleaning our headwear thoroughly especially if you have been using them regularly for a period of time. 

Why to Clean Your Headphones

  • Headsets or headphones pass on bacteria or virus from one person to another because this electronic device has a high rate of sharing among young people who use them worldwide. 
  • With passage of time audio quality drops and the sound is no longer as clear as we expect. This happens when sweat and dust act together. 
  • Headphone and earphones pick up ear wax and that too contributes to poor sound quality.

So we always advise users to give their headphones or earphones a thorough cleaning after sometimes so that they keep enjoying great sound experience while remaining safe from diseases. 

How to Clean Your Headphones, Earbuds

It might be tempting to just use whatever you have available in the house but there is a proper way of cleaning otherwise you may damage your audio device.  Head or ear phones are a sophisticated tech so they must be handled gently.

Follow the below steps if you are about to clean a wireless earbud or an over the ear headset.

As far cleaning here’s what you need.

  • Two soft cloths or paper towels. Dish soap or soft detergent. 
  • Warm water  
  • Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfection
  • If you’re cleaning the over the ear headphones, you’ll also need some cotton swabs. 
  • For earbuds, you’ll want a wax removal tool and some blue tack, or any kind of mounting putty. It is kind of stuff used to stick posters to a wall. 

There is as such no difference between cleaning wireless earbuds and a headphone, just to consider small things. We will start from how to clean an earbud first. 

Step to Cleaning Wireless Earbuds

First, mix a small amount of detergent with water. 

  1. Then, make sure the earbuds are turned off. 
  2. Now, dampen one of the cloths with the water and detergent mixture. It should be damp, but not dripping wet. So, squeeze out some of the water if you need to.
  3. If earbuds have removable tips, go ahead and take them off. 
  4. Now, take your damp cloth and give them a gentle clean. 
  5. Then, with the second cloth, wipe them dry.
  6. In case of earbuds charger sanitize the charging case also and when you are sure it is completely dry, put the buds back in the charging. 


It’s important that you never put earbuds underwater to clean them, even if they’re water resistant. If you put them completely underwater, they would be ruined. 

Instead, if you see the speaker grills, go ahead and brush them with the wax removal tool. And here’s a tip. If anything remains, you can get rid of it by pressing the blue tack or mounting putty a few times on both grills. Next, clean the outside of the earbuds with the damp cloth. And dry them with the second cloth, just like you did with the removable tips. Make sure you let your earbuds air dry for at least 30 minutes so all the moisture is completely gone. After that, put the tips back on, power up your earbuds, and you are set to go. 

Steps to Cleaning Over the Ear Headphones 

The first part is basically the same as the earbuds. 

  1. Mix a small amount of detergent with water and make sure they are off.  
  2. If headphones have removable pads, go ahead and take them off and expand the headband to cover each and every part of the device. 
  3. Next, dampen a soft cloth with the water and detergent mixture. Again, it should be damp, but not dripping wet, so squeeze out any excess water before you wipe them down. 
  4. Now here is where the cotton swabs come in. Put one in the same detergent and water mixture and then use it to clean some of the small, hard to reach places, like in the folds and around the stitching. Plan on using more than one swab so you know you are actually cleaning, and not just moving the dirt around. 
  5. Now wipe off the headphones with the dry cloth. 
  6. Then let them air dry for at least 30 minutes. Once they are fully dry, you can pop the removable pads back on, power them up, and you are good to go. 
  7. Once you are done with cleaning process wash your hands.

You should be cleaning your headphones at least once a month. Now that you know how to do it like a pro, you will agree the whole process is a piece of cake. 

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