Headphones have grown ubiquitous since the introduction of the Walkman. As squat goals continue to gain traction, more and more of us are getting into shape to the beat of our own Spotify playlists. This comprehensive tutorial will show you how to clean your headphones and earbuds with ease.
We are prepared to spend a considerable sum on premium headphones from brands like Bose, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and, dare we say it, Beats. So, it might be frustrating to see that the audio quality appears to decline or the sound is no longer as sharp after a year or two. If we need to turn up the level to hear clearly, even the most untrained ear may detect a change in sound quality.
Being members of the “buy cheap, toss away later” age, we may feel compelled to complain that modern goods are of poor quality before going out and replacing them. But what if there’s truly only a straightforward answer to this problem? To which I reply, “It’s probably just because your headphones are filthy.” Detailed instructions on how to clean your headphones.
Why do we need to clean our headphones?
Now, look inside your headphones or earphones’ ear cushions or wire mesh. Our habits have left earwax, oil, and dust in our headphones for months. Since gyms and morning runs are nasty, we wash and change afterward. When did we last clean our headphones?
Ear cups might stink from sweat. Ear wax may jam drivers, reducing loudness and clarity. Bacteria and other germs may make you ill, too. Clean headphones are more hygienic.
We usually throw them inside our purses, pockets, or elsewhere, where they mingle with dust and filth from the beginning of time. We pull them out and put them back in as needed. That, my friend, will raise your risk of ear infections, earwax blockages, and expensive medical visits.
Why do we abuse our headphones? Headphones benefit from a little TLC. This maximizes value and ear hygiene. For cleanliness and maintenance, wipe over-the-ear or in-ear headphones periodically. Many people work out with headphones, so this is particularly true.
The First Steps
Let’s discuss the topic of housekeeping. The task calls for greater refinement and care, but we have everything you need on hand.
- Supplies: a tiny clean cloth
- Hand sanitizers with rubbing alcohol
- Cotton swabs/Q-tips
- Multi-purpose or Blu-tack adhesive
The two types of headphones we’ll be discussing today are:
- In-ear monitors (IEMs) or earbuds are a kind of earphone.
- Over-the-ear and on-ear headphones
How to Clean Earphones
Cleaning the driver unit
The driver unit is the portion of the earphones that really goes into the ear canal and generates sound.
- 1. Keep the mesh side of the earbuds pointing down. To remove debris and ear wax buildup from the wire mesh, just brush it with a dry, soft toothbrush (a children’s toothbrush works well). Some of the particles may be dislodged by tapping the earphones on their non-mesh side/logo side.
- 2. To clean the wire mesh, go over it with a paperclip that has been bent and some [aa asin=”B01FP5QXYQ”]tack-it[/aa] or another multipurpose glue. The glue will attract dirt and grime, and you’ll be left with a clean mesh.
- 3. Quickly wash off the metal mesh and the wires with a towel dampened with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
Caution: use cautiously; soaking the towel might cause harm to your gadget.
Cleaning the ear tips
In-ear monitors (IEMs) and other similar earbuds often include interchangeable silicone sleeve/tip sizes to provide a snug and comfortable fit. If your IEMs only come with silicone ear tips, you’ll need to follow these two additional procedures. Foam ear tips and other non-waterproof ear tips are excepted by this rule.
- You should take out the silicone ear tips and soak them in warm water with a little soap for around 5 minutes.
- Before reattaching the silicone sleeves, rinse them, wash them off well, and let them dry on paper towels.
Cleaning Your Headphones
They are more challenging since they have fragile components like leather or foam ear cushions, which are easy to rip. Go cautiously unless you want to acquire new ear pads from Amazon.
- Take off the ear cushions and clean the headphones’ exterior with a soft towel dipped in warm soapy water. Use some paper towels to remove excess moisture, then let dry naturally.
- Wipe the outer surfaces of the ear cushions with a cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Finally, use some hand sanitizer or alcohol on a Q-tip to wipe the inside of the ear pads.
- To clean the foam mesh, apply some alcohol or hand sanitizer to the surface and massage the right and left sides together. Bacteria in the ear pads will be eliminated as a result. Any filth or grime should be loosed by the light scrubbing.
- Put the ear cushions on some paper towels to dry fully before reattaching them.
Please be aware that the procedures outlined above may not apply to all types of headphones. To clean your AirPods Max, you must remove the ear cups from the headband, not just the ear pads. Check the manufacturer’s manual just to be safe.
Tips for maintaining your headphones’ plugs
Furthermore, make sure your headphones’ jacks are clear. After all that effort, you don’t want to be disappointed with a subpar connection from your headphones’ jack, do you?
The easiest and least complicated way to achieve this, in our opinion, is to use a can of compressed air. Much of the lint and dust that has accumulated up there may be blown away with a fast blast of air from the tiny nozzle.
A MacGyver-style solution may use an interdental brush, a pipe cleaner, or a bent paper clip covered in double-sided tape. Gently clean the interior of the jack to remove any obstructions and then gently insert it.
Keep in mind that if you’re not careful, you might end up scratching the metal inside of the headphone socket.
Eliminating the “sweat” odor
Do your headphones sometimes emit a strange odor? With time, the ear cushions on your headphones will get stained from sweat and grime. When combined with high humidity, this may become a serious problem. Mold grows slowly in damp environments, leading to a noxious odor.
These gel packets are commonplace in the packaging of both food and electronics. These micro-sized gel beads absorb moisture effectively, allowing you to regulate the relative humidity in the air. Put them in the ear cups before storing your headphones, and the odor should be reduced.
Sometimes, it may be too late for option 1 to be of much use. Getting new earpads is the only way to fix the issue. Replacement earpads from the manufacturer might be pricey, however, there are several affordable alternatives on Amazon.
This is the price of authentic Bose ear cushions, for instance. Earpad replacements from third-party vendors are much more reasonably priced.
Taking care of your hearing
In order to get the most out of your headphones, it’s also important to keep your ears clean. Ear wax is an oily, waxy substance that is formed in the ear canal to repel dust and other debris. Ear wax forms when the ear canal generates more oil than is necessary. Ear wax accumulation is discussed in further detail here.
Debrox is widely used as a safe and effective method for ear wax removal. Using microfoam action and an active component is shown to efficiently remove ear wax in clinical trials, Debrox cleans the ear canal of ear wax.
Ear wax removal using cotton swabs/”Q-tips” is not recommended. You’re only making things worse by forcing the ear wax farther inside.
Check out the video we’ve included below if you need further clarification.
And that wraps it up! If you follow these methods on an as-needed basis, your headphones will continue to provide high-quality music and your ears will remain fresh and clean. and Please let us know if you have any other questions or recommendations, and we hope this information was useful. Subscribe to our newsletter and then visit our social media profiles on Facebook and Instagram to engage more with our online community. If you have learned anything useful from this, please share it with others.