What Is The Best Way To Clean Headphones And Earbuds?

Nowadays, both headphones and earbuds become necessary and popular accessories for teenagers and adults. They often use headphones or earbuds to work, communicate, or even study. However, using headphones or earbuds for a long time without cleaning them may cause many ear-related diseases. 

Many people often spend a lot of money having their headphones and earbuds cleaned at a store to avoid getting ear diseases. Therefore, if you do not know “what is the best way to clean headphones and earbuds at home”, you should not miss out on our instructions to wash them today. 


What Is The Best Way To Clean Headphones and Earbuds? 

Those who do not know the right way to clean headphones or earbuds may damage these vulnerable items while cleaning or have to spend money bringing their devices to a cleaning service. However, you don’t have to worry about these problems anymore after reading this post.

This article will show you how to clean headphones and earbuds properly to prevent bacteria or viruses from harming your ear. Let’s start to read now.

Cleaning Headphones

The ways to clean your headphones will be various since there are many types of headphones available on the market. Many brands design their products to be cleaned easily with detachable cables and ear cups that you can unplug. However, other brands are not, so you should be careful when cleaning to avoid damaging your devices.

If possible, you should choose to buy headphones that come with the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions carefully. Apple, Samsung, Beat and Bose are the rare brands that provide their customers with cleaning instructions.

If you want to clean your headphones in the right way, you’ll need to prepare these tools below:

  • A soft cloth
  • 70 percent alcohol Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol 
  • A few Q-tips
  • Paper towels or tissues

Between the cleanup process, stop to check the device’s surface to make sure that there is no damage to your headphones. 

Moreover, using rubbing alcohol for cleaning will not damage the surface if you use a suitable amount. In case that your headphones’ body is made of plastic or metal, you can comfortably clean them with alcohol.

Now, you should clean your headphones, following these steps below. 

  • Step 1 

Detach the ear cups out of the headphones to clean the mesh easier.

  • Step 2 

Use a soft cloth to wipe away any stubborn grime or dirt from both the ear cups and the headphone’s body. Remember to brush carefully since bacteria, viruses, and dirt will stick to other nasties. 

  • Step 3 

Soak a tissue or paper towel with alcohol so as to clean the whole surface of the ear cups and other areas of your headphones.

  • Step 4

Wet a Q-tip by alcohol and use it to clean any tight and small places. You should do this one more time to clean two ear cups and other headphone units.

  • Step 5

Open your headphones at their maximum dimension, then use a paper towel or tissue with alcohol to clean them. Now, you must not miss out on cleaning any cables, buttons, or other items that you often use. 

After that, you need to spend a few minutes cleaning where you store the headphones after using it.

  • Step 6

Use a paper towel, tissue, or Q-tip with a little alcohol to remove any stain on the speakers. Remember that you should not miss any spots.

  • Step 7 

If your headphones come with a microphone, you will have to take some minutes to clean the adjustable arm and mesh of your microphone with alcohol.

  • Step 8

Finally, it would be the best if you wipe down your headphone line and rubber handle near the jack by using a paper towel with a little alcohol.

  • Step 9

Let the headphones dry before you assemble in order to use them. It would be better if you let the alcohol dry completely to avoid leaving any residue or marks.

Cleaning Earbuds

To clean your earbuds effectively, you’ll need to prepare the following items:

  • A soft cloth
  • 70 percent isopropyl alcohol 
  • A paper towel or tissue
  • A few cotton balls 
  • A toothpick
  • A Blu-tack (a reusable adhesive to stick dirt and dust from any surface)
  • Water and slight soap (for silicone ear tips)

Cleaning The Driver Unit

The driver unit is the place from which the sound comes out. Therefore, this is the most important part of the earbuds that are inserted into the ears. You have to remember to remove the ear tips before cleaning the driver unit.

Firstly, you keep your earphones with its mesh side facing downwards. Afterward, you use a prepared dry, soft toothbrush (preferably a children’s toothbrush) to gently brush the wire mesh to remove any dirt or residue. Next, you tap the non-mesh side of the earbuds to eliminate some of the debris off.

Finally, it would be best to use a bent paperclip with some blu-tack, go over the wire mesh and remove the remaining dirt and dust. The blu-tack will help you pick up all the unwanted things without leaving your mesh debris.

Note: You should dampen a small cloth with a little rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer, and do a quick wipe over the metal mesh as well as the wires. Besides, it would be best not to soak the cloth as it may damage your device.

Cleaning Ear Tips

These earbuds often come with detachable sleeves or ear tips in varying sizes to provide the most suitable fit for your ears. There are two main types of ear tips, including silicone ear tips and foam ear tips.

Silicone eartips

If your earbuds include detachable silicone eartips, you will need to disassemble and do cleaning for them separately with water and soap. You should be careful to avoid tearing the silicon during cleaning. 

Besides, you can also follow these extra two steps to clean silicone ear tips easier. 

  • Step 1: Detach the silicone eartips and put them in soapy warm water in 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: Rinse the silicone covers, wipe and dry them completely by using paper towels before assembling them again.

Foam eartips 

If your earbuds come with foam eartips, you can detach and clean them with water and soap. Besides, you should use a little isopropyl alcohol to apply the foam and let it completely dry so as to kill all bacteria or viruses.

Note: You should let foam ear tips dry completely before reattaching them. 

Why Should We Clean Headphones and Earbuds Regularly?

Many studies have found that those who often use earbuds or headphones have substantially more bacteria in their ears than others who rarely use them.

Let’s take out your headphones or earphones and check the inside of the ear pads or the earbuds’ wire mesh. As a result, there will be many clogged earwax, grease, and dust being trapped in the little crevices of the headphones. 

We often toss our devices into our bags or pockets without realizing that this action will make the device accumulate dirt, increasing the chance of getting an ear infection and earwax blockage.

Therefore, you should regularly clean your headphones or earbuds to reduce the rate of getting ear diseases. Cleaning headphones and earbuds will also ensure their longevity and durability.

Tips For Cleaning Headphones and Earbuds

Before finishing this article, we also offer some tips that you should pay attention to when using and cleaning your headphones and earbuds. 

  • Always store your headphones and earbuds in a small bag or case when not using
  • Do not use or keep your headphones in very hot, cold, and humid environments (for example, saunas and car trunks)
  • Do not leave the charge port or battery compartment opened when storing them or not using
  • Do not kink or bunch your cable when using
  • Do not wrap your cable around your device while still plugged in
  • Always unplug or remove headphones by holding the plug or cable end
  • Do not clean your headphones or earbuds while still plugged in

Closing Idea  

We hope our post is clear enough for you to understand the most effective way to clean headphones and earbuds. You will not have to worry about bacteria and viruses that cause ear diseases if you spend several minutes cleaning your headphones and earbuds daily. 

Thank you for reading our article about “what is the best way to clean headphones and earbuds”. Goodbye for now and see you in the next informative posts about electronic devices!

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