Headphones have risen in both popularity and in price in recent years. While there are a lot of great budget headphones under $200 available, headphones and earbuds are now investments, especially if you purchase one from high-end brands such as Samsung and Apple.
What this means is that everyone takes much better care of their headphones than they used to. One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that your headphones stay clean. Not only does this lead to your earbuds looking better, but it also enhances their longevity by preventing dust from going into the drivers and other parts.
Here, we show you how to clean your headphones and earbuds. We take you through the whole process, including how to clean headphone muffs and how to clean earwax out of earbuds.
What do You Need to Clean?
Thankfully, there are not a lot of things that you need in order to clean your headphones. Most of these items will probably already be in your house. Here is a complete list:
- Microfiber cloth
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Earbud cleaning tool
- Dish Soap (Optional but recommended)
How to Clean Over Ear Headphones
The first thing that you need to do when cleaning over ear headphones is to remove the muffs. Only then will you be able to get to all the areas of the headphones and clean them thoroughly. Put the muffs aside and focus on the headphones for now.
For the headband, you can simply use the microfiber cloth to wipe the dust away. If there is dried sweat, fingerprints, and grime on the headband, it is best to slightly dampen the microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol. Just remember that you should not use too much alcohol when cleaning your headphones, as a small amount will be more than enough to do the job and won’t make your headphones smell like alcohol for long.
When it comes to the drivers, it is best to use a dry toothbrush to wipe off all the dirt and hairs. Remember to be extremely careful around the driver area, as you risk damaging them if you apply too much pressure.
The earbud cleaning tool can be used to remove any remaining dirt that is left. If you do not have an earbud cleaning tool, a tweezer is your best bet. You can also use Q-tips, although they are nowhere near as effective as the other two options. Once you have wiped off all the dirt, clean the headphones once more with the microfiber cloth and turn your attention to the earmuffs.
How to Clean Headphones’ Muffs
Cleaning the muffs is actually quite easy. All you need is a dish soap solution and the microfiber cloth. Dip the microfiber cloth in the solution and wipe down the earmuffs. Here, you do not need to be careful about how much dish soap you use. Once you have wiped down the muffs thoroughly, you can use a clean microfiber cloth and remove the dish soap from the muffs.
Remember that when removing the dish soap, it is best to dip the microfiber cloth in water. After that, let the muffs completely dry out before you put them back on your headphones. Even a little bit of water seeping into the drivers may cause irreversible damage to the unit. It is also best to let the muffs air dry.
How to Clean Earbuds
Cleaning earbuds is a bit more nuanced compared to cleaning over ear headphones. However, the process itself is quite simple and all it takes is a few minutes.
How to Clean Wireless Earbuds
The process is mostly the same. Since the earbuds are quite small, all you need is to dip a microfiber cloth in a small amount of isopropyl alcohol and wipe the earbuds. If your earbuds are not waterproof, you need to be extremely careful with the amount of isopropyl alcohol you use.
If you have silicone or foam tips, you can remove them and wash them using the dish soap method outlined above.
Remember that the process for wired earbuds is still the same. The only difference is that you should use the isopropyl alcohol-dipped cloth on the wires as well.
How to Clean Earwax Out of Earbuds
This is where the earbud cleaning tool comes in handy. You can use the cleaning tool to remove earwax and other gunk from both the silicone tips and the earbud itself. Once again, tweezers and Q-tips can be used if you do not have access to a cleaning tool.
This really isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is to use one of the tools and carefully remove all the earwax. Once again, it is imperative that you use a gentle touch and do not end up damaging the earbud in any way.
How to Clean the Charging Case
The last thing you need to do is to clean the case. The exterior can be cleaned using a damp microfiber cloth. The inside of the case should be cleaned with a Q-tip. It is best to use a dry Q tip as you may risk damaging the charging coils otherwise.
So, How Often Should You Clean Your Headphones?
This entirely depends on how often you use them. Generally, you should clean your headphones or earbuds when they begin to appear dirty. Make sure to watch out for dirt, earwax, and fingerprints. Once they look dirty, they almost certainly are. If you rarely use your headphones, this will not happen that often.
However, those who use their earbuds on a daily basis should try to clean them at least once a week. On top of that, those who use their headphones while exercising should probably give them a basic wipe down after every use, and then a proper clean once every few days.