How to clean your headphones without dying in the attempt

Do I need any special liquid or material to clean headphones?

Actually, no. Although “specialty” cleaners are sold, they are not necessary or contain anything magical that is better than what we have around the house.

As you can see, soap, water, and rubbing alcohol (or hydrogen peroxide) are just as effective for cleaning and disinfecting.

How to clean a headset in-ear

How to clean in-ear headphones

Whether they are in-ear pads that go further into the ear or designer ones vintage that they do not get so much in the ear, the main enemy is the wax that we generate.

In the same way, those that are introduced into the ear can insert something that infects it, so it is important that they are very clean and do not accumulate dirt, which is a breeding ground for bacteria.

To clean them, follow these steps.

1. Remove the small rubber ear pads

If they do (which is not the case of the Airpods or the Pixels Buds) carefully remove the rubber pads that you put in the ear.

As this is the least sensitive part, it is also the easiest to clean. It doesn’t have much science, you can soak it in a glass with water and mild soap. A gentle hand wash or hand wash will do the trick, and you don’t need to add too much.

If you leave them for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, the dirt will soften and it will be easier to remove. Next, rub with your fingers or a cloth soaked in the solution, rinse with water and pat dry with kitchen paper, for example.

It is important that they are well dry before putting them back on, so leave them on the air for a while.

It is not advisable to leave them in the sun because it will degrade the rubber, nor do you use a dryer that can deform it. These last two tips are for everything related to cleaning any headset.

2. Use a soft toothbrush for the rest of the headset

Toothbrush for cleaning headphones

If the bristles of the brush are soft, you will avoid damaging the headset, especially the metal grill.

Some use ear buds, but personally I do not recommend them. They seem less comfortable to me and, above all, you can leave cotton residue, especially on the grille or its joint with the rest of the hearing aid.

Regarding the use of the brush, there are two schools. Those who use it completely dry to prevent liquid from entering the headphones and those who moisten it with hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol (that’s me, and that is 70, that you should not go over, if you do not have, the ethyl alcohol of pharmacy may be worth) and remove the excess so that it is not wet, but very slightly moistened.

That way, there is some alcohol on the brush that will sanitize, but it won’t get through the mesh. Anyway, be very careful when you go through it, better five very light passes than one squeezing.

Similarly, please do not wipe the rest of the headset towards said mesh, but moving away from herThis way you will not introduce dirt into the appliance.

3. Clean the rest of the exterior surface

With the same solution, you can dampen a soft kitchen paper or cloth very slightly and clean the outer plastic of the headset. You can also continue to use the brush, especially if the shape of the earpiece creates difficult nooks.

Then let it air dry well without the sun shining and put the pads back on.

There are those who use disinfectant wipes to clean the headphones. Now that they are everywhere because of the pandemic and they are cheap, They are comfortable, but use them only if they meet two conditions:

  • Try first on another plastic similar to the one on the earphone and check that they do not contain any ingredient that damages plastic or color.
  • That it does not leave a residue or it falls apart as you clean. In that case, the remedy will be worse than the disease.

4. Clean the cargo box if they have one

How to clean the headphone case

If your headphones are Bluetooth, they will have a cargo box and you also have to clean it, because it becomes a nest of dirt.

It is very easy, you can use a cloth to remove the remains And again, some (me again) prefer it moistened to sanitize better. If the box is very dirty, you may need it. I am a heavy, but again we speak of slightly damp, never wet, and take care when cleaning the sensitive parts.

When we finish going through everything (with caution in the holes in which the headphones fit in the box), we leave it open for a while to dry, before putting the headphones back in.

How to clean an over-ear headphones

How to clean over-ear headphones

Ideally, the pad that surrounds the ears can be detached. That will allow us to clean it better. It is possible that, in the case of your headphones, this may not be. In that case, cleaning will be a bit more difficult, but it is not an engineering career either.

Be that as it may, again we divide into two parts, the ear pad and the body of the headset.

1. Clean the pads

In addition to cleaning, we need to disinfect, so again we resort to alcohol and moisten a cloth gentle.

Next, we have a good time on the pad, removing traces of grease or dirt.

We put the pads to dry on a kitchen paper, again, avoiding the sun and without using direct heat.

If the pads do not separate, the procedure is the same, taking care to go over the joint between the pad and the earphone on the inside, which tends to accumulate dirt. The ideal is that little bit of alcohol on the cloth, but that it does not drip or saturate the cloth, being able to get through the grill.

Again, disinfectant wipes can be ideal if they meet what we’ve seen. Our friend the old toothbrush can also help us here.

2. Clean the outside of the headset

Headphone cleaning alcohol

As they will surely be made of plastic, there is not much problem. A soft cloth dampened with alcohol will do.

Just have a good time and remove dirt and debris. Some people moisten with a soap and water solution. Clean, clean the same, but the alcohol dries up and evaporates before, that’s why it seems more appropriate.

3. Clean the inside of the headset

This is the part in contact with the ears and the material can vary greatly. If it is rigid or plastic, clean with the cloth and be very careful not to get alcohol through holes and gaps.

If there are other materials and you don’t dare with them, you can dry clean. You will have to give several passes of a cloth or soft toothbrush. Patience and that there is nothing left.

To finish, you can give a very light pass over it with a damp wipe or cloth to disinfect. I repeat, very slight, rather levitating across the surface, do not get cleaning solution.

Let everything dry well before using, put the pads if they were removable and that’s it.

Now you know how to clean your headphones. As you will see, it is very easy and it is more a matter of patience than difficulty.

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