How to Clean Headphones: Things You Should Know

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Are you uncomfortable because of your unclean headphones? If so, keep reading this article! Everything about how to clean headphones is here! 

Whether you are using a pair of headphones, earbuds, or AirPods, they will get dirty after a while. So you need to clean them or be uncomfortable at that time. To help you with that, our article below will show you how to clean headphones effectively.  

The tips on how to clean Earbuds and how to clean AirPods are also discussed in this post. Let’s go through it now to learn more! 

Why Do We Need to Clean Our Headphones? 

After a long time of use, headphones will be prone to dirt and bacteria from the outside environment and inside the ear. Thus, cleaning it is a must because of the following reasons:  

#1: Reduce Damage and Increase Headphone Life

Headphones, if cleaned regularly, can prevent damage and increase their lifespan to help you use them for a long time.

#2: Keep The New Appearance to Ensure Sound Quality After a Period of Time

Keep The New Appearance to Ensure Sound Quality After a Period of Time

Suppose you do not clean the headset regularly, this will cause the sound quality of the item to degrade. So periodic cleaning your headphones will help you keep the sound quality as good as when you first bought them. 

#3: Eliminate Bacteria That Can Enter The Ear

Eliminate Bacteria That Can Enter The Ear

Headphones are very susceptible to dirt and bacteria entering both the external and internal environments. Thus, cleaning them properly helps you stay healthy and protect your ears from infections. 

Ways to clean headphones

Before cleaning your headphones, it is essential to prepare some cleaning tools like a soft cloth (eyeglass cleaning type), dry cotton swab, ear cleaning and a soft cleaning toothbrush, and isopropyl alcohol or 90 degrees alcohol.

In this section, besides instructing you how to clean headphones, we also show you instructions for cleaning other items like Earbuds and AirPods. 


The way you can clean your headphones will differ. Plenty of brands are arranged with ease of cleaning in mind and have detachable ear cables and cups that enable you to unplug at both ends.

Some brands may be difficult to clean, so you must be careful not to break them when cleaning. Conceivably, refer to the company’s cleaning guidelines. Beats, Bose, and Apple are a few trademarks that provide primary cleaning guidance. 

To clean the headphones effectively, follow the following steps: 

Step #1: Unplug (with wired headset) turn off the power (with wireless headset).

Unplug your headphones 

Unplug your headphones 

Step #2: Remove the parts with the stopper. Then, wipe them with a wet paper towel. For the hard-to-reach areas, you will insert the desiccant pack and wait 10 minutes before moving on to the next step.

Remove the stopper

Remove the stopper

Step #3:  Use a clean toothbrush to brush the item. If it is optimal, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and then put it inside to clean. Accordingly, the cotton swab will be satisfactory when it is no longer dirty. 

Clean your headphones with alcohol

Clean your headphones with alcohol

Step #4: Use an alcohol-soaked cloth to gently wipe the bridge between the two headphones to avoid scratching where there is much dirt; rub it several times in a circle.

Wipe your headphones 

Wipe your headphones 

After completing the above steps, you put your ear-headphones in a dry place exposed in front of the fan to dry faster. Please wait until it is scorched to reinstall it.  

Earbuds / AirPods 



If you are using a pair of Earbuds or Airpods, you can follow the step below: 

Step #1: Unplug (with wired headset) turn off the power (with wireless Earbuds).

Step #2: Remove the parts with the rubber stopper and soak it in dish soap water for about 5 minutes (make sure the rubber ear tips are waterproof). 

Remove the rubber stopper.

Remove the rubber stopper.

Step #3: Use a soft brush, preferably a baby’s one, because it’s quieter than an adult’s. Then gently brush the mesh to remove any earwax dust if present (remember to point it down to let it fall off). 

Brush your headset

Brush your headset

Step #4: Use a dry cotton swab or soft cloth soaked in alcohol to clean the charging cocoon (for True Wireless earbuds). Remember to be gentle to avoid scratching the charging cocoon or breaking the cord.

Clean the charging cocoon

Clean the charging cocoon

Again, it is advisable to let the item completely dry before it is reinstalled. Instead of using a hairdryer, we suggest you put it in front of a fan for it to dry naturally. 

See more:

The wire of the headset

It is the most sealed component of the headset, so cleaning is also more straightforward. You can use dishwashing liquid or a small amount of acetone solution on a soft cloth and clean the headset vertically. Also, a piece of alcohol wipe is acceptable in this case. 

Note: It is recommended to stroke very gently, as this may break the rope when a too strong force is applied. And don’t forget to do it many times to get the best results.  

Some notes when cleaning headphones

When clearing up the headphones, be very gentle and careful to avoid scratching the mesh diaphragm.

You do not immerse the headset in freshwater or let the headset get too much water because it will seep inside and damage the electrical wiring immediately.

For earphones, we suggest you not use alcohol to clean the ear cushions. They are susceptible to detergents and can easily cause skin discoloration. 

After the headphones are clean, it is advisable to leave them in a dry place for at least 30 minutes before using them again.

How to increase headphones’ life 

To protect your headphones better, keep in mind the following notes: 

Periodically clean the ear pads and ear tips with a mixture of soapy and warm water with a soft, damp cloth. 

It would be best if you did this once a week. Make sure your pair of headphones is off and disconnect it from the device. 

Dry carefully with a clean cloth. Do not use alcohol to fade or damage leather or fabric components more quickly. As long as you use a cloth with soap and water, all stains will be cleaned promptly.

Clean the inside of the earbuds with a comfy brush to remove any dirt. 

Accumulation of dirt will interfere with the sound of the earbuds. You ought to buy a cleaning tool for a relatively cheap price (sold quite a lot at online markets or headphone stores).

Clean your headphones after each exercise and let them dry completely before charging. 

Even if your headphones are water and sweat-resistant, you should not leave them wet for a long time. That is because water can gradually seep into the battery compartment or the earbuds themselves, shortening their life or damaging the driver.

Therefore, after exercising, it is advisable to clean the earbuds and dry them, as mentioned above.

Put headphones and earbuds in a case or case when not in use. 

The case or box will help protect your headset from dust, scratches, and bumps. Some high-end headphones come with a carrying case; if you don’t have one, you can buy it separately, but be careful to choose a box that fits the headphones you have.

Do not leave the headset in places that are too hot or too cold. 

Steam rooms or car trunks are not good places for headphones, especially wireless headphones that use batteries. 

Also, don’t keep them for a long time in damp or humid places, even if they are water-resistant. You can put a pack of desiccant gel in a bag or headphone storage box for even better protection.

If your headphones use batteries, do not leave the charging port or battery compartment open when storing. 

Wrapping headphones around your phone while it’s plugged in, will cause the cable to bend at the end of the plug and possibly cause the headphone jack to snap out. 

To properly wind the cable, gently roll it around your finger, following the natural curve of the line forming a circle. To prevent the cable from tangling, use Velcro to fasten the cord.

Do not tie cables or cords around the device while it is plugged in.

To properly wind the cable, gently roll it around your finger, following the natural curve of the line forming a circle. To prevent the cable from tangling, use Velcro to fasten the cord.

Permanently remove the headphone cable by grasping the end, not the cord. 

Do not remove the headphone cable from the device by grasping the cord and pulling. Doing so will cause the line to weaken over time. 

Similarly, it is not recommended to remove the pair of earbuds from the ear by pulling the special cable when the earbuds are attached to the ear. The force generated can cause damage to your ears. Instead, grab the earbuds’ body and rotate it slightly while pulling it out.

Significant hygiene tips

Below are two valuable hygiene tips for your reference. Let’s go through them! 

Tip 1: 

Sharing headsets (exclusively in-ear ones) commits to import strange bacteria into your ears and upset their natural equity. 

A significant sort of specific bacteria can bring about painful ear infections. So if possible, don’t let others use your headphones or earbuds.

Tip 2: 

Please consider clearing up your ears. Medical professionals do not recommend using a Q-tip or any tiny sharp object because they may injure your eardrum. If it’s not as big as your elbow, don’t insert it into your ear.

Instead, it is advisable to use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the outer surfaces of the ear canal. For earwax buildup, you can get over-the-counter ear drops to soften the earwax.  

Consistently pursue the disciplines on the packet. It is also possible for you to purchase an over-the-counter ear pump kit that uses warm saline for ear canal cleaning.


To better understand this topic, you are recommended to refer to the additional information provided below. 

Ways to clean the headphone charger cable with pure white porridge color

Step #1: First, protect the jack of the charger so that it doesn’t get wet. You can use a plastic bag to cover it.

Step #2: Put a little warm water in a small bowl or bowl, then mix about half a cap of Javel bleach and mix well. 

Step #3: Soak the charging cord for about 1 minute. Note that do not soak the jack part of this part wet, which may damage the charger. Washing for too long can damage the cover of the charging cord.

Step #4: After soaking, use a solid towel to clean the charging cord. Then, rinse with water, and the charging cable will be pure white.

Note that when performing, Javel bleach can cause skin irritation and have an odor, so you wear gloves to protect your hands when doing it.  

Suppose, unfortunately, Javel water gets on your hands. In that case, you can use hand sanitizer or lemon to remove the smell of Javel water. 

How to keep the headphone cord from getting tangled?

Make the headphone cord untangled first (if tangled, try to eliminate it). 

Then, you use an office-type paper clip, squeeze the two butterfly wings to open the clamp and thread the wire in so that the two ends of the headset are outside the clip’s hole. 

Wrap the wire around the two butterfly wings of the clamp until the end of the wire; you thread the headphone jack through the two holes of the butterfly wings.

It’s done. When you want to listen, you clip this clip to your shirt and pull the headphone jack into the earphone. When you’re done listening, wrap the wire around the butterfly’s wings as instructed above to ensure that the wire is never tangled.


How to clean headphones will never be challenging to do once you have gone through our article. We hope it is helpful to you and successfully clean your headphones. 

If you still have any questions about this topic, do not hesitate to comment below. We will reply to you as soon as we can. Thank you for reading! 


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