How to Clean Over-Ear Headphones Properly step by step guide
Home / How to / How to Clean Over-Ear Headphones Properly? Step by Step

How to Clean Over-Ear Headphones Properly? Step by Step

Hey there! When you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. We greatly appreciate your support! Here's how it works.

Headphones are an essential accessory for many people who enjoy listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or other audio content. However, headphones can also harbor dirt, earwax, sweat, bacteria, and other substances affecting their sound quality, hygiene, and lifespan. Therefore, it is important to clean your headphones properly and regularly to keep them in good condition and prevent potential health issues.

This blog post will show you how to clean different types of headphones, such as earbuds, in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear headphones, using simple and effective methods and materials. We will also provide you with some tips and tricks to maintain your headphones and avoid common mistakes that can damage them.

TopicKey Takeaways
Importance of CleaningRegular cleaning prevents damage, maintains sound quality, and eliminates germs.
Enhances appearance and extends headphone lifespan.
Materials NeededSoft cloth (microfiber recommended).
70% rubbing alcohol or disinfectant wipes.
Mild soap and water solution.
Cotton swabs.
Steps for Proper Cleaning1. Remove removable ear pads.
2. Clean excess dirt with a soft brush.
3. Sanitize with 70% alcohol solution.
4. Clean grilles and ports with cotton swabs.
5. Allow to air dry.
Tips for MaintenanceAvoid harsh chemicals and extreme heat exposure.
Proper storage prevents dust and damage.
Avoid touching internal components.
Recommended Cleaning ProductsCleaning wipes designed for headphones.
Cleaning sprays without harsh chemicals.
Cleaning kits with essential tools.
Recommended Cleaning FrequencyClean every 2-3 months, or more often with regular use.

The importance of cleaning your headphones

A close look of over ear headphones

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand why regular headset sanitation is necessary. Keeping your wireless headphones germ-free is important for a number of reasons.

Dirt and Grime

First and foremost, it prevents dirt and grime from getting into the crevices of the earphones and potentially damaging the internal components. This can lead to poor sound quality and even permanent damage.

Look Best

In addition, Purifying your headset can help them look their best. This can make them look more presentable, which is especially important if you’re using them in public. It can also make them last longer, as dirt and grime can wear down the material over time.

Germs and Bacteria

Finally, cleaning your headphones can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. This is especially important if you’re sharing your earphones with others, as germs and bacteria can easily spread through the ear pads. What You’ll Need to Sanitize them otherwise this can lead to an ear infection.

What You’ll Need to sanitize Your headphones

  • Soft cloth, lint-free cloth:  A soft cloth is the best material for sanitizing your headphones. A microfiber cloth is ideal, as it won’t scratch the surface of the earphone.
  • Rubbing alcohol or disinfectant wipes:  Rubbing alcohol is a great way to disinfect your headphones and kill any germs or bacteria that may be living on them. Make sure to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution, and be sure to dilute it with water before using it.
  • Mild soap and water:  A mild soap and water solution can be used to clean the surface of your pair gently. Make sure to use a mild, non-abrasive soap, and be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward.
  • Cotton swabs:  Cotton swabs are great for getting into the nooks and crannies. They can help you remove dust, dirt, and grime from the hard-to-reach areas of your headphones.

How to Clean your headphones Properly? 5 easy steps

Now that you know the best materials to use for Washing, it’s time to get to work. Here are the steps you should follow to start cleaning your headphones properly:

Before starting the process, it is essential to take off the earpads if they can be removed Gently pull on the edge of the earpads to loosen them. This will make it easier to clean the surface of the headphones without damaging the internal components.

Start by removing the ear pads. Now remove excess dirt or debris and clean the entire Surface. To do this, you can use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, and gently brush off the dust and dirt.

Now, wet the corner of a small lint-free cloth with a 70% rubbing alcohol solution and clean the ear cups and the rest of the headphones. Avoid soaking the paper towel or cotton ball because alcohol is harsh on leather and plastic. There’s no need to give your headset a bath just enough for a good cleaning.

The grilles and ports of over-ear sets are often overlooked, but they are critical to sound quality. These areas can accumulate dirt, sweat, and debris, which can affect the sound output. To clean the grilles and ports, use Cotton swabs in small holes, vents, or tight corners on the headphones.

After cleaning, it is essential to let your set dry completely before using it again. You can place them on a clean, dry surface and allow them to air dry naturally. Avoid using a hairdryer or any other heat source to dry the headset, as this can damage the materials. 

Once the headphones are dry, put the ear pads back on and enjoy your freshly cleaned headphones!

How do you know if your headphones need cleaning?

To determine if your headphones need cleaning, look out for the following signs:

  1. Visible Buildup: Check for the presence of earwax, dirt, or debris on the ear tips or ear cups of your headphones. This accumulation can negatively impact both the sound quality and hygiene of your headphones.
  2. Discomfort or Irritation: If you experience discomfort, itching, or irritation in your ears after using your headphones, this might indicate an infection or inflammation. Bacteria or fungi can thrive in moist and warm environments, such as those created within earphones.
  3. Unpleasant Odor: If you detect an unpleasant odor emanating from your headphones, it may be a result of sweat, oil, or other substances accumulating over time.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s advisable to clean your headphones promptly.

Tips for keeping your headphones clean

tips for maintain the cleaning

Now that you know how to clean your earphones, the importance now here are a few tips to help you keep them looking their best:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials on your headphones. These can damage the surface and potentially damage the internal components.
  • Don’t leave your earphones in direct sunlight or in a hot car. This can cause the ear pads to dry out and crack, resulting in a decrease in sound quality.
  • Store in a safe place when not in use. This will help protect them from dust and dirt, as well as avoid any accidental damage.
  • Avoid touching the internal components of your headset. This can cause damage to the components and reduce the sound quality of your headset.

Recommended Products to help keep your headphones dirt and grime-free

In addition to the materials listed above, there are a number of products available that can help keep your earphones clean. Here are a few of the most popular products:

  • Cleaning wipes: These wipes are specifically designed for cleaning headphones and are great for quickly Washing the surface of your headset.
  • Cleaning sprays: These sprays are designed to quickly and effectively clean your earphone without the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Cleaning kits: These kits come with everything you need to keep your headphones clean and looking their best. They usually include a microfiber cloth, cleaning spray, and cotton swabs.


When it comes to cleaning your headphones, it’s important to use the right materials. A soft cloth is the best material for cleaning the surface of your headphones while rubbing alcohol can be used to disinfect them and kill any germs or bacteria. Make sure to store your headphones properly when not in use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use disinfectant wipes to clean my headphones?

Yes, you can use disinfectant wipes to dirt-free the ear cushions and other parts of the headphones. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the headphones.

Can I use water to clean my headphones?

It’s best to avoid using water to sanitize your headset, as it can cause damage to the internal components. Instead, use a mild soap solution or 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Do all headphones washable?

No, not all headphones are washable. It depends on the specific model and design. Some audio devices are designed to be waterproof or water-resistant and may be washable to some extent, while others are not meant to be exposed to water or moisture and should not be washed. It is important to check the manufacturer’s instructions or specifications before attempting to wash any earphones.

How often should I wash my over-ear headset?

It’s recommended to clean every 2-3 months, or more frequently if you use them regularly.

Spread the love
Scroll to Top