How To Clean Headphones and earbuds?

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Jones Darrin

Headphones and earbuds are an essential part of anyone’s life who enjoys music and audio, but they can also be the bane of your existence if you don’t take care of them properly. Here is How To Clean Headphones No one wants their favorite piece of technology to stop working after just one month because it stopped being clean or getting tangled up in knots.

Fortunately, you can take great care of your headphones and earbuds by following these simple steps to keep them clean and tangle-free, so your favorite pieces of tech will last much longer than before! If you are still confused about the life span of headphones then visit How Long Do Headphones Last?

Why you should clean your headphones

Your headphones are probably one of the dirtiest things you own. They’re constantly in contact with your hair, ears, and clothing, which means they can pick up all sorts of bacteria. 

If you don’t clean them regularly, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Plus, if you share your headphones with others, you could be exposing them to all sorts of germs. They’re usually tossed into our pockets, bags, and anywhere else and they get mixed in with the other dirt and dust that’s been in the bottom since the beginning of time. We then take out the earlobes whenever we need them and then tuck them back in our ears with no hesitation.

We wouldn’t make the same mistake with other items, therefore How To Clean Headphones? A little attention and care on our headphones can be a big help. This helps us get the most value for our money while keeping our ears clean.

Not only is it important to clean your headphones for hygiene reasons, but it will also help them last longer. For example, when dirt builds up inside the earpiece holes, it creates pressure which makes them crack more easily. You should aim to clean your headphones every two weeks or so

What you need to clean headphones:

To clean your headphones, you’ll need a few things: a soft cloth, some rubbing alcohol, and cotton swabs. Before we go into the details of each kind of headphones it is necessary to have the basics. Although you won’t use every item on this list it’s a good idea to have a good base to work from.


Paper towels or towels

Hand soap





The alcohol used to rub the skin 

If you’re looking to wash headphones or earbuds, the principal tools are the same. The proper tools can cleanse your headphones, and kill any bugs or viruses that are living on them. The rubbing alcohol or bleach can be easily cleaned off your hands.

However, an accidental drop of it within your eyes could cause damage or even cause discomfort. Be sure to use your judgment and stay safe while cleaning out your cans. When you’re done, will have stunningly well-maintained headphones.

How To Clean Headphones including over-ear or on-ear.

Based on the model of the headphones you are using, take off the earpads and expand the headband as far as possible, this way you can reach every corner. “Clean headphones” means no dirt or grime within them, too. After you have removed the ear pads, get your toothbrush and head out to work.

Make sure to scrub off as much of the bigger dirt and specks as can. Be aware of the drivers, as you do not want to accidentally move the dirt all over the place. Then, you can proceed using the tweezers to get rid of any hairs or other debris that might be stuck.

After all the large pieces of debris have been removed and cleaned up, we can move to the cleaning part.

To do this, put the headphones in the towels, and then grab the cleaning solution of your choice. Hydrogen peroxide can be used however, you could also try bleach diluted or alcohol (63 percent) which is generally suggested for killing viruses. Do not soak the towel in water or a cotton ball in alcohol, as it isn’t a friend of leather or plastic. You can use just enough for excellent cleaning. There’s no need to shower your headphones a bathe.

Clean the ear pads before moving towards the headband to allow you to be aware of the amount of pressure to apply to get rid of dirt. Begin by working your way down to the ear cups, and ensure you’ve got the technique perfect because you’ll need the ability to make more accurate decisions when you are near the drivers.

The majority of headphones won’t work when surrounded by liquids, so be sure not to have any liquids dripping in the drivers. To help make sure you keep your headphones at an 90deg angle. You can then swab the drivers gently, and gravity will pull out the fluid away from internal components. Use Q-Tips to reach any difficult-to-access places. When you’re pleased with the way your old headphones appear clean, rub them using a towel or newspaper towel and let them dry. Similar to Humpty Dumpty it’s time to put them back together.

How to clean earbuds 

It’s important to keep your headphones and earbuds clean, not just for hygiene but also to prevent any damage that could occur from dirt and debris. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to clean them

Cleaning the driver’s unit

The driver is the small speaker inside the headphone or earbud. To clean it, start by using a dry toothbrush to remove any visible dirt or debris. If there’s still grime build-up, dampen the bristles of the toothbrush with water and gently scrub the driver. Be sure not to soak the driver unit, as this can damage it. Once you’ve cleaned off the gunk, let it air dry completely before putting your headphones back on.

Cleaning the ear tips

The first step is to remove the ear tips from the headphones or earbuds. If the ear tips are not removable, skip to the next step. Next, using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, gently wipe around the outside of each ear tip. Be sure not to get any rubbing alcohol inside the ear tip, as this can damage the speaker. Once you’ve wiped down the ear tips, place them back on the headphones or earbuds.

 Advanced Cleaning Method

To clean your headphones or earbuds, you’ll need a toothbrush, cotton swabs, isopropyl alcohol (70%), distilled water, and a microfiber cloth. 

1. Remove the headphone or earbud tips and wash them with soap and water. Be sure to rinse them well. 

2. Use the toothbrush to gently scrub the metal mesh on the headphones or earbuds.

How to clean your true wireless earbuds

1. To clean your true wireless earbuds, start by gently wiping down the exterior with a soft, dry cloth. 

2. If there is any dirt or grime build-up on the charging case, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean it off. 

3. To clean the ear tips, remove them from the earbuds and wash them with warm water and soap.

How to clean Apple AirPods

If you have Apple AirPods, you know how convenient they are. But, like any piece of technology, they need to be properly cared for if you want them to last. Here are a few tips on how to keep your AirPods clean: 

1. Start by using a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the outside of the case.

2. Next, gently brush away debris from the grill of each bud with a small amount of water. 

3. Finally, let them air dry before returning them to their case! 

How to clean headphone jacks

The headphone jack is one of the most important parts of your headphones or earbuds, and it’s also one of the most susceptible to dirt and grime. If you don’t clean it regularly, it can start to affect the sound quality of your music. Here’s how to clean it 

First, take a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and insert it into the opening of the jack. Rotate the swab inside until all visible gunk has been removed. You may need to repeat this process a few times before all traces are gone. 

To avoid having any loose gunk fall out after cleaning, cover up the tip with tape before removing the swab from the inside. Afterward, remove the tape. Another way to get rid of gunk around the tip of your headphones or earbuds is by wiping it off with a dry cloth (a cotton ball will work too).

Finally, make sure that you store them away properly when not in use! Allowing your buds to stay coiled for long periods can lead to tangles and knots that will be hard – if not impossible – to undo later on.

Getting rid of the “sweat” stink

Washable earpads are a must if you want to avoid the sweat stink that can build up on traditional headphones. If you don’t have washable earpads, make sure to at least wipe down the parts of your headphones that come into contact with your skin after each use. You can also try using an antiperspirant on the parts of your headphone that touch your skin to help prevent sweat from building up in the first place.

Keeping your ears clean

Cleaning your headphones or earbuds should be a regular part of your hygiene routine. Here’s how to do it: 

1) Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, cleaning solution, or soap and water to gently wipe away any dirt from the speakers. Be careful not to rub too hard on them so you don’t damage the sensitive speaker diaphragms. 

2) Run a lint roller over the headband, wires, cords, and earbuds. 

3) Use compressed air with caution when blowing out debris from within the headphone jack, as this could cause damage if done improperly. You can also remove dust and particles by wiping down the interior of the audio jack with a cloth or tissue. 

4) Remove any tangles from cables by brushing them firmly downwards against themselves (from one end to another). 

5) Dry all surfaces with a soft, dry cloth.

6) Replace your ear tips every few months or after they’ve been subject to sweat or oil build-up. 

7) Store headphones in their carrying case when not in use to avoid getting tangled up. 

8) Keep these simple steps in mind and you’ll never have dirty, tangled headphones again!


Headphones and earbuds are essential for many of us who enjoy music, podcasts, and other audio content. But they can get pretty dirty, pretty quickly. So it’s important to know How To Clean Headphones! Here are a few tips

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