How do I clean my headphones?

Like any product that comes into contact with our body, audio headphones accumulate impurities that our body eliminates or that are necessary for its functioning. Regular care of your earbuds is as much about maintaining their optimal operating conditions as it is about simple hygiene.

The Sony LinkBuds S // Source: Frandroid

Your ears are always clean, we have no doubt about that. However, it is in nature that you regularly secrete earwax that soils and clogs your audio headphones. In addition, there is dust and other pollutants that surround us. Especially since we use these products every day, on the street, in your armchair or during sports. So many small elements that are not very hygienic over time. Not to mention they can clog your headphones and thus affect sound quality. After forcing ourselves to wear our headphones for several weeks, here we will detail how to care for them.

How do I clean my in-ear headphones?

There are three areas to clean on the headphones, the tips, the protective grille and finally the shell.

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Here’s your foolproof kit for cleaning your headphones! // Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid

How do you clean the tips of your headphones?

There are two types of ear tips, plastic or silicone and memory foam, which are handled slightly differently.

How do you clean the plastic or silicone tips on your headphones?

The first thing to do is remove the tips from your headphones. Then continue with the following steps.

  • Soak them in hot (40 to 50°) soapy water (e.g. Marseille soap, which has antiseptic properties) for a few minutes.
  • Then, in the water, rub the tips with your fingers and do not hesitate to crush them with your fingers so that the rubbing effect reaches the channels.
  • Use a cotton swab to remove any residue adhering to its surface.
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Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • If any remain, use a toothbrush to remove them completely.
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Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Insert a toothpick through the channels to ensure no residue is left behind.
  • Rinse with cold water, pat dry with a towel or cloth.

How do you clean the memory foam tips on your headphones?

Memory foam earmolds are often made of foam and can therefore be processed slightly differently than plastic and rubber.

  • Soak them in hot water (40 to 50°). not soapyas the foam on this material is much more difficult to remove.
  • Using a cotton swab previously moistened with hot water, remove any residue adhering to its surface.
  • If there are any left, you can finish removing them with a toothbrush, but only with very soft bristles.
  • Insert a toothpick through the channels to ensure no residue is left behind.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • Let them air dry for a few hours to remove all traces of moisture.

How do you clean the protective grille on your headphones?

The small grille that separates the outside from the inside of your headphones serves to prevent cerumen, wax, from entering the audio system. It is therefore essential to clean it well, but it is also very fragile.

  • Dip a cotton swab or toothbrush with very soft bristles in warm water.
  • Place your earbud with the grille facing down and toward the floor; So gravity will help you in your task.
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Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Rub very gently to remove the wax and never force it to prevent it from getting into your headphones.
  • If residue remains on the sides of the grid, you can use a toothpick to finish the job.
  • Attention, always be very careful, never use force. It’s better to take more time to be sensitive than to force it to save time and end up damaging your headphones.

How do I clean my Airpods or Open Fit Earbuds?

Open-fit or tipless headphones are a format popularized by Apple with its AirPods and can be found at Huawei, for example. The cleaning procedure is quite simple since we only have to deal with the anti-wax grid.

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Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Dip a cotton swab or toothbrush with very soft bristles in warm water.
  • Place your headphones with the grille facing the ground to allow gravity to assist you in your task.
  • Rub very gently to remove the wax and never force it to prevent it from getting into your headphones.
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Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • If necessary, change the cotton swab and treat the inner surfaces around the grille.
  • There will certainly be residues on the sides of the grid, you can finish the work with a toothpick.

Attention, always be very careful, never use force. It’s better to take your time by being careful rather than forcing it to save time and end up damaging your headphones.

How to clean the headphones?

You’ve cleaned the “inner” parts and the end pieces, you now need to complete the process.

  • With a dry cloth you can remove fingerprints that visually soil the housing of your headphones.
  • But you can also use an antibacterial cloth on the surface beforehand, avoid too wet cloths, so that the product does not fit into non-waterproof headphones.
  • Never approach wax guards with them.
  • Finally, you can complete the operation on the cables of your product, if any, and the remote control.

You now have perfectly clean headphones. Always take the time to dry the different elements well and repeat this process regularly. Once a week or every two weeks is best to prevent clumps of residue from becoming too difficult to remove.


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