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The quality of your listening experience greatly depends on how well you care for and maintain your headphones. The pads on many pairs of headphones are seldom if ever, cleaned. Many issues may arise as a result of this.

The importance of keeping your headphones and earpads clean

Keeping the condition of your headphones in good shape has several advantages. If you are unsure of the value of your current actions, consider the following advantages.

  • Save money – You may save money on new pads for your headphones by taking better care of them in the first place.
  • More comfortable – A longer lifetime and better condition from regular maintenance of your headphones both contribute to a more relaxing listening experience over time.
  • More sanitary – Headphone cushions gather perspiration, filth, and germs, regardless of whether the headphones are over the ear, in the ear, or full size. Regular cleaning may reduce the likelihood of this happening and will also keep your headphones feeling fresh.

Keeping your headphones in good condition has several advantages. The simplicity of use is an excellent quality. At no point is any serious physical labor required. Because of this, you may expect to get more use out of your headphones.

We’ll cover all you need to know to clean your headphones’ pads and explain why it’s critical that you do so in this post. Headphones and ear cushions should be cleaned regularly to extend their useful life and keep the sound quality at a high level. To properly clean both pieces, do as follows:

How do you clean ear pads on headphones?

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The following are some of the most important considerations while caring for over-the-ear or full-size headphones:

Unplug the headphones

  • Before starting any cleaning procedure, make sure the headphones are unplugged to avoid potential damage or electrocution.

Remove the ear pads if possible

  • Most over-ear headphones have removable ear pads. If yours do, gently detach them. This will allow for deeper cleaning.

Cleaning the ear pads

  • Use a soft, damp (not wet) cloth with mild soap or an equal parts mixture of water and white vinegar to gently clean the pads. Avoid soaking them as excess moisture can damage the material. After cleaning, wipe them with a dry cloth and allow them to air-dry completely.

Cleaning the headphone speakers:

  • Use a dry, soft toothbrush to gently brush off any dust or debris from the mesh area of the speakers. Be careful not to press too hard to avoid damaging the delicate mesh.

Clean the headband and other parts

  • For the headband and non-mesh parts of the headphones, you can use a damp cloth with mild soap or a water-vinegar solution. After cleaning, dry them thoroughly.


  • Once everything is completely dry, reattach the ear pads.

Weekly cleanings

  • Weekly cleanings aren’t necessary if you don’t use headphones regularly. Clean it every 7 usages. Simply moisten a delicate washcloth with warm soapy water. Just dampen it. Wipe your headphone pads. Just gently wipe them. Dry them before using or storing them.

How To Clean Over-Ear Headphones

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Unplug the headphones: In-ear headphones, like their over-the-ear counterparts, should never be worn while plugged in.

Remove the ear tips if possible

Most in-ear headphones come with silicone or foam ear tips that may be swapped out for a different fit. If so, you should remove them before cleaning.

Clean the ear tips

In the case of silicone ear tips, you may clean them by immersing them in a solution of mild soap and warm water. The foam shouldn’t be immersed in water but rather cleaned using a towel dampened with water and mild soap. You shouldn’t try to rejoin them until they’re completely dry.

Cleaning the headphone speakers

Use a gentle, dry toothbrush to gently scrape the mesh of the headphones to eliminate dust. Never place anything into the nozzle of the earphones, since doing so might damage the headphones’ sensitive drivers.

Clean the rest of the earphones

The rest of the headphones may be cleaned by wiping them down with a cloth dampened with a solution of mild soap and water. Maintaining a dry environment around any openings is essential.


Once the glue has set, reassemble the earpieces.

General Tips:

  • Always use a soft cloth to avoid scratching your headphones.
  • Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners that can damage the headphones’ finish.
  • Never submerge your headphones in water.
  • If your headphones are heavily soiled, it may be worth consulting with the manufacturer for specific cleaning guidelines.
  • Regularly cleaning your headphones can prevent dirt and oils from building up and degrading the material over time.
  • Avoid sharing in-ear headphones to prevent the spread of bacteria and ear infections.
  • Remember that after using any liquid for cleaning, everything should be completely dry before reassembling or using it to prevent water damage.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care and maintenance guidelines, as some materials may require special handling.

How to clean headphones and ear pads FAQ

How often should you clean headphone pads?

Weekly cleanings – If you don’t wear your headphones often, you don’t have to do this every single week. As a rough guideline, do this cleaning after every 7 or so uses. All it involves is wetting a soft washcloth with warm soapy water.

Do you need to clean over-ear headphones?

How to clean your headphones and earbuds – SoundGuys, Even without a global pandemic, there are plenty of reasons to give your headphones a good thorough cleaning. That’s especially true if you use them regularly. Whether you have a pair of over-ear cans or true wireless earbuds, clean headphones are happy headphones—and ones that are less infested with microbes.

How often should you replace earpads?

Typically, ear cushions should be replaced every six months or every 350 hours of use. They may need to be replaced more often if worn over facial hair, subject to extreme temperatures, or stored in a way that puts force on the cushions.

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