How to clean your headphones?

How to clean your headphones?

Like any product in contact with our body, audio headphones accumulate impurities that our body gets rid of or necessary for its functioning. Maintaining your earphones regularly is as much about helping to prolong their optimal working condition as it is about simple hygiene.

The Sony LinkBuds S
The Sony LinkBuds S // Source: Frandroid

Your ears are always clean, we have no doubt about that. Nevertheless, nature is such that you regularly secrete earwax which dirties and clogs your audio headphones. Added to this are the dust and other pollutants that surround us. Especially since we use these products on a daily basis, on the street, in your armchair or while playing sports. So many small elements that over time are not very hygienic. Not to mention that they can clog your headphones and therefore reduce sound quality. After forcing ourselves to wear our headphones for several weeks, here we will detail how to maintain them.

How to clean your in-ear headphones?

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

How to clean your headphones 02
Here is your foolproof kit to clean your headphones! // Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid

How do you clean the tips of your earphones?

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

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

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

  • Soak them in hot (40 to 50°) soapy water (Marseille soap, for example, which has antiseptic properties) for a few minutes.
  • Then in the water, rub the tips with your fingers, not hesitating to crush them in your fingers so that the friction effect reaches the ducts.
  • Using a cotton swab, remove any residue that has stuck to their surface.
How to clean your headphones 05
Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • If there are any left, use a toothbrush to finish removing them.
How to clean your headphones 06
Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Run a toothpick through the ducts to make sure no residue remains.
  • Rinse with cold water, pat dry with a towel or cloth.

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

Memory foam earmolds are often made of foam and therefore process slightly differently than plastic and rubber.

  • Soak them in hot water (40 to 50°) not soapybecause the foam is much more difficult to remove on this material.
  • Using a cotton swab previously moistened in hot water, remove any residue that has stuck to their surface.
  • If there are any left, you can use a toothbrush to finish removing them, but only with very soft bristles.
  • Run a toothpick through the ducts to make sure no residue remains.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • Let them air dry for a few hours so that all traces of moisture disappear.

How do you clean the protective grille of your headphones?

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

  • Dip a cotton swab or very soft-bristled toothbrush in warm water.
  • Position your earphone so that the grille is facing down, facing the floor; so gravity will help you in your task.
How to clean your headphones 07
Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Rub very gently to remove the wax and never force it to prevent it from getting into your earphones.
  • If there are residues left on the sides of the grid, you can finish the job using a toothpick.
  • Attention, always be very delicate, never force. It is better to take more time being delicate than to force to save time and end up damaging your headphones.

How to clean your Airpods or open-fit earphones?

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

How to clean your headphones 08
Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Dip a cotton swab or very soft-bristled toothbrush in warm water.
  • Place your earphone so that the grid is facing the ground so that gravity will help you in your task.
  • Rub very gently to remove the wax and never force it to prevent it from getting into your earphones.
How to clean your headphones 09
Source: Yazid Amer – Frandroid
  • Change the cotton swab if necessary and treat the internal surfaces surrounding the grid.
  • There will certainly be residue on the sides of the grid, you can finish the job with a toothpick.

Attention, always be very delicate, never force. It is better to take more time by being delicate than to force to save time and in the end damage your headphones.

How to finish cleaning your headphones?

You have cleaned the “internal” parts and the end pieces, you must now finalize the operation.

  • Using a dry cloth, you can remove fingerprints that visually pollute the body of your headphones.
  • However, you can also use an antibacterial wipe on the surface beforehand, avoid wipes that are too wet so that the product does not fit into headphones that are not waterproof.
  • Never approach wax guards with them.
  • Finally, you can finalize the operation on the wires of your product if it has them and the remote control.

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


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