Be it for listening to music or watching a movie or better yet gaming; headphones have become essential to mankind. With extended use, headphones too can accumulate dirt and grime in its various crevices. Which is why we must enlighten ourselves about the A-Z on how to clean headphones effectively.
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How to Clean Headphones
So Why Should One Clean His/her Headphones?
Frequent users of headphones often accumulate more bacteria into their ears than those that don’t. If radiation-emitting headphones again cover these ear holes, there are only more bacteria accumulating and growing exponentially in your ears. Your favorite headphone has traveled with you everywhere. In fact, it has been in more infiltrated places than you could have been. That pair of headphones you use get tossed around wherever you go.
It is only natural that headphones are exotic hotspots for bacteria to thrive in. Other than bacteria, there is visible dirt, sweat, and dust accumulating on its crevices every day. As to how you need to shower regularly to maintain hygiene, similarly, your headphones to need that cleanup time to time for serving you its purpose without transferring diseases to you or to anyone who uses them. Furthermore, cleaning a headphone and maintaining cleanliness is crucial for extending the life span and protecting the sound quality of it.
To guide you properly onto steps on what to do and not do while handling a headphone’s cleaning methods, we compiled the following steps on how to clean headphones without defecting the device.
1. Before getting on the actual cleaning process
you must ensure that you have all the essential necessities to get started with the process. Read the list below to check what you left out on to ensure you learn how to clean headphones efficiently.
- Rubbing Alcohol or isopropyl alcohol (hand sanitizers work too but are expensive)
- A Small Piece of cloth to wipe
- Cotton buds to get into those crevices
- Microfibre clothe
2. Earpads Removal and Sanitization
Headphones can be a little trickier to clean up when compared to earbuds that are simpler and easier. Earphones have distinct components compared to earbuds type headphones, consisting of caps and band cushions for comfort.
Two of the central core parts that require your focus while cleaning up an on-ear headphone is its ear pads and band cushion. Hence on our first step on how to clean headphones, we focus on earpads first. The earpads are made up of synthetic fibers and often tend to crack with extended use. These cracks are due to sweat residues and humid that lingers on them after you use. So, every time you use headphones, make sure to wipe them with a microfiber cloth after each session and leave them up to dry in non-humid conditions.
If your earpads are of Velour material, then you can remove them off and thoroughly soak them in soapy water to get ultimate cleanliness. If your earpads seem as so they could get damaged when soaked in water then rub them gently with a cotton pad dipped in Alcohol thoroughly, additionally reaching crevices with q-tips.
3. Cleaning the Screens
There is no rule that only the parts of the headphone in contact with the ear and open to surroundings will only gather dirt and grime. Even the innermost regions, such as the screen which is a mesh-like film that covers the source of the sound waves and can gather filth. This is why our next step on how to clean headphones focuses on screens. After removing the covers, you can easily clean the filters of headphones with any cleaning essential near you. By using a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush, even your regular toothbrush will do the job, gently brush off any debris with light pressure. You have to remember to be gentle with this part as screens are pretty fragile themselves.
If for any reason, you notice that there’s ear wax like residues on the screen, then don’t hesitate to intervene with a damp cloth dipped in Alcohol. Ear wax generally cannot be dissolved with water, so you will need to mandate the use of Alcohol for this step. If you prefer using Hydrogen Peroxide, you can use that as well for cleaning the screens gently. But at the end for getting rid of the moisture present from the water, use a damp cloth to dry out the surfaces as much as you can to avoid swarming of bacteria to this spot soon after you leave out for drying. Bacteria is present everywhere, including the air that we place ourselves in every day, so even if you know how to clean headphones thoroughly, leaving it in the open aseptically could turn your cleaning endeavor to vain.
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4. Disinfecting the Headphone Band
A headphone band comprises the core backbone of the headphones. To learn how to clean headphones the right way, headphone bands can never be neglected. Solely because it doesn’t have anything physical to do with the ears or sound emission per se, headphone bands have cushions that are still crucial to the headphone as a whole. Regular headphones have supportive bands made either of leather covering or without the covering. The leather foam provides a sweet comfort while the headphone sits on the head for an extended period. This foam cushion, however, if not taken necessary care of, can deteriorate with time. As mentioned before, in this how to clean headphones article, humid is the main enemy to headphones.
With prolonged use, headphones gather sweat produced from the head, which if you don’t know does feature a significant number of sweat glands. The further humid built from the sweat can linger on the leather band for long causing cracks or gradual peeling of the leather covering.
To tidy up this part, it’s wise to use a damp cloth soaked in warm water containing soap. Using this small piece of clothing, wipe around the entire leather cushion that sits on the headphone band. If your headphones don’t have such a leather band then wipe around the whole headphone band with isopropyl alcohol and a small piece of cloth. To get to the crevices that the fabric can’t reach. Use q-tips to clean off accumulated dirt and grime.
After properly cleaning the headphone band, it’s time to get rid of the moisture. Using a microfiber cloth, it is recommended that you wipe up the entire headphone band to aid faster drying. Then disinfect the headphone with some alcohol to remove possible bacteria. Make sure you do not miss out on any spot. After thorough wiping, leave the headphone hanging in a non-humid place or over a paper towel to dry.
For daily maintenance, you will need to wipe up the headphone band cushions after each session of usage gently with a microfiber cloth.
5. Finally, the Corded Wire
The last step on how to clean headphones involves the wires. These days most headphones are made wireless and connect via Bluetooth, which is very handy. But still some of us prefer to have wired cords with our headphones, and if your headphone does have a cord, then this step is an obligation for you. However, you can ignore this step if you have got Bluetooth headphones.
Since contamination happens by communication, cords that are attached to the headphones can also serve as a hub to bacteria that could reach other areas of the headphone. The cords are always more prone to collecting dirt due to the material it’s made up of. Since the cord is in contact with almost all inanimate things which include the floor, desk and so on, it is most probable to picking up dirt and contaminations from these spots.
To clean the cords, use a cloth dampened with generous amounts of isopropyl alcohol and with sufficient pressure, wipe down the cord. To do this, you can hold the cloth tightly around one end of the wire using thumb and index finger. After this, move the cord towards the other end, maintaining the grip with the fingers while doing so. Then leave it out to dry over a paper towel or on a headphone stand. Then use a microfiber cloth to dry out excess moisture from the wires. Finally, clean off the headphone jack with a dry cloth with gentle wipes.
That’s how to clean headphones effectively, using simple things that are always around you.
Finally, a few tips apart from how to clean headphone for further maintenance of the headphones regularly to extend its life span.
- Wipe off headphones dry every time you use them. Each session could lead to sweat lingering on the headphones, so it’s wise to dry it off using a microfiber cloth.
- When not in use, store headphones in an enclosed casing with silica gel which keeps the headphones moisture-free.
- Leather oil would be an excellent option to invest on to maintain your favorite headphone’s quality for a longer time.
- Keep ears clean enough regularly, there is no need to overdo it, however.
Hopefully this article provides you with basic guidelines on how to clean headphones and further to maintain them regularly. Although build-up of dirt and grime is inevitable, lest its best to reduce the severity of that build up.