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How to clean your headphones and earphones

How to clean your headphones and earphones

Why clean your headphones?

Whether you have headphones or earphones, you should clean them regularly for hygiene and maintenance reasons. This is especially true if you wear your headphones during exercise, as many of us do.

Sweating can build up and make the headphones smell bad. Ear wax can clog drivers and reduce not only the volume but also the clarity of the sound. Then there’s all the dirt you can’t see like bacteria and other germs that can make you sick. Clean headphones are simply more hygienic.

By adjusting your headphones while you’re at the gym, you can transfer anything you’ve touched to them. It has been shown that viruses such as SARS-Cov-2, causing COVID-19They live up to three days on plastic and other hard surfaces. If you touch a contaminated headset, you could spread the virus to other surfaces or get infected if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes.

Studies It has been shown that headphones increase the growth of bacteria in the ear and can be passed from one person to another if the headphones are shared. Even if you don’t share yours, think about what your headphones touched and if you want to put them in your ear.

A staphylococcal variety is one of the most common bacteria that can be transferred from the ear to the headphones. An overgrowth of these types of bacteria could also causes an ear infection. Cleaning the headphones will help reduce this risk.

Cleaning earphones

How you clean your earphones will vary. Many brands are designed with easy cleaning and have removable headphones and cables that you can unplug at both ends.

A pair of black Beats headphones.

Other brands are not as easy to clean, so you will need to be careful not to damage them while doing so. If possible, consult the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Manzanita, beatings Yes Bose these are just some of the brands that offer basic cleaning instructions.

To effectively clean your headphones, you will need the following supplies:

  • A soft, damp cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol (friction) containing 70% or more alcohol
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • A paper towel, a napkin or a clean cloth

If you are concerned about damage to the headset material, test in a discreet area first. It is unlikely that rubbing alcohol will permanently damage the skin or PVC (synthetic leather) in the amount you will use. If the headphones are made entirely of plastic or metal, you don’t have to worry.

Follow these steps to clean your hearing aids:

  1. If possible, remove the headphones from the headphones for easier access to the meshes below.
  2. With a soft, damp cloth, wipe off any dirt or sticky dirt from both the headphones and the main headset. Get down as low as you can, because bacteria and other ugly substances will stick to the dirt.
  3. Dampen a clean cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol. Clean the entire surface of the headphones and the rest of the headphones.
  4. Wet a cotton ball or a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and clean all corners. Do this both on the headphones (in areas such as fabric folds) and on the main headphone unit.
  5. Extend the headphones to the maximum size and then clean them well with a towel or cloth and a little rubbing alcohol. Clean any buttons, volume buttons, or remote controls you can use. Spend more time in the area where you catch the headphones when you put them on and take them off.
  6. Rub a paper towel or cotton swab with a little alcohol for rubbing and clean the mesh of the main speakers. Make sure you don’t miss a place.
  7. If your headphones have a microphone (such as a gaming headset, for example), be sure to clean the net and adjustable arm with rubbing alcohol.
  8. Finally, clean the cables, including the rubber handle next to the connector, with a paper towel and a little rubbing alcohol.

Allow the alcohol to dry completely (it should evaporate quickly) before reassembling and using the headphones. If you allow the isopropyl alcohol to evaporate, it should leave no traces or residues.

Cleaning of in-ear headphones

In-ear headphones are undoubtedly even less hygienic than those with ears, because they are actually placed in the ear. Some headphones are quite deep in the ear canal and form a seal, thanks to the silicone tips. Although the sound is unbeatable, the risk of ear infection is higher.

A hand holding a pair of Apple AirPods in the open case.

I covered how to clean AirPods before this advice also applies to most other models internal.

To effectively clean in-ear headphones, you will need the following supplies:

  • A soft, damp cloth
  • Isopropyl alcohol (friction) containing 70% or more alcohol
  • A clean paper towel, napkin or cloth
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • A wooden toothpick
  • Blu-tack or similar adhesive (optional)
  • Hot soapy water (for silicone tips)

If the in-ear headphones have removable silicone ears, remove and clean them separately. The best way to do this is with warm water and a little soap. Be careful not to break the silicone while doing this. Then place them in a safe place where they can be air dried while cleaning the controllers.

If the headphones have foam covers, you can remove them and clean them with warm soapy water. Alternatively, apply some rubbing alcohol to the foam and let it evaporate. This will kill any bacteria or germs that may be present.

Follow these steps to clean your in-ear headphones:

  1. Clean all controllers with a soft damp cloth. Remove dirt, wax or sticky dirt.
  2. Gently remove ear wax or other dirt from the mesh of the speakers with a wooden toothpick. Be careful not to damage the mesh while doing this.
  3. Heat some Blu-Tack (or similar adhesive) in your hands and then lightly press it on the speaker eye. Quickly remove it to remove dirt or wax, and then repeat until the speaker net is clean. The clean mesh of the speaker will also improve the sound quality!
  4. Dampen a clean cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol. Clean the entire controller and be sure to clean any sensors (such as ear detection sensors on Apple AirPods).
  5. Immerse a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and use it to completely disinfect the diffuser eye. This should help loosen any stubborn dirt.
  6. Moisten a paper towel or clean cloth with alcohol once more and wipe the cables, in-line remote controls, or the rubber handle near the connector.
  7. Allow the alcohol to evaporate completely before putting the headphones on or in your ears.

Cleaning the housing

Some wireless in-ear headphones come with charging boxes. It is important to clean them well; Otherwise, your clean headphones will get dirty again as soon as you set them aside.

In order to AirPods or similar, a soft bristle toothbrush will help ELIMINATE dirt accumulated around the hinge. You can use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to disinfect the inside of the case. Use an alcohol swab to clean hard-to-reach cargo compartments.

A hand holding an Apple AirPods case and cleaning it with a toothbrush.

Remember to remove dirt and grime before sanitizing. Bacteria and other harmful microbes can stick to dirt, even after cleaning the case with alcohol.

For over-ear headphones, you can use a little soap and warm water to clean the stains without saturating them completely. Washing alcohol will disinfect the fabric, but you may want to do a spot test before doing so, just to make sure that the alcohol will not damage it.

Finally, some people recommend leave silica gel in the case of headphones to keep them fresh. The theory is that reducing the moisture level in the carcass allows fewer bacteria to grow. This can be a good idea if you often put on your headphones right after a sweaty gym session.

Hygiene tips you need to hear

To keep your headphones in excellent condition, clean them regularly. Do not allow ear wax or other dirt to accumulate. If possible, wipe them with alcohol wipes after each use.

Sharing headphones (especially those worn in the ear) can introduce new bacteria into the ears and upset their natural balance. Excessive growth of a certain type of bacteria can cause a painful ear infection. So, if possible, do not share headphones or earphones with other people.

Finally, consider ear cleaning. Medical professionals recommend this do not use cotton swabs or any small sharp object to do this, as they can damage your eardrum. If it’s smaller than your elbow, don’t put it in your ear.

Instead, you can clean the outside of the ear canal with a clean damp cloth. To accumulate wax, you can buy ear drops without a prescription to soften it. Always follow the instructions on the package. You can also buy over-the-counter ear syringe sets that use warm saline to clean the ear canal.

Now that you’ve cleaned your headphones (and ears), why not disinfect the rest of your devices?

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