With so many people working remotely, it’s no surprise that folks are used to having headsets on or earbuds in. With increased use, these devices naturally get dirtier than they would otherwise. Let’s take a look at how you might go about cleaning them.

It’s Not Pleasant to Think What Headphones Go Through

Unsurprisingly, the human ear can get pretty nasty. Between all of the sweat and earwax they suffer through, your earbuds can accumulate all sorts of bacteria that could potentially put your health at risk. You have to keep your earbuds clean if you want to keep this from happening. There are different methods of cleaning headsets or earbuds, depending on the type you use. We have put together how you can clean both over-ear headphones and your in-ear headphones and earbuds.

Cleaning Your Over-Ear Headphones

Gather your cleaning supplies:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (70 percent alcohol or higher)
  • A clean, soft, dampened cloth
  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Cotton balls
  • Optionally, electronic dust-cleaning gel

First, check to see if the earpieces in your headphones can be removed. Some brands do this just so you can clean them more easily. This isn’t necessary, but you’ll need to be more careful if you can’t remove them.

Once you have your supplies, follow this process:

  1. Remove the earpieces from the headphones, if possible
  2. Using the damp cloth, wipe away as much grime as you can from the earpieces and the rest of the headphones in general
  3. Using the clean cloth and alcohol, wipe down the earpieces and the rest of the headphones
  4. Dampen a cotton ball with alcohol and clean any small areas the cloth couldn’t reach
  5. Fully extend the headphones and use your cloth and alcohol to clean the frame, focusing on where you grab the headphone and any buttons or dials
  6. Dampen a cotton ball with alcohol and gently wipe the speaker mesh. Clean the microphone, too, if there is one
  7. Wipe down all cables with rubbing alcohol

After the headphones have dried completely, you can safely reassemble them and put them to good (clean) use.

Cleaning Your In-Ear Headphones and Earbuds

Gather your supplies:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (70 percent alcohol or higher)
  • A clean, soft, dampened cloth
  • A clean dry cloth
  • Cotton balls
  • A toothpick
  • Optionally, electronic dust-cleaning gel

Since in-ear headphones are much farther in the ear than their over-ear counterparts, hygiene is even more important. First, you will want to remove the silicone buds, if possible. Remove them and wash them with soap and water. Let them air-dry while you clean the headphones themselves.

If your headphones have foam covers, they can also be removed and cleaned with alcohol, or with soap and water.

After this is done, follow this process:

  1. Wipe down the whole unit with the damp cloth
  2. Carefully remove any gunk from the speaker mesh with the toothpick
  3. If using, heat up the electronic dust-cleaning gel in your hands and dab the speaker mesh to clean it
  4. Using the clean cloth and isopropyl alcohol, wipe down the whole unit
  5. Dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe the speaker mesh
  6. Wipe down any cables with the cloth and alcohol, and let them air dry.

We hope you use this information to keep your headphones nice and clean. Let us know how it works out for you!