How to Clean Headphone Pads(2022 Comprehensive Guide)


We’re prepared to spend a significant amount of money on high-quality headphones from Bose, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, and, dare we say it, Beats. Therefore, it can be frustrating to discover that after a year or two, the audio quality seems to decline or the sound is no longer as crisp. Even those with the least refined hearing can tell the difference in quality, especially if we need to increase the volume to hear better.

We might be tempted to complain that modern products aren’t built to last because we belong to the buy-and-throw generation before going out and purchasing a new pair. But what if the issue can be resolved in a really straightforward manner? Your headphones are probably the only reason why this happens most of the time.

Can You Wash Headphone Pads?

So far as the headphone pads are removable or replaceable you can wash them, including gaming headset ear pads

Why Do You Need to Clean Headphones?

Check the interior of the ear pads or the wire mesh of your earbuds by taking out your headphones or earphones right now. You see, due to our habits, the nooks and crannies in our headphones are now clogged with earwax, grease, and dust from months of use. After working out in the gym or going for morning runs, we always take a shower and change into clean clothes. However, when was the last time we cleaned our headphones, either after a workout or ever?

Are you starting to get queasy yet? That’s not even the end of it, though.

Almost always, we throw them into our bags, pockets, or anywhere else, where they continue to mix with other dust and grime that has been collecting at the bottom since the beginning of time. Then, whenever necessary, we fish them out and immediately insert them back into our ears.

And that, my friend, is a surefire way to increase your chance of getting an ear infection, earwax blockage, and a costly trip to the doctor’s office.

Why do we behave this way toward our headphones when we wouldn’t behave that way toward any of our other possessions? Our headphones benefit greatly from a little upkeep and maintenance. This guarantees we get the most value for our money while preserving our in-ear hygiene.

Additionally, the best way to extend the lifespan of high-end headphones like Bose, Beats, or SteelSeries so you don’t need to replace them as frequently is to clean the ear pads on a regular basis.

How to Clean Headphone Pads Or Muffs?


Cleaning ear pads are a little more difficult because they contain more delicate components, such as leather or foam ear pads, which are more prone to tearing. But don’t worry; cleaning won’t even take five minutes. Simply follow these instructions, and everything will be fine.

  1. Grab the tiny glass dish and fill it halfway.
  2. Add detergent, soap, or hand sanitizer to it.
  3. To ensure that the cleaning tool you used spreads evenly, mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Start rubbing the headphones’ cushion, which is primarily made of leather.
  5. To clean the inside of the ear pads and the difficult-to-reach areas, take a cotton bud and lightly dunk it in water.
  6. Leather Conditioner: Be sure to use a leather conditioner on your leather pads as well. This will keep your headphones looking as good as new and prevent them from cracking or being damaged.

If you didn’t know, now that you do, ear pads can be taken out. It is acceptable to remove them and clean the headphones’ interior components.

Along with faux leather, velour fabric is also used to make some ear pads. Where removal is necessary, this is where. Consider having ear pads that are not black but rather a different light color that can easily show dirt. We don’t want to observe the color changing over time, do we?


Remove the ear pads from the side.

Once you have removed them, begin the cleaning process.

  1. Get a bowl made of glass or plastic and put some warm water in it.
  2. Add a block of soap or detergent to it.
  3. Mix, mix, mix.
  4. Fill the bowl with the velour earpads.
  5. After inserting the ear pads, wait for around 10 minutes.
  6. The best way to clean the ear pads is to apply some pressure on your hands.
  7. Continue vigorously rubbing until you see the dirt coming out or the color of the water changes.
  8. Squeeze the surplus water (you might want to skip that step if your ear pads are of inferior quality). In order to speed up the drying process, squeezing is used.
  9. To rinse the ear pads, get a new bowl of clean water, submerge them, and then squeeze them once more.
  10. A towel can be used to gently press the ear pads.
  11. Dry them completely in the air.

An additional tip is to use a multipurpose adhesive to reattach the ear pads to the headphones if you are having trouble doing so after removing them. Throughout the process, use as much as you like. By using your eyes as a measuring tool, determine how much you need. To avoid having to clean it more frequently, keep in mind not to use too much multipurpose adhesive.

Related: How to Clean the Headphone Jack With Simple Ways

How to Clean Nonremovable Earpads?

Cleaning the driver unit involves using a dry, soft toothbrush to gently brush the wire mesh and remove any dirt or clogged ear wax.

Wipe the wire with a small cloth that has been dampened with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.

How Often Do You Need to Clean?

Depending on how frequently you use them and how well you take care of them, different people have different cleaning schedules for their headphones. If you use your headphones more often, you’ll have to clean them more frequently. If you don’t practice good personal hygiene and have dirty ears, dirt will quickly smear your headphones.

If You Are a Daily User:

An individual who uses headphones frequently should clean them every day by repeating the above steps with a small microfiber cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Such a routine would get rid of any bacteria or germs in your headphones. While leaving them alone can result in a shorter lifespan for the headphones as well as an increased risk of ear infection, cleaning them on a daily basis can frequently result in better sound quality and a longer lifespan.

If You Use Alternate Days:

If a user uses their headphones every other day, they only need to be cleaned once a week. A greater amount of ear wax builds up in the headphones when you use them frequently. Make sure to use cotton buds or Q-tips to remove earwax properly once a week. To lessen the possibility of bacteria or germs spreading, earwax must be removed. The main distinction between cleaning them daily and weekly is that weekly cleaning requires you to moisten the surface you’re going to clean.

If You Use Once in a While:

Even if you only use your headphones occasionally, cleaning them is still a good idea. Your headphones collect dust and other germs, so it’s important to clean them on a regular basis with a precise and thorough method. After using your headphones for a while, you must clean them with a damp microfiber cloth dipped in either warm, soapy water or an isopropyl alcohol solution. Make sure it is entirely dry before moving on.

How Do You Clean Smelly Headphone Pads?

by using the cleaning method described above. Because the cleaning procedure is so detailed and exact, it may also help in the removal of unwanted bacteria and sweat. You will eliminate any offensive odors during the cleaning process. Although soft and cushy, headphone pads tend to press down over time, degrading the quality because of dirt. If you carefully follow the instructions, it will be almost impossible for your headphones to develop a bad smell, and they will last longer as well!

Why Leather Conditioner is Important to Clean Pads Or Muffs?

One anticipates that when wearing headphones, they will be cozy so that they can be worn for a long time without causing ear pain. You must use a leather conditioner to properly condition them in order to achieve this. Leather can be preserved by using a leather conditioner, which also prevents mold growth. Additionally, using a leather conditioner keeps the headphones from cracking or suffering other damage, keeping them looking as new and fragrant as when they were first bought.

Replacing Headphone Pads Or Muffs If Needed

As time goes on, earphone padding starts to deteriorate. In addition to being unsightly, the worn-out pads reduce audio quality. We can tell if our headphone pads need to be replaced by certain telltale signs. Leather pad cracking is the first and most noticeable symptom. Two additional indicators are rotting and pad roughness. The best and most economical solution in such situations is to swap out the earbud pads rather than buy a new headset.

The headphone pads must eventually be replaced, which is inevitable. As well as being sensitive to heat, humidity, and other environmental factors, leather pads also absorb sweat and dirt. You need to take good care of them because of this. The life of the pads can range from 1.5 to 2 years, depending on how frequently you use them and how well you maintain them. You might experience a notable improvement in sound quality and comfort once you’ve finished replacing the pads. The grip and comfort of the leather pads gradually deteriorate with use, becoming uncomfortable. Replacing them with new ones would produce a more hygienic headphone pad/muff.


Can Rubbing Alcohol Damage Headphones?

Alcohol may destroy any part made of foam, but it’s fine for plastic, rubber, or silicone. However, you should only use it occasionally, and make sure to thoroughly dry off any alcohol. Allowing it to dry by itself risked damage. Hydrogen peroxide is advised for removing earwax on the Bose company website.

How Do I Get Earwax Out of My Earbud Mesh?

Clean the Earbud’s Mesh Cover. To remove any visible earwax from the mesh screen of the earbuds, gently brush it out with a fresh or used clean, dry toothbrush. Holding the earbud with the mesh downward will cause any debris to exit the earbud rather than settle deeper inside.

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