How to clean your headphones – a step by step guide
Headphones and earphones have become an essential device in today’ life, thanks to the digital explosion that has changed the way people live, communicate and listen to music. As a result, these headphones are used to listen to music from a range of devices, to listen to audio books, to watch videos when people are traveling and to take calls. This constant use of headphones and earphones make them dirty because the wax from ears get deposited on the ear pads. While this accumulation of ear wax is not only unhealthy and unhygienic, it also impacts the quality of sound delivered by these head pieces. Though this accumulation of wax is more prevalent in in-ear headphones and earphones when compared to the on-ear ones, it is nevertheless a good idea to clean them on a regular basis to ensure they are hygienic and sound quality remains unaffected.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to clean headphones and earphones.
The good part about cleaning these headphones is users do not have to purchase any high-end liquid. Cleaning can be done with everyday items that are available at home. Some of the supplies needed to clean headphones are:
• Detergent or dish soap
• Warm water
• Soft cloth
• Old toothbrush or Cotton ear buds
• Small towel
Step 1: Get things together
The first step to cleaning is to get all the above things together. While its not a hard task to find things as needed, it may just be easier to have everything together in the same place.
Step 2: Check the specifications
The next step is to check the user’s manual of each headphone as some manufacturers lay down the steps that have to be followed in cleaning the respective headphones. An example of such a manufacturer is Bose, as this company puts down the cleaning steps. If the manual has such specifications, it is best to follow them. If there are no such specifications, then users can clean it in the below mentioned method.
Step 3: Cleaning the exteriors
While cleaning, start with the exterior. Dip the soft cloth in water to damp it, and then wipe down the outer side of the head band and ear cups with it. While cleaning, please ensure that the cloth is not soaked in water because these are electronics and they can get affected with excess water.
Step 4: Remove pads and tips
A lot of dirt and wax seap into the ear cups through the ear pads and ear tips. Hence, to get a thorough clean, users should remove the ear pads or tips if possible. This removal allows users to wipe down the equipment completely, and to remove all the dirt and dust hiding in the corners. As for the pads and tips, users should wipe them gently with a small damp cloth. Care should be take while cleaning these pads and tips as they are fragile and yet important aspects of the headphone.
Step 5: Removing stubborn dirt
If there is stubborn dirt on any part of the headphone, users should use a toothbrush or cotton ear buds to loosen up this dirt. They can gently remove the dirt with the bristles of the brush, and as they come out, they can be wiped with a dry or a damp cloth.
Step 6: Cleaning the mesh screen
Some headphones come with a mesh screen on the ear pads, and this screen requires extra cleaning techniques. To clean these meshes, users should remove the ear pads. Most headphones that come with a mesh also come with removable ear pads to make it convenient for users to clean. Damp cloth should be used to clean the mesh, though some manufacturers like Bose recommend using hydrogen peroxide with a maximum concentration of three percent to clean the mesh. A small piece of cloth should be dipped in this liquid and this cloth should be squeezed to remove extra liquids before it is applied on the mesh. Alternately, plain water can also be used. The key is to ensure that the cloth is only damp so extra liquid does not enter the open port on the ear cups or ear buds.
After cleaning, users should allow five to ten minutes for the mesh to dry. If there is excess wax, then users can use a toothbrush that id dipped in hydrogen peroxide or water to gently loosen up the dirt. This loose dirt can be wiped out with a plain cloth dipped in water. In this process too, it is essential to ensure that water or liquid does not enter the open port.
Once the mesh is cleaned completely, users should gently shake it to remove any excess water or liquid that could be present in it. The mesh should then be dried with a soft dry cloth. Once the mesh is dry, ear pads can be re-attached to it.
Step 7: Drying your headphones
Once the headphones are cleaned, they should be left to air dry. It is a good idea to keep the headphones and its parts on a small cloth to dry. After a few minutes, users should check to see if all the parts are completely dry. There should be no dampness in any part of the headphone.
Step 8: Put it back together
After all the parts are dry, users should put the parts back together. It is now ready to be used again.
The above steps will help to keep a pair of headphones or earphones clean and in good working condition. It is a good idea to establish a cleaning schedule depending on one’s usage and time availability. Many people prefer to clean their headphones during Spring as a part of the Spring clearing process. While that is a good schedule, it would help to clean these head sets more frequently, especially if the user is using it for a long time. Once in two to three months would be ideal, as this would ensure that your headphones and / or earphones are always clean.