How To Clean Your Headphones And Earbuds

Headphones and earbuds can get pretty nasty. The more you use them, the more they get clogged with bacteria, dust, lint, ear wax, dandruff, dead skin cells, and other nasty things. That said, it’s always good to have decent hygienic practices to keep your headphones and earbuds clear of that build up. However, you do need to be careful with the type of material that you use to keep them clean — this is because headphones and earbuds are made out of all sorts of different materials, and you don’t want to ruin them. For example, a lot of earbuds are made out of hard plastic and can simply be cleaned with a wipe and some isopropyl alcohol. That might not work for headphones made out of fabric, though.

So if you’re wanting to keep your headphones clean and free from all that bacteria, be sure to follow along below. We’ll show you the best ways that you can keep all sorts of headphones and earbuds clean!


Plastic, silicone, and foam is actually really easy to clean. All you need is a microfiber cloth or a swap of cotton dipped isoproply alcohol. You can then apply it gently to your headphones or earbuds in a rubbing motion. This will disinfect your earbuds and headphones, keeping them clean. Don’t use bleach, otherwise you might ruin the material.

Premium Headphones

A lot of premium headphones are made out of metal and wood, which need to be cared for differently than your traditional plastic, silicone, and foam types. If you spend a few hundred dollars, you might see earcups made out of a special aluminum material, or you might see exposed metal or wood as the headband. These are really nice materials, but unfortunately, these materials are susceptible to the same bacteria that average materials are! So, how do you clean them?

For headphones made out of metal, you can stick to the normal isoproply alcohol solution. It’s not a problem to pour some on a microfiber towel or cotton ball and clean your headphones this way. If you want, you can even use a jewelry polish to make your headphones really stand out.

Wood has to be cared for much differently, as alcohol will absolutely ruin them. That said, it’s best to find a cleaner specifically designed for wooden products. If that isn’t immediately available, some warm water and detergent will do just fine.


If you’re trying to clean headphones with a fabric or leather, this is fairly simple. If it’s a fake fabric or a faux leather, you’ll be just fine using that isopropyl alcohol solution. If you’re treating real fabric or real leather, you’ll want to use a leather conditioner or leather cleaner. This will keep your headphones clean and shining.


As you can see, it’s super easy to keep your headphones clean and looking good! With some at-home products or specialty cleaner, you can enhance the life of any pair of headphones.

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