October 18, 2016 • Osnat Amzaleg

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Clean Headphone Pads 

Having clean, well taken care of headphones is an important part of making sure you get the best listening experience possible. Many people rarely clean their headphone pads or never clean them at all. This can lead to a lot of problems.

So in this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to know how to clean headphone pads and why it’s so important to know how to clean headphones properly.


There are many benefits to taking proper care of your headphones. If it seems like a waste of time to you right now, read through some of those benefits below:

  • Save money - Taking care of your headphone pads will keep them in good shape for longer which means you won’t have to replace them as often.
  • More comfortable - The better cared for your headphones, the longer they will stay in high quality condition, meaning you get the same high level of comfort from beginning to end. 
  • More hygienic - Whether full size, over the ear, or ear buds, headphone pads will gather sweat, dirt, and bacteria over time. Proper cleaning routines will help keep this to a minimum and prevent your headphone pads from becoming smelly, moldy, and dirty. 

There are plenty of great benefits to taking care of your headphones. And the best part is that it is super easy to do. There is no heavy duty work involved at any stage of the process. So you can extend the life of your headphones with minimal effort!


Here are a few key guidelines for taking care of full size or over the ear headphones:

  • Immediate wipe downs - Right after you take them off, wipe them down with a dry cloth. You can just use the hem of your shirt but it would be better to keep a soft, microfiber cloth in your headphone case so that you have a gentle fabric to wipe it off with. Wiping them with a dry cloth right after using them will help remove any sweat and dirt buildup before it has time to absorb into the cushions.
  • Weekly cleanings - If you don’t wear your headphones often, you don’t have to do this every single week. As a rough guideline, do this cleaning after every 7 or so uses. All it involves is wetting a soft washcloth with warm soapy water. Just get it damp, don’t soak it. Then, wipe down your headphone pads. Don’t press hard or scrub, just gently wipe over them a few times. Let them dry completely before using or storing away. 
  • Condition occasionally - This rule only applies to earphone pads with protein leather coating. You’ll need to get a special leather conditioner. But don’t worry, you only do this a maximum of twice per year so the conditioner will last you a long time. All you have to do is dab a little bit of leather conditioner onto a soft cloth and wipe your headphone pads. Massage it gently into the leather. Use very small amounts of conditioner. Let it absorb and dry completely before using or storing. If you do this more than twice per year, you risk trapping in moisture and causing the cushions to become moldy. 
  • Replace headphone pads regularly - Even with proper cleaning and storage, you will need to face the facts and accept when your headphone pads are past their prime. Replacing them is affordable and super easy to do. A fresh pair of headphone pads will make your headphones feel brand new without you having to shell out hundreds to get that brand new quality feeling! 

These simple strategies will help keep your full size or over the ear headphones in great condition for a lot longer!


Most people don’t even really think about cleaning ear buds. They just pull them right out of their bag and stick them in their ears. But because they go directly inside their ears, its even more important to make sure they stay clean. Cleaning ear buds isn’t just about extending the life of your ear buds but preventing ear infections in your own ears! So here are a few tips:

  • Store them in a case - Before we even talk about cleaning, we have to mention that you need to store your ear buds in a case, not just throw them in your bag or shove them in a pocket. This minimizes exposure to bacteria and dirt. 
  • Wash daily - At the end of the day, take 2 minutes to use a soft cloth dampened with warm soapy water to wipe down your ear buds. Never submerge them in water or put them under a running faucet. Too much water will damage them. 
  • Wipe down before and after using - Even when stored in a case, it’s a good idea to do a quick wipe down using a special cloth just for that purpose before putting them in your ears. Do the same right after taking them out. Even if you do this, you still want to do the daily washing at the end of the day. 
  • Peroxide cleanse - You don’t want to use an antibacterial product like hand sanitizer because this stuff leaves a residue. So for a deeper cleanse, dampen a soft cloth with hydrogen peroxide (heavily diluted with water) and gently wipe your ear buds. You should do this at least once per week but you can do it daily. 

Following these tips will prevent ear infections and extend the life of your ear buds!


No matter what kind of headphones you have, taking proper care of them is going to help make sure they last as long as possible. As you can see from the sections above, it’s really not that hard to clean them properly.

So with this minimal effort, you can add years to your headphones while also making sure that they stay hygienic.