Headphone pads are prone to collecting dirt. They are placed in the ears where ear wax and oils inevitably get deposited on them, especially if they’re used for long hours every day. A buildup of dirt on headphone pads is not only unhygienic but may also lead to loss of sound quality. It can be annoying to have to wear dirtied pads, and even more irritating to have the dirt muffle the sound coming from the headphones.

Cleaning your headphones is easy, and should be a regular activity if you want them to remain clean all the time.

Here is how to clean headphone pads in quick, easy steps.

Headphone Cleaning Method 1

If you intend to clean the headphone pads only, these are the steps to follow:

Things you will need:

  • A bowl of warm water
  • Another bowl of cold water
  • Shampoo


1. Remove the headphone pads.

2. Immerse the pads in the bowl of warm water.

3. Splash some little shampoo onto the pads and rub it in with the fingers.

4. Once well cleaned, rinse the pads in another bowl of clean water.

5. Squeeze the shampoo suds out of the pads until the suds are no more.

6. Dry the pads by placing them in the open or by hanging them if possible.

Headphone Cleaning Method 2

Cleaning the headphone pads alongside other parts of the headphone.

What you will need:

  • Soap ( a mild bar soap or detergent)
  • Some warm water in a bowl
  • A dry toothbrush
  • A towel
  • A piece of cloth, preferably cotton


1. Start by dipping the piece of cloth in warm soapy water and wringing it to remove excess water. Use it to wipe the outer parts of the headphones. Be careful not to leave any water dripping from the piece of cloth, or it will find its way into the headphones’ interior and cause damage to the electronics.

If the piece of cloth is unable to remove all the dirt because it’s too stuck to the headphones, use the toothbrush to dislodge it. Gently but firmly brush off the stubborn deposits of dirt until loose enough, After that, use the cloth to wipe the affected part clean.

2. Cleaning the headphone pads

Remove the headphone pads, including the outer mesh if there’s one. Use the toothbrush and the damp cloth to clean the cups first. Wipe every area clean including crevices.

Next, use the damp piece of cloth to wipe the pads clean. Be careful with the pads as they’re delicate and can easily get damaged if cleaned roughly.

3. Cleaning the ear pad mesh

If the earpads of your headphones are covered by a mesh, clean that one separately. You can use a damp piece of cloth to clean it. If there’s too much dirt on the mesh, soak a piece of cloth in a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide and use it to wipe it. Let the mesh to dry before reattaching it to the ear pad.

4. The final touches

Now that you have cleaned every part of your of headphones, allow everything to dry before putting the parts back together. Put everything in the open to speed up the drying and to ensure it’s through. Allow at least thirty minutes.

5. Putting the parts back together

Once you’re sure no moisture is left on the parts of your headphones, it’s now time to reassemble them.

Your headphone pads and other parts are now clean and in usable condition.

How Often Should Headphone Pads be Cleaned?

It depends on the frequency of use. If you have to wear your headphones daily, a weekly cleaning would be enough. Otherwise, if you don’t use them a lot, cleaning them on a monthly basis would do.

Tips on How to Clean Headphone Pads Safely

  • Never clean your headphones while they’re still plugged into any electronic gadget, however small
  • Never sock your headphone in water to clean it
  • Only use mild soap or detergent to clean headphone pads. Using just any cleaning chemical and strong soaps would result in irreversible damage
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines concerning cleaning your particular brand and model of headphone

Cleaning headphone pads only takes a few minutes, and the materials you need to clean them are readily available. There’s, therefore, no reason why you should leave them to accumulate dirt.