Headphones are often taken for granted when it comes to cleaning them up regularly. They are the subjects of least concern when it comes to wiping off the specks and ear wax out of them.
Still, it is better to rinse off the dirt and dust from the muffs regularly before the sounds start getting unruly and deranged or stops at all.
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On how to clean headphones muffs or pads, we will advise you on multiple DIYs and techniques to clean the sound muffs flawlessly without hurting the sound drivers or internal circuitry.
Different Types of Headphones
Let’s start with the headphone types and their uses first:
They are tiny and easier to carry around anywhere. The compactness and integrated design make them perfectly fit for carrying around when training, jogging, playing sports, or walking in a busy street.
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The wireless earphones are handy and clutter-free. The Bluetooth connectivity makes them stress-free to listeners with adequate range to roam around without always clinging the headphones with smartphone’s audio jack.
The rear end of close-back headphones are completely sealed to prevent air passage entering the eardrums.
The passive noise-cancelling also blocks sound leakage from the sound drivers inside. Close-back headphones have large ear cushions and require extra care for ear muff cleanups.
Another type of close-back headphones are noise-cancelling headphones. They have a built-in active sound cancellation technology that cancels ambient noise persistently throughout the musical sessions.
These headphones fit well in extremely noisy situations, in public commutations, or when strolling on bustling streets.
Open-backs are made for listening at home or studio. They have open spaces on the ear cups, hence permitting regulated airflow and reduced air-pressure.
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Open-back headphones provide excellent acoustic range and sound quality for multiple music genres. They are easy to clean and last longer without cleaning them off frequently.
Which Headphones Get Dirty Fast?
Headphones get dirty, that’s for sure. The ones that get dirty fast are the ones that are worn frequently than others. Also, the ones that have enclosed ear cups require cleaning more often than open back headphones.
The headphones that we wear in sports or at gym are close-back and are certainly congested with ear wax, dirt, and sweat particles from one side or the other.
Open-back headphones permit steady airflow when listening with them, hence requiring fewer cleanups and conditioning.
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Semi-open headphones are a mild cross-designed between open- and close-back headphones yet they are usually considered more close-back than open. Their headphone muffs get dirty rapidly, but are easier to get rid of.
Why You Should Clean Headphone Muffs?
How often do you shower after a workout? Probably every time. How often do the headphones get their cleanings? Possibly never or once in a blue moon
That’s the reason their sound is not as good as when they were brand-new. An untidy mixture of sweat, wax and dirt accumulation would cause itching and might lead to an ear infection in nastiest circumstances.
A slight attention would help you get the best sound, saves from purchasing a fresh pair, and protects from ear infections as well.
There are multiple other reasons why headphones get clogged after a few months, or days sometimes. It could be the usage frequency that makes them sweatier and consequently block the air inlets to eardrums.
The blockages also happen because of wax accumulating inside the ear buds. This happens when it’s been a long time since they are taken care of, or probably they have never been cleaned up.
Another reason for jams is dust particles sneaking in and building up inside the headphones from times immemorial. A regular cleanup every other week would prevent the mess.
How to Clean Headphone Muffs?
There are many ways to clean up your headphone muffs when they get dirty. You can just rinse them off with an alcoholic solution, or prepare soap and water mixture for systematic cleansing. If done regularly, a Q-tip or cotton bud would be sufficient.
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Washing Them Off
Washing your headphones is a bit risky if the guidelines are not properly complied. To properly wash your headphones, follow these steps:
- Plug off headphones from connected devices and turn off the power button if any. If the headphones are fixed to the connected device, make sure to power off the connected device.
- Now, remove the outer pads and clean them off with a dry cloth or paper. Dry cleaning will remove lint particles if any so that they do not infused with the watery solution later.
- Later, remove the excess dust and wax using cotton buds. The headphones will start looking better than before now. The corners and inaccessible parts must be dealt with spiky Q-tips to wipe off the accumulations.
- Prepare a soapy water solution, dip a small portion of the fiber in it and carefully rinse off sticky wax from the ear buds.
- Take another clean, dry microfiber and dry headphones up with it.
- To get rid of bad odors, make sure to wipe off with alcohol-mixed solution. Generally an isopropyl alcoholic solution will remove stinky smells and bacteria from your headphones.
- Rub the headphones with a clean fiber again and dry them off with a hair dryer if possible. Otherwise, leave the headphones alone for a few minutes for alcohol solution to dry up.
- Cheers! Your headphones are spotless and hygienic now.
If you are a routine cleaner, it would take a minute to get the dirt off the hook. Anything handy would suffice. Take a match stick, wrap a tissue paper around, and loop it around the messy parts and it’s done.
A toothbrush is also helpful in thoroughly removing the dust and dirt blocking the sound channels. Rub clean and dry toothpaste on the untidy portion and that is it.
Another great way to clean up all the debris from the headphones is to apply a blu-tack adhesive over the clogged portions. The adhesive will suck up the slightest particles from the base and leaves it clean and shiny.
If you are not confident on washing it off with soap and water, try applying alcohol directly onto the target. Can’t find alcohol? Try applying hand sanitizer on the microfiber and rinse off thoroughly for a few rounds.
Cleaning Guidelines for Waterproof Headphones
Waterproof headphones are easier to clean as they do not have foamy parts that get soaked up and damage the delicate sound drivers inside.
To cleanse waterproof headphones, simply remove the ear tips and soak them in a lukewarm soap solution for a few minutes. The soap will unclog all the pores briskly after a good squashing done afterwards.
Now, take the headphones out and dry them with a clean fiber or a tissue paper before connecting them with your smartphone.
What About the Headphone Jacks?
Every time headphones get cleaned up, its jacks must be cleaned alongside. To clean headphone jacks, you need to be careful enough to make sure everything stays put when it’s done and dusted.
A toothbrush is all you need to clean up the debris from headphone jack. Tuck the brush cautiously and rotate it gently starting from one corner to another.
Remove the toothbrush, pluck off the dust and do it again until satisfaction. If a toothbrush is not available, try using a paper bent sharp enough to scrape off dust linings from the metal.
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The professional method, however, is a specialized vacuum nozzle that sucks out all the dirt from headphone jack as well as from interiors. A low-powered blower nozzle can also be utilized to remove dirt from headphone ducts instantly.
When Should You Clean Headphones?
Prevention and better care will definitely save the hassle of removing dust every other day. To avert spending a good quarter of an hour’s day cleaning your headphones, make sure they are always in best shape by applying these simple tricks:
- Regularly check for any slight debris that gets accumulated on top of the drivers. Clean them off whenever they are visible.
- Make a habit to rinse out the exterior rubber pads after a gym or jogging session.
- Keep your ears clean to prevent the ear wax from entering headphones. The oils produced by ear canals get mixed with dirt from the surroundings and create wax buildups.
Headphones often get infested by the surrounding debris and internal ear wax that mix up to block the sound tubes. This results in mild sound blockages from one or both the ear cups to complete halts.
In worst scenarios, these blockages breed harmful bacteria inside the headphones, sometimes leading to severe ear infections.
For great listening experience and a better hygiene, clearing the jams must be inducted into practice, especially after sweaty sessions or after a marathon dusty day.
When cleansing your headphones, follow the guidelines to do it the safest way. Make sure that the headphones do not damage after they are cleaned up.
Plus, make it a habit to clear off the dust and debris every other week to prevent permanent blockages down the sound ducts.
Faizan Ali is a Master in Computer Sciences and has been writing content for computing, gaming and mobile technologies since 2016. He has written content for number of online magazines, websites and blogs and now writes for “the buyers trend”. Feel free to contact him for any sort of writing for your technology related blog, website or magazine.