4 Ways to Clean Headphone Pads

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How to Clean Headphone Pads

Headphones have become the staple of daily life. A whopping 87% of users require headphones to listen to music while 49% report to using headphones to watch movies. These burgeoning numbers lend credibility to the assertion that headphones provide an enhanced auditory experience. As useful as this invention is, it is quite frustrating when the flow of music is hampered due to buildup of earwax and dust on the headphone pads.

Clean your headphones for uninterrupted sound

A woman listening to music on wireless headphones

Most people avoid the tedious task, not knowing how to clean headphone pads properly, and end up throwing out the set altogether. However, there is a list of benefits for taking proper care of your headphones.

  • Saves money from purchasing new headphone pads each time
  • Ensures Hygiene, preventing use of headphones with bacteria that may lead to ear infections
  • Provides Comfort through a smooth flow of music

Now that we have established the significance of headphone care, let us tell you simple ways how you can clean headphone pads.

Dry Wipes

Keep a soft microfiber cloth to wipe your headphone pads immediately after use. The dry cloth will prevent earwax and dirt from getting absorbed into the headphone pad. Since foam is a highly porous material, it will quickly absorb sweat from your ears. In order to avoid that, religiously clean headphone pads after every use. This will allow you an uninterrupted flow of music.

Damp Washcloth

Once in a week, it is advised you clean headphone pads with a damp, not wet, washcloth. This would gently wipe away the grime, sweat, wax and dirt that is piling up on the mesh of the headphone pads. If left unclean, this buildup of material would obstruct the hearing of your headphone, rendering them useless. Make sure you do not apply a heavy hand while wiping so as not to damage the piece.

How to clean headphone pads with a washcloth

A yellow washcloth that can be used to wipe dirt away from headphone pads

Peroxide Solution

While normal dirt can be cleaned with a damp washcloth, stubborn grime will be harder to remove. For such stains, remove the headphone pads and set them aside for cleaning separately. Take diluted hydrogen peroxide solution and apply just a few drops to a cloth or a soft bristle toothbrush (not the one you are currently using!). Use the brush or cloth to scrub the grime away. This will revive the sound of your headphones.


This applies to people who have leather headphone pads. Use a leather cleaning solution to dampen a soft cloth. Use this to gently massage the surface of the ear pad. This will remove the gunk that has accumulated on the headphone, allowing smooth flow of music. Make sure you use the headphones well after the solution has dried. Apply the conditioning process just twice a year as overuse can trap moisture inside the headphone pads, ruining its functioning.

Maintaining leather headphones

A man wearing black leather headphones

Final Word

While cleaning headphone pads is a simple job, you can evade the hassle by ensuring proper storage of your headphones. We tend to keep our headphones lying around, exposing the set to bacteria and dirt. Invest in a box where you can store your headphones after every use.

Try these simple tips on how to clean headphone pads to enhance the life of your headset!


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Hi, I'm Red, the Chief Editor of Red Diamond Audio.