Headphone Hygiene – Keeping your headphones clean

The best way to avoid a lot of potential issues, is to keep your headphones or earphones inside a case. Not only will this look after them and keep the cable safe and tangle free, cases will also help avoid dust or dirt getting into places you don’t want it to.

How to clean your Headphones and Earphones

headphone hygiene cleaning tips

Headphone hygiene is something that seems to get overlooked. We see a lot of headphones being returned to us because of supposed faults – when all they needed was some TLC.

Here we’ll go through some of the common issues when it comes to headphone hygiene, and steps you can take to make sure your headphones and earphones are well looked after.

Earphones tend to suffer the most from not being kept clean, as they fit into the ear canal and they tend to be stored in pockets and bags – a perfect place to pick up dirt that can affect the sound and performance.

Blocked Sound Nozzle – Earphones

The most common issue is a loss of sound from one or both of the ear pieces. This can either be a complete loss of sound or a slight drop in volume, and is not always the result of a fault. One of the most common reasons for this issue is a build up of ear wax in the sound nozzle of the earphone, or the opening of the eartip. Now I know its not the nicest sounding thing, but you’d be surprised how many earphones are returned to us faulty – and in the end they just needed a good clean.

Many earphones are supplied with cleaning tools, which are great for removing wax or dirt – just make sure you don’t poke the driver or damage the grille. Be careful when cleaning your earphones in this way, and if it is too difficult – please get in touch and we will be happy to advise.

headphone hygiene cleaning tips
Typical earphone cleaning tool

If the eartips are blocked – these are the silicone or foam tips that go into your ear – then you can remove them, and give them a clean once removed. For silicone tips, you can even soak them in warm water – this gives them a real good clean! If they are beyond saving, then you will be able to find replacement eartips that can be bought as spares. Final, SpinFit, Dekoni and Shure are just some brands that sell eartips separately – and again we are happy to help if you are unsure which tips fit your earphones.

Blocked Cable Connectors – Dust and Dirt

Another area where dirt can affect your headphones or earphones, is where the cable connects to the housings. This is only relevant if the cable is replaceable. Sometimes dirt can get into the contacts, breaking the connection between the cable and connector.

So, if you notice sound cutting out from one of the sides, try disconnecting the cable from the housing and check for any dust or dirt – nothing a good blow won’t get rid of. To be extra safe, you can use compressed air or a manual air pump to do this. Check both the housing socket and cable connector to be sure.

Dust and dirt can also make its way into the headphone socket of your device, whether it’s a phone or portable audio player. To avoid any issues, regularly check the socket for anything that may interfere with the headphone connection and make sure to be careful when removing anything blocking the socket.

headphone hygiene cleaning tips
Air blower pump example

The best way to avoid a lot of potential issues, is to keep your headphones or earphones inside a case. Not only will this look after them and keep the cable safe and tangle free, cases will also help avoid dust or dirt getting into places you don’t want it to.