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Have you ever put on your favorite pair of earbuds and thought they sounded muffled? Not quite as crisp as you remember them sounding? If so, the fix may be as easy as giving your buds a deep cleaning.

Now is the perfect time to clean your headphones. In this article, we will explain how to clean your headphones and improve the sound quality.

How to clean headphones

Below are things you will need to clean to your headphones;

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1. Microfiber cloths

2. Rubbing alcohol

3. Dish soap (optional)

4. Soft-bristled toothbrush (optional)

Before we begin, it should be mentioned that if your manufacturer offers independent cleaning advice, you should follow that first. Depending on the model and components, some headphones may require different treatment.  

1. Switch off and unplug: Make sure your headphones are not connected to power. Safety first. 

2. Extend the headband: Open up the headband as much as you can on both sides, even if it’s further than the setting you would usually use. This is so that you can see all of the dust and debris which may have become trapped on the inside. 

3. Remove the ear pads: You will need to disassemble your ear pads in other to give your headphones a thorough clean. Remove the cushioned ear pads following the manufacturer’s instructions and set aside. 

4. Clean the exterior: If you’re dealing with light, everyday dust and debris, you can simply use a dampened microfiber cloth to wipe down the headband. Run it along both the inside and exterior of the band, although be careful not to wipe over or let excess water get into the ear cups or any electrical components. 

For heavier dirt and debris, you can first use a soft-bristled toothbrush to shift the dust in any crevices of the headband, prior to wiping down with the cloth. Any manual toothbrush can work for this.

5. Clean the cups: You will have to be very careful as you clean the exposed cups attached to the headband; the speaker drivers are very delicate and can be easily compromised by excess water. Use a very lightly dampened microfiber cloth and brush over the surface, while holding the cups inverted so that the moisture steers clear of the drivers. 

6. Leave to dry: Use a fresh microfiber to dry the headband and cups, doing your best to soak up any residual water. Then set aside to air dry for as long as necessary, ideally several hours.

7. Clean the ear pads: Now you’re going to want to disinfect the ear pads with a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth. Wipe down the surface, but be sure not to soak the material or use too much as alcohol can damage leather, just apply lightly. You can also use cotton swabs for any awkward spots. Set these aside to dry just as you did with the headband. 

8. Reassemble: Once dry, reassemble and you’re done. Your headphones should look and sound just like new.

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