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How To Clean Headphone Pads or Muffs



How To Clean Headphone Pads or Muffs

In this article, we will explain how to clean them properly in a safe manner without damaging them. As long as the headphone pads/muffs are removable, you can easily clean them.


Frequently cleaning your headphones and keeping them in pristine condition is not only good for your health but results in a greater life span for the headphones as well. There are several ways to clean your headphone pads or muffs in the right way so they last longer and result in better sound quality. Moreover cleaning your headphones timely would not only make your headphones look good, but they would smell good as well.

In high-end headphones like Bose, Beats, or SteelSeries, cleaning your headphone pads on time is the best way to make them last longer so you don’t have to frequently change your headsets.


There are multiple methods you could opt to clean your headphones properly. However, there are few things you would need before you start the process; which include –

  • Small clean or microfiber cloth
  • Q-tips or cotton buds
  • Rubbing Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Soapy water
  • Leather Conditioner (like Leather Honey, or Audeze)

Once you have gathered all the essential items needed, you can start your cleaning procedure.

To start with the cleaning process, first, you have to make sure your headphones are powered off and are disconnected. Then commence by taking off the headphones pads/muffs.

Once you have removed the pads, clean the headphones with a clean cloth (preferably microfiber as it won’t damage your headphones while removing all the dirt). To clean the corners of the headphones, you might take the help of cotton buds or Q-tips.

In a bowl of soapy water, dip your microfiber cloth in a way that there is a minimal amount of water on the cloth so your headphones don’t get damaged. From that point, you have to dry up your headphones.

Once you’re done with the procedure mentioned, take a new microfiber cloth immersing it in isopropyl alcohol. In case there is any smell or bacteria it would be eliminated. Conclude your cleaning procedure by applying a leather conditioner.

And there you have a fresh brand new set of headphones!


The frequency of the cleaning procedure of your headphones varies from person to person depending upon your usage and care. More usage would mean that you would have to clean your headphone sets more often. If you lack personal hygiene and have dirty ears your headphones will be smeared by dirt just as rapidly.

If you are a daily user:

A frequent headphone user might as well clean their headphone sets on daily basis with a small microfiber cloth, dipping it in isopropyl alcohol, and repeating the same procedure as mentioned above. Such a routine would kill any sorts of bacteria or germs present in your headphone sets. Cleaning them on daily basis can often result in greater sound quality and life span whereas leaving them as it is cannot only cause a shorter lifespan of the headphones but can increase the risk of ear infection.

If you use alternate days:

A user who uses their headphones set on alternate days can use the cleaning process on weekly basis. Regularly using your headphones results in a greater accumulated ear wax in your headsets. When it comes to a weekly basis, you have to make sure that you remove the earwax properly by using the cotton buds/ Q-tips. Removing the earwax is essential to minimize the risks of increasing bacteria/germs. The key difference between cleaning them daily or weekly is that when you clean them on weekly basis, you have to make sure that you moisten the surface you want to clean.

If you use once in a while:

Even if you use your headphones once in a while, cleaning your headphones is still essential. Dust and other germs accumulate in your headphones and are meant to be cleaned timely following a precise and proper process. When you clean your headphones after a long period of time you must dampen your microfiber cloth in either warm soapy water or isopropyl alcohol solution. Once you’re done with it, you have to make sure that you dry it properly.


While using headphones, one expects them to be comfortable so they can wear them for a long period of time without having their ears hurt. To do so you have to make sure that you condition them properly with a leather conditioner. Using a leather conditioner not only prolongs its leather’s lifespan but prevents it from being moldy as well. Moreover using a leather conditioner can prevent any sort of cracking or damage to the headphones, it keeps them as new and fresh as newly bought.


By following the cleaning procedure mentioned above. During the cleaning process, you will not only remove any unpleasant odor but due to the process being so particular and precise it may also help eliminate unwanted bacteria and sweat. Headphone Pads are soft and cushy, over time they tend to press down due to all the grime and it may result in reducing the quality. By following the steps properly it would be almost impossible for your headphones to smell bad and will increase the lifespan as well!


Along the passage of time, headphone pads start to wear out as well. The worn-out pads not only look unpleasant but they reduce the audio quality as well. Some distinctive signs tell us whether we need to change our headphone pads or not. The first and foremost sign is the cracking of leather pads. The other signs include rotting and roughness of the pad. In such circumstances, the best and most affordable way is to replace headphone pads rather than buying a new headset.

Changing of the headphone pads becomes inevitable. Leather pads mostly absorb sweat and dirt and are sensitive to things such as heat, humidity, etc. Hence you ought to take proper care of them. The pads usually last from about 1.5 to 2 years depending on your usage as well as timely cleaning. Once you’re done with the changing of pads, there might be a substantial improvement in the sound quality as well as comfort. As the leather pads wear down, the level of comfort and grip decreases gradually and makes them uncomfortable. Replacing them with new ones would result in a more hygienic headphone pad/muff.


By now we have got a clear idea that cleaning your headphones is not only beneficial for your headphones but your hygiene as well. If you ever feel like your headphones are getting dirty or unhygienic you might follow the cleaning procedure mentioned above. Dust particles and earwax can get stuck in the headphone pads causing distortion and low quality. Cleaning your ears can be beneficial for the headphones as well as your own hygiene too. By following the steps you can easily clean your headphone pads in no time.

Karan is senior editor of this website. He is known for his passion for tech related stuff and not only handles the writing ventures at My Next Tech Gadget as a tech writer but has also successfully pioneered many tech websites.



  1. Supreet

    November 26, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you Karan for the information. Worked well for me.

    • Karan

      November 26, 2020 at 8:37 pm


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