How to clean your headset

Clean headset, clear sound.

Image via Razer

Headsets and headphones add to the immersion of gaming and are essential pieces of gaming equipment. In being essential, they absorb sweat and get dirty after hours of use for days on end. 

While it’s common for over-ear headphones and headsets to become dirty, in-ear headphones can also pick up ear wax, which can block the speakers and reduce sound quality. Both types of headsets can also pick up dirt and bacteria from users’ hands, leading to infections in extreme cases. Some users travel with their headsets or game on the go, meaning their headsets are often stored in bags with other products and can pick up dirt off them. 

It’s advisable to clean headphones and headsets regularly to keep them looking new and prevent odor and bacteria buildup. Luckily most headsets are relatively easy to clean, and all it requires is a few everyday items.

Items required to clean headphones

Cleaning and maintaining headsets and headphones is easy, and most of the required tools are household items. You’ll need a couple of micro-fiber cloths, warm water, soap, a paper towel or tissue, cotton buds, a wooden toothpick, rubbing alcohol, and a toothbrush.

Image via Logitech

How to clean over-ear headphones

When cleaning both types of headsets, ensure that there isn’t enough moisture on the damp cloth to get into the unit and damage the components. It’s also worth being gentle when cleaning the earpads to avoid damaging the material. 

  • If possible, remove any parts like detachable cables or earpads.
  • Gently wipe away any grime and dirt from the ear cups with a lighlty damp cloth while taking care not to damage the velour or PVC. 
    • If there’s dirt stuck in hard-to-reach areas like around the dials and buttons, it might need to be scraped out with a toothpick or cotton swab. 
  • Allow the ear cups to air dry.
  • Wet a cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe the ear cups to disinfect them, ensuring the exterior and interior are cleaned.
  • Extend the headphones to their full size and wipe the headband, frame, and cables with a lighlty damp cloth to get rid of the dirt. 
    • Some headphones may require a toothbrush to reach certain areas.
  • Wipe the same parts again with a cloth with rubbing alcohol to disinfect them.
  • Wait until the headphones are dry before using them.
Image via Philips

How to clean in-ear headphones

  • Remove the ear tips.
  • Use a cotton swab to remove any grime or earwax from them.
  • Soak the ear tips in warm soapy water for a few minutes.
  • Wipe the ear tips with rubbing alcohol to disinfect.
  • Allow them to dry before reattaching to the headphones.
  • Wipe the rest of the headphones, including the cable, remote, and jack with a damp cloth.
    • The area around the drivers might require a toothbrush or toothpick to reach the dirt stuck in the corners.
  • Wipe all the parts of the headphone again with rubbing alcohol to disinfect.
  • Wait until each part is dry and reattach the ear tips.

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