How to Sterilize Headphones

By Andrew Smith

Headphones are a must for anyone who wants to listen to a portable music player. Depending on where you take your headphones and where you place them when you're not using them--as well as your method of basic use--they can get rather dirty. Wearing dirty headphones can cause you ear pain and even lead to an infection if your headphones have certain forms of bacteria on them. Yet disinfecting and/or sterilizing your headphones is a simple process regardless of what type of headphones you own.

Things You'll Need

  • Disinfectant spray
  • Cotton ball
  • Towel

Step 1

Wash your hands thoroughly. Cleaning off your headphones won't do much good if your hands are dirty. A basic anti-bacterial hand soap and hot water will suffice.

Step 2

Remove the pads from your headphones. Whether you have ear buds or headphones that actually go over your head, there will be some sort of protective pad over the audio portion of the headphones.

Step 3

Hold a can of disinfectant about 6 inches away and spray the pads if they are made of a softer fabric. To sterilize the plastic pads of your headphones, spray a small cotton ball with the disinfectant spray. The cotton ball should be wet but not soaked. Wipe off the pads thoroughly, inside and out. Regardless of the types of pads you own, dry them off immediately, either with a towel or by placing them in front of a fan.

Step 4

Spray a cotton ball with the disinfectant spray and wipe off the uncovered earpiece of the headphones. The cotton ball should be barely wet. since you'll be wiping off portion of the headphones that make direct contact with wires. Gently wipe off both ear pieces with the cotton ball, then immediately wipe them off with a clean towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't worry about cleaning the portion of your headphones that does't make direct contact with your ears. Doing so is unnecessary, and may damage the wiring of your headphones.
  • Consider buying new headphones once a year if you use them often. Regardless of what you use, cleaning your headphones once every month will cause them to wear down after awhile.