Don't Let Earwax Invade Your Classroom Headphones

Posted on: 13 February 2015


In a crowded classroom where each student is working on a different task, cheap classroom headphones are an effective tool to help students focus on what they're doing, without the distraction of sound from other students' tasks. Fortunately, headphones don't require much in the form of maintenance; however, they will require that you keep them clean. Making an effort to keep your classroom headphones clean will ensure proper hygiene and keep the sound quality of the headphones intact.

What's The Harm?

Ear wax plays a vital role in preventing bacteria and other harmful germs from penetrating into the ear canal. While wax is helpful, your students probably don't want to share wax. Regular cleaning helps remove any buildup and prevents it from being transferred between students.

An excessive amount of wax buildup can distort the sound quality of the headphones because it clogs the holes that the sound travels through. If you continue to let the wax build up, it could eventually travel into the internal components of the headphones, causing damage. Cleaning them can help prevent this.

Cleaning The Headphones

Depending on the type of headphones you have, there may be detachable in-ear cushions (earbuds) or over-the-ear pads (headphones) on them. It's best to remove the cushions or pads first. If the attachments are made from rubber, prepare a cleaning solution that is a mixture of mild cleaner and water. Soak the parts for several minutes, rinse them with cold water and allow them to air dry.

If they're made from foam, you won't be able to clean them. Once the foam has built up, you will simply need to replace them. For the remaining part of the headphone, take a disinfectant and spray it on a cotton swab. Rub the cotton swab along the entire exterior surface of the headphone to remove any wax and perspiration buildup.


If your classroom is set up where each student is assigned their own pair of headphones, you may be able to get by with cleaning the headphones once a week. However, if the headphones are constantly being exchanged among students, you need to clean them each day. While you don't have to do a deep cleaning every day, you can use an antimicrobial wipe to clean them each day and perform a deep cleaning at the end of the week.

Making a commitment to keep the headphones in your classroom clean is important. Ensuring proper hygiene and maintaining good sound quality will protect your students and enhance their learning experience.