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A simple way to clean and wash headphone's velour pads


First I just wanna say, these are by no means my original ideas. Found these on the net, tried it, and it works, so I thought I'd share it here. I'm sure lots of you have already know how to do this, but I'm sure there are those of you who don't know. 


Pleather (plastic leather) pads are easy to clean. Just wipe with damp cloth, wipe again with dry cloth, and they should be clean right away.


Unfortunately, that's not the case with velour/cloth pads. Because it's cloth with hairy/furry surface, velour pads are prone to catch dirt (also dandruff) and absorb sweats. I live in a tropical country on the equatorial line, with average temperature ranging from 28C to 33C (sometimes 35, no kidding), and average humidity 70+%. With this kind of climate, dirt and sweats are inevitable in everyday life. My velour pads get dirty and sweaty very fast, so I need to clean them regularly. 


*my velour pads got short hairs/furs, so they're a lot easier to clean. For very hairy/furry velour pads, like the pads of HD598 or Beyers', these may not work, and could even potentially damage the pads. So for those kind of pads, may need different ways of cleaning (maybe dry clean?)


For dry dirt and lints:




My velour pads can be taken off very easily. For velour pads that can't be taken off, this can also be done while they're attached. You can see how disgustingly dirty my pads are.... :wacko:




Rub the pads against each other in circular motions. Do it in both directions of rotation. This rotation movement will group the small dirt particles into larger ones, for easier cleaning. Also clap them occasionally, to blow away loose dirt. You can do it while the pads are still attached to the headphone, but just be careful not to put too much strain to the headband.




You can see the results. There are groups of larger dirt and lints. Still disgusting, by the way...




Next, get a sticky tape. Any kind will do, even duct tapes. I use clear plastic tapes, just because it's readily available near me. Make a loop around your fingers (3 or 4 fingers), with the sticky side facing outside.




Stick and pull at the velour pads. The sticky glue will pull the dirt and lints out of the pads. Depending on the actual condition of your pads, you may have to repeat this 2-3 times (get new loop of tapes)




You can see the sticky side of the tape is all used up, but my pads are still dirty, so I'd have to repeat this 2-3 times. But you can see the pad is much more cleaner compared to the pictures above.


That's how to clean dry dirt and lints. Now your velour pads will absorb sweats. As a result, they feel a bit damp, and most noticeably, smelly. I almost barfed at the smell of my own pads, before I clean them the first time... :unsure:  So this is what I do to wash them:




This can only be done if the pads can be removed from the headphone. Do not ever ever ever try this while they're still attached on your headphone!! Sounds silly, but yeah, just in case...


Get a water container. Can be salad bowls, small buckets, or even a sink (plugged). I don't know what's the name in English, of that thing in my picture, but that's the thing we in Asia commonly use to take a bath :) Get a part of hot/boiling water. Usually I go with 1:2 ratio of hot water:tap water, 1 part hot water, 2 parts tap water. Depending on where you live, the tap water could be colder, which in that case, maybe go with 1:1 ratio. The goal is to get a hot water temperature of about the same as a hot spring (hot but not dangerously hot). Why hot water? Well, because soaps work better in high temperature. I use liquid shower soap. Don't use detergents, because detergents often contains additional chemicals that might ruin the pads. First, put in the hot/boiling water, put in the soap, and stir it until it mixes (foamy).




Add the tap water part. 




Dip the pads in it, and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then pick them up, rub them in circular motions, and dip them in again. After the water gone cold (about 1 hour), take the pads out, rinse thoroughly with clean water. Press it against each other to get the excess water out. Don't install them right away, as they're still damp inside. Lay them face down on a piece of cloth, like t-shirt or something. Paper towels are no good, as they'll be soaked in no time. Let gravity pulls the excess water out, and it will air dry. I leave them over night to ensure they're perfectly dried before installing them on the headphone. 


Done! You'll get a nice, soft, good smelling velour pads....until your sweats take over again....

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I still haven't needed to clean my velour pads, for some reason they don't get dirty in my house 0_0 


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  • 4 years later...

I have Brainwavz HM5 Replacement Pads (Velour) bought for my (now dead) ATH-MSR7, the pads got really-really dirty to the point at which original black velour looked almost white, that's an insane amount of dust. Cleaning was fairly simole: I took apple vinegar and wadding discs for beauty stuff. Pour a little vinegar onto the disc and start scrubbing like if you are dishwashing, I'd suggest starting from the inside of the pads, then the contact parts and then the outside. Took me about an hour to clean very dirty pads. After that, rinse them a little and squeeze, so that the water inside is very little. Leave for a day to dry out, should be good to go.

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