Ways to clean your pads?

Hey guys, wanted to create this as I couldn’t find much on detailed information floating around here about this. Looking into ways to clean your headphone pads to keep them in top condition. Goes without question velour in particular really soaks up all the oils, dirt, grime, etc that comes from you wearing it so I wanted to see what people’s opinion was to clean these and return them to great condition. At the same time, something such as a hybrid I find may be a bit more challenging to clean considering it’s velour, perf, and sheepskin. Suedes I am not sure can be cleaned the same way as the velour as they are a different material but they can soak up things too.

Information, links, and explanations all very much appreciated.

There is a pad maintenance post but ill put it here too:

i want to add and ask about a few things mentioned here:

For leathers: I would not use most products that are made for boots, shoes, jackets. Most of the stuff has a synthetic or petroleum base which i would not want sitting on my skin or any nice leather. I have high end Saphir stuff and i still wouldnt use it on the pads. Mink oil and neats foot based products tend to clog pores, making it heavier and much less breathable. Once again good for waterproofing boots but not earpads.
My vote would be Lanolin. Its cheap, doesnt rub off and can be found easy as its medically used to help sooth breast feeding. I use it for everything leather i want soft, light and breathable.
The audeze stuff is the closest, some moisturizers, lanolin, and beeswax to protect. Over saturation does more harm than good and im sure doesnt help the foam underneath. Just make sure its clean before application.

Velour: this is my kryptonite. I shower and wash my hair before usage but this stuff soaks up all my skin oils and it kind of gunks up and melds the pads surface. When i wash these they never seem to come back nearly as soft or fully clean, and is normally a death sentence for the foam. I will take any suggestions on how to keep these clean as they usually gunk before the foam deteriorates. I even find if i out them down on a piece of paper they will rerelease the oils it absorbed onto the paper. In oily but i dont think im that grungy

Suedes: they make erasers and brushes but those are more for longer naps and more rugged applications. I have a pair of audeze vegan pads that are sooooo soft but am afraid to use since they may get dirty like the velour and i cant clean them

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Just now found that post, so my bad on that. If the moderators want they can push this thread into that one. However, they cover primarily leather caretaking and not fully cleaning of suedes and velours. For the life of me I haven’t been able to fully get a velour or suede that’s rather gross fully clean.

I did find this https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/208991-a-simple-way-to-clean-and-wash-headphones-velour-pads/#:~:text=Pleather%20(plastic%20leather)%20pads%20are,should%20be%20clean%20right%20away.

but as to how effective this is is questionable. Hell I read some people have thrown them in the washing machine inside of a sock. Pretty much trying to find a really strong method to get them as clean as possible.

Velour will just soak up the oils and gunk together. All attempts from me to clean them get them clean but they usually are not as soft abd the foam never rebounds.

At the point that its really bad the whole pad usually needs a replacing

Yeah, just trying to see if maybe someone out there has some methods in order to prolong the shelf life.

I have noticed that the oils on the velour will be soaked up by paper if i put the headphones down on a sheet. Maybe tissues on the pads when youre done can help absorb things away.

Once again i usually shower and make sure im very clean before i dive into the headphone hobby but it soaks up anything from your skin or hair for sure.

I just read the ltt post. Yeah rubbing them together will make things come to the surface. And you will get the smell in the raw.

When i cleaned mine last i did do a hot water soak with dawn in it. I soaked them through with the soapy water, rubbed and cleaned them. Rinsed and repeated untill the water coming out wasnt grey anymore. But it did leave the velour a little rougher and the foam didnt rebound.

I wonder if like a tissue, there is something else powdery that can used to absorb the oils then brushed away. Small mammals and birds cover themselves in dirt to keep themselves clean and dry. We just need to find our dirt perhaps.

I tried to reach out to dekoni as well for some ideas since their cleaning materials they state not to use on the velours. According to the people on there from the LTT post that method works quite well. I am just hesitant to use it on my pads, and that method doesn’t really help you clean Hybrid or Suede.

If the suede is real suede. Look up suede shoe and bag care. Basically there are suede erasers to clean that with. Suede is leather cut at a specific layer so that it exposes the soft fuzzy napping.

You usually dont even use any other leather treatments on suede unless you want a waxed suede/roughout look. Great on boots, probably bad on pads.

I will go ahead and look into that, just leaves hybrids velour pad, and velours themselves on how to remove all the gunk and preserve the pads lifespan

Just picked up an HD600, this is how I cleaned the pads it came with.

I couldn’t bring myself to even try. Too icky.


Funny, but I don’t like throwing money away if I can preserve something.

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Like i said in the what did you do today thread. I could have cleaned the old pads, but its not worth it even as a “spare”.


So far I have yet to find a satisfying way and thorough approach to clean Brainwavz micro suede pads online. These are pads from my Yamaha MT5 and they’re kinda like skin oil magnets… I don’t have oily skin but the surface of contact definitely accumulates grease, and it would stain if I place the headphones on my wooden table or place them on my wooden chair:

Any tips? Not immediately buying a new pair since cost is cost.
Thanks in advance.

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There is no real way to do it well.

The Senn velour is the same skin oil soak. Its not being dirty. I shower between work and headphone time. But the oils still soak then come out if i put it on paper overnight.

If its real enough suede, they make saddle soap, suede erasers/brushes you can try as that works on much dirtier suede shoes. I dont know how the cushion inside would hold up. As a last ditch longshot you can soak them in soapy warm water and aggitate but be prepared to replace the pads at that point.

The wood looks more like its grabbing some of the black from the pads over the oils. If the wood is finished i dont see how the oils soak in and stain that color as it would be similar where you touch it with your fingers.

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Thanks for the tip; I guess I’ll just keep it as clean as possible and use paper if needed since there’s no way to know if Brainwavz uses real suede.

It’s a semi-coated wood chair, not the best quality haha. Not the best when it gets in contact with oiled products for long.

Putting them pad down on a piece of tissue or paper towel overnight will be telling. It wont reverse it but maybe pull some out.