We do a lot with the “three Rs”: reduce, reuse, recycle. There’s another “re-” word that we don’t address nearly enough, though: repair. Our inclination when faced with a product that’s not working well is toss and replace, but, for many household items, there are repair options… usually that we can do ourselves.
So when I saw Julie Finn had put together a post on headphone repair over at Crafting a Green World, I decided I needed to share it here. While I’m guessing these items aren’t a massive part of our waste stream, I’m guessing they’re significant enough. And if you buy something beyond cheap earbuds, you can save yourself some money, too.
Know of other good tactics for keeping headphones working? Share them with us in the comments.
Repair Your Headphones: 10 DIY Fixes
I HAAAAATE it when my headphones break! Even if they’re a cheapo pair of earbuds, I expect them to last, and if they’re a nice set of headphones, then I expect them to REALLY last.
Tossing them in the trash? Not an option.
Fortunately, most of the most common breaks in headphones are easy-ish to repair. Here are some ways to repair your headphones that will have them back on your head by tomorrow:
Clean out the jack. If all your headphones malfunction when connected to the same device, then the problem is likely a dirty jack. Here’s how to clean it.
Make your own ear cushions. Who said that your repair couldn’t be cute? These crocheted ear cushions are WAY better than the originals!
Print a new jack cover. If you want your headphones to continue looking cute after their repair, consider finding someone with a 3D printer. For instance, here’s a file for a new jack cover.
Reconnect a wire to the lead. If audio is only playing through one side of your headphones, then a loose or disconnected wire is the culprit.
Repair the ear cushion. If the cushion wears out or comes off of your headphones, don’t worry–that’s fixable!
Replace the jack. The headphones’ plug, or jack, gets a lot of use… and therefore a lot of abuse! If your headphones have a connection problem but no visibly damaged wires, then replacing the jack may be your quick fix.
Test the audio. If your headphones aren’t playing well, this is the way to figure out exactly what the problem is.
Use heat shrink tubing. If your jack isn’t too bulky, you can slide this onto your cable and use it to cover exposed wires.
Use Sugru. This moldable, air-cured plastic is a great fix for any cords in where there are exposed wires, because the Sugru safely insulates them. So far, I’ve used Sugru in this way to repair my microwave cord, vacuum cleaner cord, crock pot cord, and, yes, earbuds cords.
Wipe them down. You can prevent a lot of the problems that occur from dirt build-up simply by wiping your headphones down with this homemade cleaning solution.
Got any favorite headphone hacks or repairs? Tell me about them in the Comments below.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock