How to Clean Your Speakers

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Updated July 22, 2022

If you have premium speakers, knowing how to clean your speakers ensures the best sound quality over time. Even if you use your speakers regularly, the accumulation of dust can affect your audio quality and specific speaker hardware. Cleaning hard-to-reach places on your stereo speaker may seem daunting, but you can learn how to clean your speakers in a few simple steps.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Start with a basic surface cleaning of the speaker unit before removing the grill.
  • Use a damp cloth to remove any stubborn dirt or dust from the speaker unit.
  • After you dry the speaker, use a lint roller to get dust particles free from the speaker grill.

Tips for Cleaning Your Speakers

While the process is slightly different from cleaning an iPhone speaker, the essential cleaning advice is the same. Never use abrasive materials or liquid cleaning products like Windex or Lysol to clean your speakers, especially on top-tier studio monitors, like the Yamaha HS5 or HS8.

Insider Tip

To avoid connection issues, use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth while cleaning the headphone port.

Like getting water out of a smartphone speaker, stay patient to avoid damaging the speaker hardware and exterior surfaces. If you damage the speaker hardware, you might not be able to connect to a mixer or devices like the Audioengine N22 Desktop Amplifier.

Remember that the best boat speakers and portable models like the UE Wonderboom 2 require more regular maintenance due to loose dust and dirt particles from the outdoors.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Time Required: 30 minutes
  • Total Steps: 8
  • Tools Needed: Soft-bristle Brush, Clean Cloth, Cleaning Putty, Aerosol Duster, Screwdriver Kit

STEP 1

Turn off your speaker system and disconnect it from the wall outlet. If your speakers use red and black wires for power, unplug them from the speaker hardware.

STEP 2

Remove the speaker grill to access the speaker cones. Some speaker grills are easy to remove, but others require a screwdriver to free the grill.

STEP 3

Use aerosol electronics dusting spray to clear dust and dirt particles away from the cone. You can use an air blower in a pinch, but ensure it is on the lowest power possible.

STEP 4

If there’s tough dirt or dust stuck to the soft rubber gaskets of the speaker cone, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or makeup brush to remove it. Do not use cotton swabs because they can leave lint on the rubber gasket.

STEP 5

Use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe in a consistent circular motion along the outside of the speaker cabinet. You can also use the damp cloth on the speaker cone but ensure that it is near-dry.

STEP 6

Get a new dry cloth and dry the speaker cabinet. You can also use this cloth to apply wood polish if you want to polish the cabinet.

STEP 7

Lay the speaker grill or mesh on a flat surface and use a lint roller to remove bits of dust, dirt, and hair. Use several lint roller sheets for the best dirt pickup results.

Warning

You can cause permanent damage if you get cleaning liquid inside the speaker holes or ports.

STEP 8

Reinstall the speaker grill and reconnect the speaker to power.

STAT: According to a 2021 Pew Research Center poll, 32% of 18-29-year-old Americans own a smart speaker. (source)

How to Clean Your Speakers FAQs

What's Apple's official advice on cleaning speakers?

Apple's official cleaning advice for iPhone speakers states, "If necessary, clean the speaker or receiver opening with a small, soft-bristled brush. Make sure the brush is clean and dry." That said, you can also use a dry microfiber cloth to catch bits of dirt and dust.

Why should you clean your phone speakers?

Keeping your speakers clean maintains the quality standards for your audio setup. In addition, stubborn dirt can slowly build up on your speaker ports and hardware, preventing stable connections. Lastly, residues like dirt and dust can stick to internal speaker components and dull the audio range of your speakers.

How do I clean vintage speakers?

Avoid water-based cleaning solutions and abrasive tools if you're restoring vintage tech. Start with a basic surface cleaning with a dry cloth. Use a lint roller for the speaker mesh and apply spray cleaner to your cloth, not directly to the speaker. Consider reaching out to a specialist for detailed internal cleaning and servicing.
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