How to clean your speakers to keep them looking and sounding…

It’s probably possible that your amazing hi-fi speakers are heard more than seen, and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is that you may not have noticed all the dust, pet hair and dirt accumulating on your speaker cabinets, grilles, cones, tweeters, woofers and connections that could potentially be affecting their sound. Can.

Whether it’s a set of tower speakers, a bookshelf (as in the images below), or even a few Bluetooth speakers, cleaning your speakers from time to time is a great way to ensure that They should look and sound great for years to come. And it’s relatively easy with some common tools you probably already have. Here’s how to clean your speakers.

Tools for cleaning your speakers.

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clean your speaker cabinets

While all that audio magic happens inside your speakers’ cabinets, it’s their external beauty that makes a great pair of speakers a great addition to your setup.

With regular maintenance, you shouldn’t need anything more than a damp microfiber cloth or even some clean cotton cloth to remove dust from your speaker shelves. Whether they’re made of wood or an MDF composite, this is your safest option. Here’s how to make them look their best safely

step 1: First, you will need two lint-free microfiber cloth, First take one and wet it with some lukewarm water. Make sure to play it so it’s slightly moist, not soaking wet. For wood cabinets, if you have one, use a safe wood cleaner or pre-soaked cleaning wipesYou can add it to clothes (check the manufacturer’s recommendations first to see if it’s safe).

A microfiber cloth.

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step 2: Work your way around the speaker, wiping in the same direction of the wood grain if it’s wood.

step 3: Now take a second, dry microfiber cloth and go over the speaker cabinet again to pick up any remaining moisture. The microfiber cloth will also attract any loose lint.

clean your speaker grills

Some hi-fi hobbyists think it’s sacrilege to use grilles – those soft fabric or hard-shell covers that attach to the front of your speaker cabinet – covering those lovely-looking drivers from below. Sure, they may look boring, but many add an air of sophistication to a pair of speakers, while also protecting the woofer and tweeter below. But speaker grilles can also attract dust, debris, and pet hair, so it’s a good idea to keep them clean. Here’s how to do it without harming them.

step 1: If your speaker grilles are the cloth variety and have only light dust or pet hair on them, you can gently run a sticky lint brush over them once or twice. Make sure to do this with a clean layer on the roller (not after rolling your sweater).

A lint roller cleaning speaker grills.

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step 2: For a slightly more thorough cleaning, we recommend removing the grills from the shelves first. Many grilles are attached in different ways, so if you’re unsure how to remove them, consult your speaker’s manual. However, for the most part, they will be attached to rubber hooks in holes at the corners of the cabinet faces. Lightly pull the grills from the top and bottom of the cabinet fasteners. If there are screws holding them on, remove them and remove the grilles.

step 3: Remove the grills, and lay them flat on a clean surface. Using a vacuum with a soft, clean brush attachment, gently run the vacuum over the surface of the grill cover, being careful not to push the suction too hard on the fabric.

step 4: You can also work on them with your wet microfiber cloth. But to remove more stubborn grime or stains, take your cloth, and with some warm water and mild detergent, gently work across the grill in a circular motion. Using a second clean cloth slightly moistened with a little clean water, wash the treated area and allow it to air dry.

Step 5: Metal or plastic grills can be washed more easily with water and detergent and set out to air dry or patted with a clean cloth.

A speaker woofer on a set of bookshelf speakers.

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clean your speaker woofer

Speaker woofers, or cones, are the large drivers in a speaker cabinet, responsible for all the beautiful low-end and mid-frequency sound and volume. They can be made from a variety of materials including wood, silicone, polymers, Kevlar and paper. Some are more fragile than others and can be easily punctured if you’re not careful, but many are stronger than you might think.

step 1: For more delicate woofers/cones, such as paper, it is best not to use anything wet or damp; Rather, try using a soft bristle brush (like a paintbrush or makeup brush) to remove any dust or debris. You can also use a can of compressed air for electronics to blow out any debris.

Soft bristle brush for cleaning speakers.

Derek Malcolm/Derek Malcolm

step 2: For cones made of more flexible materials like wood or polymers, you can brush them first or even give them some air. But then feel free to grab your trusty damp microfiber cloth and give them a gentle wipe down, too. However, be careful not to touch the center of the dome, as it may collapse.

step 3: Wipe the cone again with a dry microfiber cloth.

A speaker being wiped with a microfiber cloth.

Derek Malcolm/

step 4: Finally, you can also wipe the soft rubber or foam ring around the woofer with a safe rubber care product.

A soft bristle brush is cleaning the tweeter.

Derek Malcolm/

clear your twitter

This is the tricky part. Woofers and mid-drivers are usually quite strong, but tweeters – usually the small driver located at the top of the cabinet that handles all the treble and high frequencies – are another story. Composed of sensitive cones and domes, membranes, coils, and other delicate parts, you generally don’t want to touch or wipe them. Instead, the wind is your best friend.

Electronics Grab that can of compressed air again and, making sure to hold it at least a few inches away from the tweeter, give it a few quick blasts. If you’re careful, you can even give them a light wipe with a soft-bristle brush, maybe one of those photographers’ blower brushes. camera cleaning kit,

A can of compressed air used to clean speaker tweeters.

Derek Malcolm/

Keep in mind that this post applies to basic cleaning of most speakers. Of course, if there are any particularly nasty or stubborn stains or deposits, use discretion and you may want to consult a professional. The last thing you want to do is damage a pair of expensive speakers. It may seem daunting, but keeping your precious speakers clean and dust-free will ensure they perform their best, and you’ll only have to do it a couple of times a year.

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