How To Clean A Subwoofer (The Right Way!)

Norvan Martin
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Subwoofers are a very important component of sound systems. They reproduce the lower frequency ranges that give the vibrating, earth-shaking quality to the sounds we love and help produce a fuller, more immersive sound experience for audiophiles.

Like all speakers, subs can accumulate dust over time and even gather a few stains that can have aesthetic appeal. This article will show you the safest ways to clean and maintain your sub and keep your subwoofer giving out the best bass at all times.

You can clean a subwoofer using either a dry or wet method. With the dry method, use a clean dry cloth to wipe the exterior of the subwoofer if all you are dealing with is dust. Only use a wet (damp) cloth if you want to remove stains and you should be careful not to allow any moisture to get inside the subwoofer (ensure no liquid slips through spaces).

Read on to learn about the exact method.  

How To Clean A Dirty Subwoofer

The materials needed to clean a dirty sub include:

  1. A soft microfiber cloth
  2. Compressed air canister or blower
  3. A soft-bristled brush
  4. Isopropyl alcohol or another cleaning liquid such as water or an ammonia-free cleaner (optional)
  5. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment (optional)

A subwoofer should be cleaned starting from the exterior, then working your way inside in this order: Casing, grills, and finally, the cones.

1. Clean The Subwoofer Exterior

These are the three ways you can clean your sub exterior:

How To Clean A Subwoofer Exterior

  1. Dry Cleaning: The casing of the sub can be wiped clean with a dry cloth if all you’re dealing with is dust, wetting the cloth is only necessary to remove stains.
  2. Wet Cleaning: In the case that you have to do wet cleaning, it’s best to expose the sub to as little moisture as possible, so, you should use water very sparingly. Avoid using a drippy cloth and be careful to make sure that liquid does not slip through spaces in the casing and penetrate the subwoofer.
  3. Using Cleaners: Very mild cleaners are prescribed only for use on persistent stains and the cleaner you choose should contain no alcohol, ammonia, or any harsh chemicals. Having applied the cleaner to the microfiber cloth, wipe the exterior gently but firmly and thoroughly in a circular motion.

2. Clean The Subwoofer Grills

Subwoofer grills come in two types- soft and hard. Depending on the material used to make your sub’s grill, there are varying levels of care required to clean it.

First, a vacuum cleaner, an air sprayer can, or a leaf blower can be used to get most of the dust off the grill. It is advised not to use moisture-based cleaners on metal grills to avoid rust and plastic grills should be wiped down with a damp, soaped-up cloth.

With fabric or mesh-type grills, a lot of care and gentleness are needed when cleaning them to avoid creating tears or ripping them apart.

Carefully wipe them over with a slightly dampened cloth to get the dust out. Generally, avoid using chemicals to clean your subwoofer grill.

To learn more, check out our guide on how to clean speaker and subwoofer grills

3. Clean The Subwoofer Cones

Subwoofer cones can gather a lot of dust, especially if you place your subwoofer behind your couch. This is the part of cleaning subwoofers that requires the most care and attention.

How To Clean A Dirty Subwoofer

Subwoofer cones are extremely fragile parts and cannot be easily replaced if damaged, a sub will not function properly with a damaged cone.

Here are the steps to clean out your sub cone:

  1. Using a brush: After taking off the grill, carefully brush the dust off the sub using a brush ( make sure it has soft bristles).
  2. Wipe with a dry cloth: Next, wipe the come carefully but thoroughly with a dry lint-free cloth.
  3. Wet cleaning: If extra cleaning is needed, slightly dampen the cloth with a little soapy water and clean residual dust or stains. It is important to stress carefulness when carrying out this part of the cleaning exercise.

Dos And Don’ts When Cleaning A Subwoofer

Having gone over the best ways to safely clean your subwoofer, there are a few rules we’ve curated to help you maintain the best subwoofer health.


  • Be gentle when cleaning your subwoofer: Be in no rush and take your time. You’re more likely to clean more thoroughly when you’re being careful.
  • Use as little moisture as possible: You don’t want the metal parts of your sub rusting or having liquid seep into the inner components of your sub. Use liquid cleaners as sparingly as possible if any.
  • Ensure you know how to couple the sub back together BEFORE you take it apart- You don’t want to have wrongly fitted your subwoofer parts. There are only a hundred ways that could go wrong.


  • Spill water on your subwoofer: Your sub needs cleaning, not a bath. Water can damage your sub’s metal and electrical parts and cause more trouble than a little dust would.
  • Vigorously clean your sub cones: Cones are quite delicate and subject to tear under a lot of force. A torn cone would terribly affect the performance of your subwoofer, so be gentle.
  • Carelessly handle screws and connective parts: Whatever you take out in the course of decoupling your sub, be sure to set it down safely and close by. Once done cleaning, make sure to put it all back together, the exact way it was when taking it apart.

Hopefully, this article has helped give you some tips and pointers on how best to maintain and keep your subwoofer clean. Surely if you follow the directions above, you’ll have your sub good as brand new in record time!


Is It Important to Keep Your Subwoofer Clean?

It is always important to keep your subwoofer clean because dirt and dust collecting on your subwoofer can affect how well it performs and can case cause faster wear and tear. 

Cleaning your subwoofer often prevents clogging of the air passages and moving parts. This keeps the sound out crisp and clear and helps prevent the subwoofer from getting too hot. If you take care of your subwoofer and keep it tidy, it’ll give you better sound and last longer since it won’t get damaged by all the gunk.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin