Speaker grills efficiently cover and protect your speaker drivers (the cone-shaped parts that move to produce sound) against foreign objects without interfering with the quality of sound you receive. So, when your speaker grill becomes dirty, dusty, or stained, you might not get great sound until you clean it. Read on if you want to discover how to clean speaker grills quickly and get the most from your loudspeakers.
To clean your speaker grills, remove the grill and clean it (front and back) with a soapy sponge in the sink or tub. Then, rinse it off with water and dry it completely with a soft cotton towel. Once the grill has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, place it back on the speaker. Don’t forget to replace any screws.
Read on for a more in-depth guide on how to clan speaker grills. You can use a similar method to clean speaker acoustic cloth as well.
If the grill cloth is too dirty and you decide not to clean, you can check our guide on replacing your speaker grill cloth.
How Can You Clean Your Speaker Grills Fast?
It’s essential to be extra careful when handling and cleaning your speaker grills since most of them are made from delicate pieces of fabric.
These grills are typically attached to the speaker frames. You may also find speakers with metal grills. The exact process for cleaning them differs slightly.
You can find the best way to clean your speaker grills by consulting your product manual.
Here are the typical steps that you need to clean your speaker grills fast:
- Use your fingertips to loosen the grill prongs starting from the top corners.
- Once you’ve loosened all the corners, gently remove the screws and then pry the speaker frame off if it’s secured using screws.
- Lie the speaker grill on a stable flat surface
- Clean the grill depending on your type of speaker grill or the dirt resistance using the tips below.
- If the speaker grill has acoustic grill cloth, you can use a vacuum brush to clean it.
If the grill has dust, use a vacuum with a dust brush (be sure the vacuum doesn’t pull and stretch the fabric).
If the grill has grime or tough dirt, you may ignore this first solution. Instead, do the following:
- Wet microfiber cloth or cotton with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water
- Gently scrub the grime or dirt in circular motions
- Rinse the part you’ve cleaned with a clean cloth and plain water
- Let the grill dry
If you’ve got a plastic or metallic grill, you should follow the simple steps below:
- Clean the grill with a soapy sponge in your tub or sink (clean the two sides)
- Rinse the grill off with plain, clean water
- Dry it with a soft cotton towel
Once your speaker grill has adequately dried, reinsert it into the speaker (remember to replace any screws that you removed).
How Do You Clean a Non-Removable Speaker Grill?
Some speaker grills can get damaged if you remove them from the speaker. Here’s what you need to clean yours if it falls under this category:
For fabric grills that don’t come off, use compressed air or a lint roller. You can also carefully use a vacuum with a hose attachment. Another option is to use an ESD brush or even an oral-b electric toothbrush.
For non-removable plastic and metal speaker grills, use a vacuum and compressed air to remove loose dust and dirt. After that, ensure you dry the surface thoroughly. You can also sparingly use cleaning liquids to wipe the surfaces.
Is it Bad to Cover a Speaker?
You may have heard that some people cover their speakers to keep them clean and extend their lifetime. If you’re asking whether this practice is wrong, the answer is ‘yes.’
Why? Covering it will cause the speaker’s sound waves to oscillate through the internals and create a “wobbling” effect on the ICs.
In the end, this will lead to the shortening of your speaker’s lifespan. So, the best way to extend your speaker’s life and get the most out of it is to clean the grills regularly, not cover them.
Do Speakers Attract Dust?
Many people ask this when they notice their speakers seem to get dirty more quickly than other audio equipment. The truth is that speaker surfaces attract dust and dirt. The speaker cones do the same as they vibrate to produce sound.
So, if you’re using your speakers regularly but avoid cleaning them for a longer period, vast layers of dust can form on their surfaces. The dirt can then penetrate the grills. With time, it can get into the speaker cones and get caked on the speaker’s interior.
To prevent the dirt from affecting your listening experience, you need to clean the speaker surface and the grills quickly.
How Do You Clean Dirty Speaker Cones?
If you don’t do this, the hard work you do when cleaning the grills will not bear fruit. In other words, you’ll continue to receive the kind of sound that doesn’t suit your needs until you clean the speaker cones as well.
To clean your dusty speaker cones, you’ll need to use a dry microfiber cloth after cleaning. However, if you are dealing with thick layers of dirt, you can do this:
- Wrung out a damp cloth
- Use the material to remove all the highly resistant dirt
- Wipe the area you’ve cleaned with a dry cloth
Once you’ve cleaned and dried your speaker cones, you can start reinstalling your grills by following the steps we’ve seen above.
You should however be careful when cleaning the cone as you can easily damage it. Ensure you have a good speaker dust cap glue on than d just in case.
Can You Leave Speaker Grills Off?
As we mentioned, a speaker grill aims to secure speaker internals and the driver element from foreign objects.
It can also protect other audio components of your speaker. It does this while allowing the sound to reach you. However, since the grill sits in the driver’s direct path, it interacts with the sound. Overall, your speaker grill may affect the sound you receive in some way.
So, if you’re asking whether you should leave it off, the answer is it depends on whether you love its impact. Remember that sound affects people differently. Moreover, speakers are unique and may respond differently when you leave the grills off.
So, the solution is to take the speaker grill off and see how it sounds to you.
Before deciding, please remember that speakers with grills have a cleaner look than those that leave your drivers exposed to the elements. So, if you are interested in the grill’s aesthetic value, you should consider leaving it on.
How To Clean Phone Speakers
If you are trying to clean a smartphone speaker or speaker grill, you need to be far more delicate about it. Check out our article on how to clean phone ear speakers.
How Do You Clean Rubber Speaker Surrounds?
- To clean rubber speaker surrounds, you need to use oil or armor-all, Windex, and diluted vinegar. However, avoid using acetone at all costs.
- Use a small piece of cloth, dip it in the oil and rub it on the surface.
- Once you’re done, use a dry cloth to wipe off any liquid on the rubber speaker surrounds.
How Do You Remove Mold from Speakers?
Put them in the sun to get them as dry as possible, and then lightly brush/dust them with the vacuum cleaner brush once they’re dry.
Of course, keep any pets away from the speakers and ensure that any other moisture that may have caused the problem doesn’t return!
How to Clean Metal Speaker Grill
If the speaker has a removable metal or plastic grill, clean it (front and back) with a soapy sponge in the sink or tub.
The next step is to rinse it with water and dry it completely using a light cotton towel.
Replace any screws and then replace the metal speaker grill after it has been completely cleaned and dried. Don’t forget to reattach any hardware.
How Do You Clean a Mesh Speaker?
- The first step is to completely remove the speaker covers.
- Remove the speaker cover by gently tugging on both sides of the device.
- Vacuum the covers using the vacuum’s upholstery attachment to remove all of the dust.
- Swish the speaker covers in soapy water until they’re completely clean.
- You’re all done!
Speaker grills are designed to protect your speaker cone and increase its lifespan. They can do that more efficiently than covering your speaker or using any other method. To get this valuable benefit, all you need to do is use the tip we’ve shared here with you to keep your speaker and its grills clean and safe.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. 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.