How to Clean Car Speakers Properly in 9 Steps

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean car speakers

Music always makes commutes and travels more enjoyable, but if you notice that the speakers in your car suddenly produce poor sound quality, it may be time to clean them. Accumulated dust, debris, or dirt might affect the speaker, lessening your audio experience.

If they are, indeed, dirty, follow these steps on how to clean car speakers, and your car speakers will look and sound just like new.

The process requires cleaning with caution and appropriate cleaning equipment to avoid causing any damage, so be mindful of the proper way of doing it.

What to Prepare to Clean Car Speakers


  • A screwdriver that matches the screws on the speaker
  • Plastic bag
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Dry cleaning powder spray
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Compressed air
  • Mild detergent (optional)
  • Warm water (optional)
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Water (optional)
  • Alcohol-based cleaning solution
  • Toothpicks, paper clips, a firm-bristled toothbrush, pointed detailing q-tips (also known as precision tip cotton swabs), or auto detailing brushes.
  • Speaker surround protectant
  • Ammonia-free cleaner (optional)
  • Lint roller (optional)
  • Soap (optional)

Step 1: Disconnect the Cables From the Stereo Amplitude

Before you start cleaning the car stereo speakers, it would be necessary to make sure that there aren’t any cables attached to the stereo amplitude. But if you don’t know how to do that, at least turn off the stereo.

Step 2: Remove the Car Speaker Grills Fabric and Speaker Grills From the Interior

Car speakers are often located on the car doors, and most of them have removable grills. Usually, a screwdriver can be used to remove car door speaker covers.

But if the speaker grills in your car aren’t removable, scroll down to the section of this article about cleaning non-removable speaker grills.

  1. On some car speaker grills, there is a fabric covering. If the ones in your vehicle have them, you can remove them by gently tugging them out of the grill’s top side corner.
  2. Loosen the fabrics’ prongs with your fingertips. Then do the same at the bottom side corner.
  3. Removable grills are usually secured by screws on four corners or edges, but if yours aren’t, skip to the directions below. If they are, remove them with a screwdriver that matches the screws on the speaker, and after removing the screws, keep them in a plastic bag, so they won’t get lost.
  4. Next, use a flathead screwdriver to feel around for the grills’ release clips, which are usually located behind the grills’ four corners. Once you’ve found the clips, gently pry the grills out of them with the flathead screwdriver.

Step 3: Clean the Car Speaker Grills Fabric

You can clean speaker mesh in two ways, depending on how dirty they are.


  • One is by sucking the contaminants out of the fabric using a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment. Follow that with an application of a dry cleaning powder spray, such as AlbaChem PSR II.

The powder spray will absorb dirt and oil on the fabric’s surface. Once it dries, it turns into a white powder you can brush off or blow off with compressed air.

  • The other way is for when they’re very dirty, which is to clean them with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Carefully wipe the fabric clean with the mixture using a microfiber cloth.

After wiping the fabric, rinse them with water, again using a microfiber cloth. Then let the fabric dry.

Step 4: Clean the Car Speaker Grills

The plastic or metal speaker grill that covers your speakers often gets contaminants stuck in them, so it may be necessary to do a couple of things and use a couple of tools to clean the speaker grill in a car.

  • In some cases, merely using a mixture of detergent and water and a microfiber cloth and rinsing the grill works effectively.
  • But if contaminants are stuck in the holes, an alcohol-based cleaning solution, such as Super Clean, would be necessary to get the dirt out of the speaker holes. You can use a microfiber cloth along with it.
  • But if the contaminants are tough to remove, you can also use some toothpicks, paper clips, a firm-bristled toothbrush, pointed detailing Q-tips (also known as precision tip cotton swabs), auto detailing brushes, or the vacuum brush attachment. But use them carefully not to scratch the grills.
  • After cleaning the grills with your solution, wipe them dry.

Step 5: Clean the Woofers

Woofers are typically delicate and can easily be damaged, even with a tiny scratch. So when it comes to the cleaning cloth, it’s advisable to use only a microfiber cloth, as it’s gentle enough for the job.

  1. You can first use compressed air to blow away the contaminants that adhered to the woofers.
  2. Next, slowly wipe them clean with a wet microfiber cloth.
  3. With another microfiber cloth, wipe the moisture off the woofers. Make sure that they get thoroughly dried.

Step 6: Clean the Subwoofers


For the subwoofers, a gentle cleaning tool is not necessarily required.

  • You can clean the subwoofers with a vacuum cleaner. But it’s advisable to use the brush attachment with the vacuum cleaner to avoid causing damage and so that the sucking pressure won’t be too intense.
  • Continuously move the vacuum cleaner in sweeping motions to avoid scuffing the subwoofer.

Step 7: Clean and Protect the Speaker Surrounds


Aside from cleaning the speaker surround, applying a protectant on them would also be necessary to keep them in good condition.

  • You can clean the speaker surround with a microfiber cloth.
  • After cleaning them, apply a protectant that’s suitable for their material. For example, if they’re made of foam, you can use Foam Guard Speaker Cone Edge Sealer, while if they’re made of butyl rubber, you can use Sonax Rubber Protectant.

Step 8: Clean the Tweeters

The tweeters are very delicate. So when cleaning them, you must not touch them, wipe them with a microfiber cloth, or wet them so as not to cause damage. Cleaning the tweeters is as easy as blowing the contaminants off their surface with compressed air.

Step 9: Clean the Subwoofer Box


Clean the subwoofer box’s outer surface with dry microfiber cloths to avoid damaging the wires and cables.

  • Wipe off contaminants on the surface with dry microfiber cloth.
  • But if there are hard to remove contaminants, you may use a wet microfiber cloth. Just be careful not to cause any damage.
  • To be safe and prevent damage, it would be better to clean it using an ammonia-free cleaner, such as CRC VisiClear Display Cleaner.

If the Speaker Grills Aren’t Removable

Don’t worry if the speaker grills in your car can’t be removed, as you can still clean them without removing them, such as:

  • Rolling a lint roller over the speaker grills to pick up the contaminants.
  • Blowing away contaminants with compressed air.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment.
  • If the grills have fabric on them, you can vacuum clean them, then wipe or scrub them using a microfiber cloth or soft brush with a soap and water solution. But try not to apply too much moisture to prevent it from getting in and damaging the speaker.
  • And remember to clean the grills often to prevent the contaminants from getting inside the speakers.


Once you’ve finished the process of how to clean car speakers, the audio problem in your vehicle will be over. But remember to clean them regularly so you’ll always enjoy high-quality music on the go.

Maintaining the cleanliness of your car speakers is essential for them to provide optimum sound quality.

Read more cleaning guides below:

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