How To Clean iPhone Speakers Without Damaging Them — Pro Housekeepers Leave a comment

iPhones are not cheap. That means keeping your iPhone speakers clean is essential to saving you money down the road. In order to hear the best sound quality, it’s important to make sure debris, dirt, or any grime doesn’t block the speakers. Or worse, get lodged inside. 

That is why we are providing a thorough how-to guide on cleaning your iPhone speakers. Step-by-step, you will be able to clean and maintain your iPhone speakers. 

If you are wondering how to clean out iPhone speakers, you are not alone. Let’s break down each step for maximum cleaning. 

iPhone Model

Cleaning Method

Number of Speakers

iPhone 11

Soft-bristle brush


iPhone 12

Soft-bristle brush


iPhone 13

Soft bristle brush


It’s important to note that no matter what model of iPhone you have, the table ensures that you can use the following cleaning instructions. All iPhones have a top and bottom speaker set. 

Step 1: Turn Your Phone Off

The first step is turning the phone off completely. No matter if you want to know how to clean the iPhone 12 speaker or how to clean the iPhone 12 speaker, the phone needs to be off. 


When you don’t turn off the phone, there is a risk of permanently damaging the speakers. This can happen when the phone is on, and the internal parts of the phone get wet. The Apple Watch is slightly different because some are waterproof. 

Step 2: Make a Workspace

Cleaning your phone in a dirty space won’t get any cleaner. 

What You Need:

  • Two Microfiber Towels

  • Flat Surface

  • Cleaning Solution

  • Compressed Air

  1. Find a flat space like a table in a relatively clean area. 

  2. Lay down one of your microfiber cloths that you can set your phone down on. 

  3. Lay out any cleaning solutions or other cleaning materials next to it on the cloth. 

Cleaning Solution Options:

  • Small amount of rubbing alcohol

  • Silly putty/cleaning putty/cleaning gel

  • Toothbrush

What is an Air Compressor?

Compressed air can be used to clean an iPhone by blowing forcible air into the iPhone speakers to dislodge any items that are stuck. It is similar to helium tanks to blow up balloons. Compressed air is stored tightly in a device for controlled release. 

Step 3: Brush Debris Out

Before using compressed air it’s important to know how to clean out iPhone speakers from the top. If you have a dirty outside, you could end up blowing more debris inside the iPhone speakers if not brushed away properly. 

Here is where to start. 

How do I get dust out of my iPhone speaker slot?

  1. Grab a soft-bristled brush such as a toothbrush. Anything too harsh can end up scratching the speakers. 

  1. It’s also important to make sure the bristles don’t detach when using. This could leave them in the speakers as well. 

  1. Without any rubbing alcohol, gently use the toothbrush to run it over the speakers to loosen up any debris on the outside. 

  1. Take a dry microfiber cloth and run it over the speakers.

  1. Now do the same process with the toothbrush after dipping it lightly into rubbing alcohol. 

  1. Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth. 

This is the best approach on how to clean iPhone speaker holes from the outside. Next, we can look at how to clean your iPhone speakers from the inside. 

Step 4: Used Compressed Air

Now is where you should use your compressed air. 

  1. With safety in mind, be sure to hold the compressed air upright. This will give you control to direct it into the speaker holes of the iPhone.  

  1. Be sure to keep the can safely distanced from the iPhone. This will help prevent moisture from entering the speaker grille and holes. 

  1. Always use short bursts of air. Direct it so that the air blows across the speaker holes. This will help loosen up any debris that may be stubborn inside the speaker holes. 

  1. You should repeat the process for any area where there are speaker holes on the iPhone. 

How to Clean My iPhone Speakers Using Silly Putty/Cleaning Putty

If you are wondering how to clean an iPhone speaker grill with silly putty, you are not alone.  Silly putty is great at picking things up. And best of all it is a quick and simple process. 

  1. Grab cleaning putty or an adhesive. Gently push it against the iPhone speaker grill.

  1. Do not push too hard as you could lodge the putty in the speaker grill.

  1. Do not substitute putty for Playdough as Playdough likely will get stuck in the holes of the speakers. 

  1. Once you remove the putty, grab your toothbrush and start the process of gently scrubbing. 

  1. Wipe down with a non-shedding microfiber cloth. 

Pro Tip: Toothbrushes are also great to use when cleaning the grout in bathrooms or even in between keys or your mouse pad! It’s gentle enough to get into nooks and crannies without it being too abrasive. 

Power On Your iPhone

When you have gone through the process of cleaning out your iPhone speakers with various steps, go ahead and power it back on. Test out the speakers. They should sound slightly better in sound quality if you were successful in dislodging any debris from the speaker grille. 

Be sure to never power on your iPhone when you think it may be wet. This is especially true if there is water inside the internal parts. This can fry the phone and cause permanent damage. 

How do you clean iPhone speakers from water?

Great question. When the speaker grille has water damage this is an entirely different process than what is listed above. Let’s start. 

What You Need

  • A microfiber cloth

  • A dry area that’s not humid


  1. If your phone is wet immediately turn off the phone and power down the device to avoid any further damage that could be caused while trying to operate it. 

  1. Wipe the phone completely down and hold it right side up to allow any water to drip outside of the phone. 

  1. Place the phone in a dry area. Humid areas will cause the phone to dry slower.

  1. Stand the phone up on a microfiber cloth to allow the water to find its way out.

  1. Avoid using any heating tools like hair dryers as it may push water further into the phone. 

  1. Allow to dry for 24-48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

We love our smartphones. They do so much for us. But no matter how good we think we are at taking care of them, there is always a question or two that we all have. That’s why this section is dedicated to answering the most frequently asked questions. 

Do iPhone speakers need cleaning?

Absolutely. The better question is how often should you be cleaning your iPhone speakers? We can answer that. The answer depends on how dirty your phone gets. A simple wipe down once a week or every week will keep the speakers clean and free of build up. But most people forget to clean the speaker grille at any time. 

If you notice that your speaker grille is getting particularly dirty fast, you should clean it as needed to avoid any kind of speaker damage. 

Be sure to use proper ingredients that don’t irritate your skin. This is true for cleaning all Apple products that come into contact with our hands and wrists

How to clean iPhone ear speaker

Some people wonder whether they need to clean the iPhone speaker near the ear any differently than the rest of the speakers. This is a tiny speaker near the top of the iPhone towards the front lens. It doesn’t matter whether you want to know how to clean the ear speaker on iPhone 11 or 12, you want to treat the process the same. 

The difference is that you don’t have a speaker grille. You want to be careful about running a toothbrush over the area because it is close to the front camera lens. If you aren’t careful you may end up scratching the glass. You should treat it as the same process as cleaning mirrors and use a soft microfiber cloth that won’t shed. Then when you are done wiping down the area throw it into the laundry.  Or hand wash them!

How do you clean iPhone speaker holes?

A lot of people don’t realize that cleaning the iPhone speaker holes is an easy process. The label instructions above are the best way to approach it. Having said that, if you notice that you can’t improve the quality of sound after several cleanings, it may be time to enlist professional help. 

Taking your phone to Apple and having it serviced may cost money but in the most extreme situations, it can save you from having to replace the phone entirely down the road. 

When In Doubt

When you are in doubt about cleaning your iPhone, bring it to the Apple store. They have many specialists ready to help you. Having said this, our process has been tried and true many times. A simple wipe down is better than nothing! 

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