How to properly clean your iPhone's speakers without damaging them

Steven John/Business InsiderYou can easily clean your iPhone’s speakers with household objects like a paint brush, wooden or plastic toothpick, and masking tape.
  • An iPhone’s speakers can become clogged with dirt, dust, dead skin cells, and more, reducing the quality of playback and making calls harder to hear.
  • You can clean iPhone speakers easily with several different household objects.
  • Take care to be gentle when cleaning an iPhone speaker, as it is one of the more fragile parts of this overall rugged technology.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sorry to report this, but your iPhone is probably one of the dirtiest things you own. Most smartphones harbour more bacteria than found on the average toilet seat, in fact – so when possible, make sure you wash your hands after texting and before you eat.

While you can’t see the millions of microorganisms likely swarming about on your phone, you probably will be able to see the detritus clogging up your iPhone speaker and reducing the quality of audio the phone produces.

Periodically cleaning iPhone speakers is a good idea even if you aren’t experiencing reduced sound quality, as any bits of dust, food, skin cells, or other whatnot that find their way into the small speaker holes at the bottom of the phone or the grill atop its front can get jammed deeply into the speaker and become even harder to remove.

Just remember that if you’re experiencing audio issues with an iPhone, the problem is more than likely the software, not the hardware – turn it off and on again and you’ll usually be all set.

And note that you should never use liquids (or compressed air) when cleaning any part of an iPhone, especially models older than the 7, which are not water-resistant and have a 3.5 mm headphone jack that practically begs for water to get in there and ruin the phone.

How to properly clean your iPhone’s speakers without damaging them

Cleaning iPhone speakers with a soft brush

How to clean iphone speakerSteven John/Business InsiderRemove residue from your speakers with a soft-bristle brush like a paintbrush.

The best way to remove bits of dirt and dust from the speaker on the front of the iPhone is to use a brush with soft bristles, ideally a small paintbrush. Consider trimming the bristles down to a half-inch length to give yourself better control.

Gently brush across the speaker from bottom to top, moving across the length of the long, thin speaker several times. Don’t drag the brush along the axis of the speaker. You can also work soft bristles into the speaker holes at the bottom of the phone.

Cleaning iPhone speakers with a toothpick

How to clean iphone speakerSteven John/Business InsiderUse a plastic or wooden toothpick to gently scrape gunk out of your speakers.

If bits of detritus are lodged in the speaker holes at the bottom of your iPhone, you can use the sharp point of a wooden or plastic toothpick to pop them out. Insert the tip with minimal pressure, then slowly tilt the toothpick until it pops out. All force should be directed sideways and then up, not down toward the phone.

Clean iPhone speakers with painter’s tape

How to clean iphone speakerSteven John/Business InsiderApply masking tape to your speakers to remove any remaining residue.

Decent painter’s tape will leave no residue on your phone. Use small bits of it, sticky side down, to lift dirt off the speaker on the front of the phone. Rolled to form a point, you can use painter’s tape (a.k.a. masking tape) to lift dust and dirt from the speaker holes on the bottom, too.

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