How to Get Gunk Out of iPhone Speakers

Your iPhone’s speakers pick up a lot of dust and lint over time, which can make the phone sound muffled or stop it from making any sound. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to clean the speakers on your iPhone without risking any damage to the electronics.

First, turn off the iPhone and remove any protective case or screen protector. Then, use a soft brush (like a toothbrush with soft bristles) to gently scrub away any large pieces of dust and grime on the outside of the speaker ports. You can also dip the brush tip in rubbing alcohol to help loosen any stuck-on gunk, but be careful not to soak the brush—it should only have a thin coating of water on the very ends of the bristles.

If you’re worried about damaging your iPhone, you can also use a can of compressed air to gently blow out the dirt in the ports. But be careful not to press too hard, since the high pressure from the can could damage delicate parts inside the phone. You can also try using a lint-free cloth or an old cotton T-shirt to wipe away any remaining debris.

Another great tool to have on hand is a piece of painter’s tape, which can be used in a similar way to clean the speakers. Painter’s tape has a pressure-sensitive adhesive, which can easily grab and hold onto tiny dirt particles that are stuck to the speakers or mic holes. To use it, tear off a small piece of tape and roll it into a tight cylinder with the sticky side facing out. Insert the cylinder into each of your iPhone’s speakers, checking the tape for dirt every so often to discard it and start fresh.

You can also try a small bit of electronic putty cleaner, which is a type of soft silicone that’s designed to stick to nooks and crannies on electronic devices. Putty cleaners can be purchased at most electronic stores and can be used to remove stubborn gunk from the corners of your speakers or mics.

The earpiece on your iPhone is a small stereo speaker, which is less likely to get dirty or clogged up than the main speakers. However, it’s still important to clean it regularly to ensure that it’s working properly and doesn’t muffle your audio when you listen to music or talk on the phone.

To keep your iPhone’s stereo speaker and earpiece speakers in top shape, it’s recommended that you clean them once or twice a year. You can do this by using a cleaning brush, a piece of painter’s tape, or an air blower—but remember not to use canned compressed air, as this can cause damage to the sensitive electronics inside your iPhone. Also, never submerge your iPhone in liquids, as this can lead to corrosion and short circuiting. And if you’re not comfortable doing the work yourself, you can always bring it into an Apple Store to have it professionally serviced.