How To Clean Speaker Cones Safely & Effectively – A Quick Guide

Author: Rudolf Geldenhuis | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Whether it’s inside a guitar amp or a pair of studio monitors, speaker cones are everywhere. It is essential that we know how to clean this rather delicate component effectively and safely.

Whichever side of the dusty speaker cone debate you’re on, it is best to keep them free of dust and grime build-up which, in the long run, could affect the sound quality.

So, how do you go about cleaning speaker cones?

Using a soft microfiber cloth (these are great), carefully wipe away the dust, taking care not to damage the dust cover. If you’re dealing with more than just dust, wipe the speaker cone with a slightly damp microfiber cloth first. In case of rubber cones, you could also Sonax or other rubber care products to protect the rubber.

Do I Really Have to Clean the Speaker Cones?

There is a constant debate on whether dust on speaker cones add or subtract from the sound quality produced by the speaker, but, if you are reading this, I’m assuming that you have already picked a side, or your speaker cones are particularly nasty.

It is important to take care of your studio or performance gear to ensure you get the maximum performance output for your financial input. Most recording studios, professional or small home-based, prefers to keep things clean in the sound booth.

Dust particles form a layer or film on the speaker cones, especially if they are not used frequently. When the speaker is used, these dust particles are launched into the surrounding air, which could cause all kinds of hay fever, rhinitis, and other unpleasant allergic reactions.

What Does a Speaker Cone Do and What is It Made of?

The cone is the most important factor in determining the sound and frequency response of the loudspeaker and it suffers the most significant mechanical demands. Stiffness, damping, weight and resilience are just some of the many factors considered in the quest for perfect sound production.

The cone is made from a variety of materials, which are treated with resins and lacquers to increase or decrease the above-mentioned factors. Today however, many cones are constructed with rubber which is slightly stronger and more resilient.

There are several components in each speaker. While this is a short guide to cleaning the cone, it would be worth your while to familiarize yourself with all the different parts, how each part works, and the speaker cone’s role in the entirety of the speaker.

How to Clean Speaker Cones – Step by Step Guide

This is the best, safest, and most effective way to keep those cones clean. Before you clean the speaker cones though, remind yourself just how important they are to sound quality.

Step 1 – For the Exceptionally Filthy

This step is optional. Use a soft, slightly dampened microfiber cloth and gently wipe the cone clean. Do not use too much pressure, especially close to the dust cover, which is very easily damaged.

Step 2 – For the Dusty

Using a dry and clean microfiber cloth such as this, carefully wipe the dust from the cone. Do not use any pressure, it’s just like dusting mom’s army of little ceramic cups and spoons and the mantelpiece.

Step 3 – The Treatment

This step is also optional and applies to rubber cones only. There are various rubber care products on the market but none of these are specifically for speaker cones. Be very careful if you use these products and make sure that you read the instruction manual before you buy the product.

You’ve Done It

You should have a clean and glossy speaker cone now and the tools to keep it that way. Now, let me know in the comments section below, did it change the audio?

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About Rudolf Geldenhuis

Rudolf is a South African concert pianist, composer, and arranger based in Henley on Klip near Johannesburg. He has worked with various orchestras, bands, and show groups and performed throughout South Africa, Europe, and Great Britain. When not rehearsing or practicing, Rudolf enjoys writing and is currently a part time journalist for several publications in South Africa.

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