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Your Amazon Echo is choked with dust and crumbs: Clean it for better sound, fewer sneezes – CNET

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Make sure you’re cleaning your Echo the right way.

Dale Smith/CNET

Your Amazon Echo doesn’t move around too much — in fact, you probably give Alexa commands without ever looking at it. But that means it’s easy to neglect the layer of dust and other gross buildup that has formed over time. The good news is you can give your speaker a thorough cleaning so that it looks new and sounds great again.

Microfiber cloths, a lint roller and a vacuum cleaner with smaller attachments (like what you’d clean your laptop with) are all great tools to use, and we’ll tell you when and how to use them on which part of the speaker.

These tips apply to pretty much every Echo speaker, from those with fabric covers like the Echo Dot, to the touchscreen Echo Show and the plastic Echo Input and second-gen devices. 

Here’s how to get your smart speaker all cleaned up.

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Your Amazon Echo is a sitting duck for dust and debris.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Lightly tap your Echo device

If your Echo speaker is super dusty, do yourself a favor and cover your nose and mouth with a medical face mask. After all, you don’t want to breathe in anything that’ll be coming off your device. Next, you should lightly tap your speaker to remove any loose debris that’s sitting on the surface — make sure you do this over a trash can to avoid getting dust everywhere. You should still plan to vacuum the area after your deep clean.

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Use a toothpick to dig crumbs out of small spaces

If you’ve ever touched your Echo devices buttons after devouring crackers or something else that produces tiny crumbs, then you probably have bits of food wedged in the buttons. 

Use a toothpick to scrape them out — if they’re jammed in there, you may need to use a sharper object like the edge of a business card. We don’t recommend using knives or any object that could scratch the speaker or possibly injure you.

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Use a toothpick to get dirt out of small places on your Echo.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Run a lint roller over the cloth

If your Amazon Echo ($100 at Amazon) has a fabric shell, use a lint roller to grab dust and particles that are sitting on top of the cloth. You’ll want to lightly run it over the fabric to avoid smooshing the dirt deeper into the cloth. Since the fabric is woven, this won’t grab all the gunk, but it’ll get everything lingering on top.

Use small vacuum cleaner attachments

There may be crumbs or debris stuck in the cloth of the speaker that a lint roller alone can’t reach. What you’ll need to do is use your vacuum cleaner’s small attachments to suction out all the crud. This should remove nearly all of the dust and food stuck on your Echo speaker.

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Use a small vacuum attachment to clean your Amazon Echo.

Dale Smith/CNET

Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth

After you’ve removed all the dust and debris from your Echo, grab a microfiber cloth to give it a good wipe down to catch anything you missed. The cloth needs to be dry when cleaning the speaker to avoid inflicting damage or making it waterlogged. 

When cleaning the plastic parts and touchscreen screen (if you have the Echo Show ($230 at Amazon)), you can use a slightly damp microfiber cloth. This should pick up anything sticky that may have found its way onto your device, like grease or sugar.

Never clean your Amazon Echo like this

  • Never attempt to clean your Echo with alcohol, window cleaner, stain remover or pretty much any liquid that isn’t water — and then only sparingly so you don’t get liquid inside the device.
  • Don’t run your Amazon Echo under the faucet — it’ll ruin your speaker.
  • Keep away from cans of compressed air — the high pressure can damage the internal microphone and speaker.

Now that you’ve got your Echo speaker clean, check out these four places in your house that you should never put your Echo device. You may also be interested in how to fix these eight problems that plague the Amazon Echo.

Originally published earlier this week.

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