How to clean the fabric on your Amazon Echo or Google Nest smart speaker

Amazon Echo 3rd Gen
Amazon Echo 3rd Gen (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Even though we don't generally pick up or move our smart speakers around that often, they can still get dirty. Who among us hasn't had a dog's tail or small child knock their Nest Hub or Amazon Echo off the side table. Perhaps a glass of Merlot spilled near your Echo Dot. Okay, that last one may just apply to me, but you get the idea. Thankfully, there are some simple tricks to salvage the look of your favorite smart speaker.

Products used in this guide

How to remove dust from smart speaker fabric

Whether you have an Amazon Echo, a Google/Nest device, or some other smart speaker, you are no doubt well aware that the electronics and materials can be a real dust magnet. Hopefully, the dust situation hasn't gotten too bad on your smart speaker, but if you are starting to notice some bunnies forming, the fix for this is pretty simple.

Note that the different speakers' fabric covers are all made out of slightly different mixes of materials, so what works well on one may or may not work as well on another.

  1. Unplug your device before cleaning.
  2. Next, try gently wiping the affected area with a clean, dry cloth. Use something with a tight weave that won't get caught in the mesh of the speaker fabric.
  3. If the dry cloth doesn't work, dampen it and try wiping the dust off in light strokes. Do not saturate the cloth. It's important to not have any dripping water on the speaker.
  4. Alternatively, you can use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush, dry or damp, in place of a cloth.
  5. Let the speaker sit for 15-20 minutes before plugging it back in and using it again in case it needs to dry off any.
  6. Repeat as necessary.

This method is generally considered the safest for the speaker fabric, and the least likely to cause any further staining or damage. However, some stains require a bit more than elbow grease.

How to clean smart speaker fabric stains

Google Home Mini

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Sometimes our devices require a stronger approach to clean them. When that happens, we need to break out stronger tools to fix the problem.

  1. Unplug your device before cleaning.
  2. Use a gentle chemical pen like the Tide To-Go pen to delicately wipe away the stain.
  3. Alternatively, you can use a light abrasive cleaning tool like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Dampen the eraser ever so slightly per instructions
  4. Let the speaker sit for 15-20 minutes before plugging it back in and using it again in case it needs to dry off any.
  5. Repeat as necessary.

If you elect to use something like the Tide To Go pen, note that each speaker manufacturer makes their mesh out of a slightly different balance of materials. They may react differently to the chemicals in the pen, no matter how gentle they may be. Exercise caution; don't use too much and use it at your own risk.

How to cover that smart speaker fabric

So, what if you've tried all of the suggestions above and nothing has worked? You don't have to toss that smart speaker or live with an ugly device. No, all you have to do is slap a skin on that Echo or Nest product and voila - you have a fresh new look!

One of our favorites is the Mission Cables Skin for the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) because it is comprised of an easy-to-clean soft-touch material that can protect the speaker from any accidental bumps or bruises, and it adds a nice pop of color to an often boring-looking device. Of course, there are other solutions out there for other speaker types, so you're sure to find one that suits your tastes!

As you can see, it is fairly easy to erase, cover-up or just plain hide most stains that your Echo or Nest smart speaker might pick up. When you do clean your device, it is important to remember that less is more. If you use a damp cloth or toothbrush, go super easy on the amount of moisture you use to clean and the amount of pressure you apply. The same advice goes for something like the Tide To Go Pen. You can always add more, but you can't necessarily subtract, so follow these steps at your own risk.

Our top equipment picks

The following are some of the tools we referenced above. Not only are they great for touching up your smart speakers, but they are generally great for cleaning up other messes around the house.

Yes, you can get these individually, but they're so darn useful you're going to want to have several backups for other "oopsies" around the house. You'll thank us later.

Additional Equipment

If you're uncomfortable using a chemical solution on your precious smart speaker, consider one of these low-tech alternatives.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (Image credit: Mr. Clean)

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (From $8 at Amazon)

Made from a simple foam, this lightly abrasive pad can clean almost any surface without damaging it.

Oral-B Indicator Toothbrush

Oral-B Indicator Toothbrush (Image credit: Oral-B)

Oral-B Indicator Toothbrush (From $5 at Amazon)

Using a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush is a great method to get dust and light stains off of speaker fabric.

Mission Cables Skin for Echo Dot 3rd Gen

Mission Cables Skin for Echo Dot 3rd Gen (Image credit: Amazon)

Mission Cables Skin for Echo Dot (3rd Gen) ($10 at Amazon)

If you just can't get your Echo Dot clean, or you just want a change, slap a skin on it!

Jeramy Johnson

Jeramy was the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.