How to Clean and Care for Your Two-Way Radio (+ 2 Printable Lists)

Cleaning and maintaining your radio and accessories are a necessity to keep your equipment in great shape. Not only does this ensure you are getting the best communication experience possible, but it also prolongs the life of your equipment.

There are several things that should be checked during weekly maintenance and cleaning. The following steps explain how to clean, disinfect, and care for a two-way radio or any other communication device.

Bonus: we’ve also included 2 downloadable lists of this information that you can print and pass on to your team!


Cleaning takes off dirt, dust, grime, stains etc. that your radio can encounter every day. Each manufacture including Motorola, Kenwood, and Harris have similar cleaning instructions that all mention the use of a detergent water solution. (we’ll explain how to make this in a second).

Below are step-by-step instructions for cleaning your two-way radio. Be sure to read the dos and don’ts underneath so you don’t harm your radio.

How to Clean Your Two-Way Radio

1. Use 0.5% detergent water solution on a microfiber cloth. Mix 1 teaspoon liquid hand soup or dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) per 1 cup of water. You can keep this solution in a spray bottle for later use.

2. Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with the detergent water solution. Do not pour or spray solution directly onto radio and ring out the cloth to get rid of any excess water.

3. Gently wipe down any cracks and crevices keeping in mind of battery compartment, connector ports, contacts, or other electronics.

4. After cleaning, take a dry clean cloth and wipe down the radio, paying attention to battery compartments and any place where water might sit. Allow the radio to fully dry before installing the battery and other accessories or before you charge the radio.


  • Do not submerge your radio in water
  • Do not clean while radio is on or on the charger
  • Do not spray cleaning solution directly on radio
  • Don’t use bleach or any abrasive cleaning sprays. These can damage your radio.
  • Don’t use a dripping wet cloth.


  • Remove the battery before cleaning
  • Turn your radio off
  • Be mindful of battery hosing compartments and screens.
  • Remove speaker microphones, surveillance kits, and other accessories before cleaning
  • Use a damp microfiber lint free cloth
  • Ring out the cloth to remove any excess water.



I don’t have to tell you that germs are everywhere. Whether its your own personal radio or one that’s used by others, it’s important to disinfect your radio after every shift. Disinfecting only takes a minute and kills 99.99% of bacteria and germs that may linger on your radio.

1. Use isopropyl alcohol with 70%-80% concentration.

2. Lightly dampen the isopropyl alcohol on a microfiber cloth

3. Gently wipe down your radio with the cloth getting into the cracks and crevices.

4. You can use an antibacterial wipe like Clorox disinfecting wipes and gently clean your radio.

5. Do not over saturate your radio. Only use a damp cloth or wipe. Ring out the cloth or wipe of excess water before using.

How to Clean A Two-Way Radio

General Maintenance

Doing general maintenance and upkeep on your radio will help it function at its best and get the longest life. If you have your own or manage a fleet, it’s important for everyone to understand the proper upkeep of a radio to avoid unnecessary damage.

You should be checking out the exterior of your radio and accessories weekly. Here are several things to look for to keep your equipment in the best working condition possible.


  • Inspect the radio buttons
  • Lightly dust over any dirt or debris inside the speaker
  • Check the LED screen for any damage
  • Check the volume and channel knobs on the top of your radio. Are they still working properly?


  • Is your antenna bent? This can significantly affect reception. If it is, start looking for a replacement. Remember to not hold the radio by the antenna.


  • Inspect battery for any cracks or acid leakage.
  • Look at the gold-plated contacts. Gently wipe down the contacts with a microfiber cloth if you see any residue. Do not use any harsh chemicals.
  • Check date code for age and warranty. Find out how old your battery is and if it’s still covered under warranty.
  • Are you using the battery with a compatible charger? For instance, lithium-ion batteries should only be charged on a lithium-ion charger and so forth.

Belt Clip

  • Check for cracks or damage.
  • See if the screw is tight and sturdy


  • Lightly dust the inside of your charger cups with a feather duster or cloth to pick up any dust or debris that could cause your battery to not charge.

Audio Accessories

  • Look at the cables. Do you see any fraying or exposed wires?
  • Check the connector. Are there any loose or missing pins?
  • Look at the clear acoustic tube. Do you notice any wax build up or moisture? If so, follow these steps to clean out your acoustic tube.
  • Remove any dust or debris inside the speaker or push to talk button. Gently blow into or run a feather duster over the speaker.

Radio Maintenance Checklist


Waveband Communications is a two-way radio accessories manufacture for the largest radio brands including Motorola, Kenwood, Harris, BK Technologies, and more. Need help finding the right radio accessories for you and your radio? Get in touch by 800-806-1076, live chat, or

Taylor Thomas is a Marketing Manager at Waveband Communications. With her experience in critical communications, she helped public safety clients enhance their team communication through the help of two-way radio accessories.

Accessory careMaintenanceTwo-way radios

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