The microphone is a commonly used item passed through the hands of many people. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting the mic after use is essential to ensure safety.
Many people have questioned how to clean the microphone and correctly make sure the microphone is disinfected before passing it on to others. This is an article that gives you full knowledge of how to clean a microphone and some notes in the process.
Make sure your mic is clean and fresh
Microphones can be used in many different ways and are changed hands frequently. While some mics can be mounted to the ceiling or on instruments, most mics are carried in your hand or attached to the body.
These cases can leave marks on the cables and microphones from sweat, spit, and skin. How can you clean your microphones?
Here are some tips to ensure that your microphones are in top working order and are safe for the users.
Good hand hygiene is the best way to keep your family and friends healthy.
There is a distinction between disinfecting and cleaning mics. Cleaning mics means physically cleaning dirt and germs off the mic using liquid soap and water to spray.
To disinfect mics, you must use a proper chemical agent such as isopropyl alcohol or water solution to kill germs (only for the surface).
It would help if you cleaned your mics first, then disinfect them as needed.
Note: Pure Isopropyl Alcohol evaporates too fast on surfaces to kill germs. Its disinfectant properties can be extended by adding 20% water.
Microphone Cleaning: What to Avoid
Let’s start with the don’ts. It takes more time to test substances and determine if they cause harm over time than to identify the things that should be avoided when microphone cleaning. While we continue to test, these are some general points to remember:
- No bleach cleaning products
- No Hydrogen Peroxide
- Shure products should not be cleaned with hand sanitizers.
- No abrasive cleaners (I.E., scrub brush, scouring pad)
- Avoid saturating products with liquid.
- Clear plastic parts are not suitable for rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol).
- For cleaning, remove the grille/windscreen. Do not clean the element.
General tips on mic hygiene
- Your microphones’ cleanliness is also important. Personal hygiene doesn’t just mean brushing your teeth, but personal grooming.
- Regular hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent bacteria from getting on surfaces and objects of the microphone.
- It is important to wash your hands with liquid soap frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before touching your microphones or recording with them.
Keeping handheld microphones clean is crucial
You can disinfect handheld microphones by wiping them clean with isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol. The mics basket and handle/ grip are important areas to protect.
You can also air-dry your mics out in the sun or U.V. lighting for up to 72 hours. This will ensure that most bacteria from steel and plastic surfaces die within this time frame.
You might have heard of ‘baking your mics in an oven’. Heat can help to kill bacteria on surfaces. One can bake a mic at 70 degrees for three minutes in an oven. The bacteria on its surfaces will then die.
We don’t recommend that you throw your microphone in the oven yet. This could lead to some visual deterioration and damage to some functional items if done incorrectly.
Miniature & subminiature lavaliers and headsets
These microphones can be cleaned by rinsing them in demineralized warm water and wiping them with a soft cloth. Below are some instructions for cleaning DPA Miniature and Subminiature 4099 Instrument, Headset Microphones.
Please note that these instructions are applicable to both omnidirectional and directed mics. All grids, caps, pop filters, and foam windscreen must be removed in order to clean the mics properly.
This will allow for a thorough rinse and allows the water to evaporate completely when dried out. You will only need demineralized, not any cleaning fluids.
After drying, allow the microphones to air dry for 72hrs before you reuse them. Some germs can die at high temperatures. It is possible to place the mics in the oven at 60°C (140°F) for one hour. However, the microphone will be slightly older.
Use a soft and dampened cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol and water to clean miniature and subminiature headset microphones. This applies to all headsets, clips and booms, grids, adapters, and grids.
To disinfect microphones, you can also use U.V. radiation, but first cap the microphone head. Protect the membrane from UV-C radiation.
Use a makeup cap to cover the miniatures and subminiature.
6000 Series Subminiature: DUA9501
4000 Series Miniatures – DUA0590 (Omni), or DUA0591(directional)
Please note that UVGI (ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation) disinfectant is dependent on line-of-sight. This means that the microphone must be disinfected with, e.g… The microphone can be cleaned with spray with isopropyl alcohol as described above.
Pure isopropyl alcohol evaporates too fast on surfaces to kill germs. Its disinfectant properties can be extended by adding 20% water.
Handheld and pencil microphones
These microphones can be cleaned by removing the grid, if possible, and cleaning it with lukewarm soap and water. Place the grid on the capsule after drying. Use a damp cloth dampened with hot water or liquid soap to clean the mic’s surface.
After drying, allow the surface of the microphone to dry for 72hrs before you reuse them. Some germs can die at high temperatures. It is possible to place the mics in the oven at 60°C (140°F) for one hour. However, the microphone will be slightly older.
Wipe down the surface of pencil and handheld microphones with a damp cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Be sure to keep the microphone membrane free from isopropyl alcohol.
* Pure Isopropyl Alcohol evaporates too fast on the surface to kill germs. Its disinfectant properties can be extended by adding 20% water.
Use olive oil or coconut oil to clean your cables. This will remove any residue such as paint or sweat and make the cable clean and ready to use.
You can also use lukewarm soap and water to clean them. Don’t get soapy water in connectors and microphones. Allow them to dry for at least 72 hours. This will allow germs to die.
Please note that cables cannot be disinfected using isopropyl alcohol or other harsh chemicals. This will cause the jacket to become brittle. To remove as many germs from cables as possible, we recommend that you cleaning them thoroughly.
UV-C light has also been shown to kill germs. UVGI (ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation) has a wavelength of 185-254nm. It kills microorganisms and inactivates them by disrupting their DNA and nucleic acid.
A UV-C treatment will not affect the performance or condition of our cables. UVGI disinfection is dependent on line-of-sight.
Make sure you expose as much of the cable as possible to the sunlight and then repeat treatment if necessary. Follow the instructions and protect yourself against radiation.
Clean a foam windscreen, large and small, then remove the foam from their mics. Then wash them with warm water and soap. Allow them to dry naturally for at least 72 hours. This will give germs time to die.
Foam windscreens can’t be disinfected using isopropyl alcohol or any other harsh chemicals. To remove all germs from windscreens, we recommend that you clean them thoroughly and allow them to completely dry for at least 72 hours. This will give germs time to die.
Maybe you like: https://www.voicebrook.com/blog/microphone-windscreen
Above are the most basic tips for cleaning a microphone. During use, a dirty microphone can make the device negatively affected and affect the health of the user. Therefore, it is very important to clean the microphone regularly.
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