How To Sanitize And Sterilize A Microphone

Microphone is undoubtedly the most shared piece of equipment between other people. In studios, at venues, in rehearsal rooms, even in your home studio – the microphone is the most ‘passed around’ piece of music equipment. Due to the way it’s used, and its proximity to hands and mouths, it could potentially be a breeding ground for germs & bacteria. Also, because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely important to keep your microphones as clean as possible.

It is generally a good idea for you to clean your mic frequently regardless of health concerns. Due to the recommended mic placement the microphone is very close to or even touches the singer’s face or lips. It’s not uncommon to find saliva, spit, mucus, even bits of food lodged in the grille of your vocal mics and underlying foam filter. 

To disinfect and sanitize your microphone – unscrew the grille and remove foam pop filter. Spray a solution of isopropyl alcohol and water on the grille and gently scrub it using a soft-bristled toothbrush to dislodge grime and dirt. Wash foam pop filter with mild soap water. Sparingly apply isopropyl alcohol solution to a cloth rag and wipe the body of the microphone. Let the parts dry naturally before reassembling.

Note: Pure isopropyl alcohol evaporates too quickly but by adding 20% water, its disinfectant properties will be extended for enough time to work properly.

How to clean & disinfect a microphone during the Coronavirus pandemic

Step 1: If your microphone has a removable metal grill, unscrew it from the microphone.

Step 2: Remove the foam windscreen pop-filter inside the grille.

Step 3: Spray or dip the grille in an isopropyl alcohol and water solution, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the grille and remove grit and dirt. This will also help kill off any nasty bugs or microbes which are still hanging around. You can also use mild soap water to clean the grille.

how to clean sanitize sterilize microphone

Step 4: Allow the now-clean grille to dry naturally. Be patient here; even a drop of water could kill your precious mic if it gets inside. 

Step 5: Wash the foam insert with soap and hot water. 

Step 5: Now dip a cloth rag sparingly in the isopropyl solution and wipe down the entire body of the microphone. Alternatively you can also use disinfecting wipes to do the same.

Step 6: Reassemble your sanitized and disinfected microphone.

Additional Tips:

  • If the front grille of your mic cannot be removed, or if you’re using a condenser microphone, the best advice is to avoid water or any form of liquid. A soft-bristled toothbrush will aid you in removing any dried scum, but make sure to hold the mic upside down so any dislodged particles fall to the floor, rather than back inside.
  • If your microphone has an external foam windscreen, do not use anything harsher than warm water to clean it. Isopropyl alcohol will cause color to leach from the windscreen. 
  • When cleaning, avoid getting any moisture on the microphone element itself. Do not apply cleaning agents to the microphone capsule directly. If possible, hold the microphone upright so that any excess liquid will flow away from the microphone element.
  • Keep disinfecting wipes handy with your microphones, and use them daily. These wipes are designed to make surfaces clean enough to prepare food on, which will be perfect for keeping your microphone sterile and clean for whoever uses them.

How to clean microphone pop filters and foam windscreen?

The most effective way to clean pop filters and foam windscreens is to simply wash them with mild warm soap water and leave them to naturally dry or use a hair dryer on low heat to dry them.

How to clean the microphone cables and stand?

Microphone cables and stands also need to be cleaned and disinfected periodically. However, we do not advise using alcohol to clean the cables and wires. The best way to clean cables is with a sponge or cloth rag dipped in warm soap water.

Give them a good scrub and let them dry completely and make sure that no moisture or water is present before you use them again.

Written by:
Amit Gupta
Amit Gupta

Hi, my name is Amit Gupta, and I am the owner and contributor at Radaudio. My passions include guitar, bass, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments that I have been playing since school.

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