Most people never even think about vocal microphone hygiene, which is okay as long as you’re the only one using the mike. If not, it’s important that you clean your vocal microphone after use to prevent one singer from passing their germs on to the next. In this humble blog, I’ll explain how you can easily clean a microphone yourself.

Microfoon schoonmaken - Waarom en hoe

Cleaning a Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic microphones are relatively easy to clean. In most cases, the grille (the metal mesh) can be unscrewed to remove the internal foam-rubber wind-shield. Since they sit in the line of fire, the grille and windshield are usually the dirtiest parts. Luckily, neither consists of any electronic parts and can simply be cleaned with a little soapy water or a special cleaning solution like Microphome Sanitiser (the full Microphome Sanitiser Kit even includes a cleaning cloth and a special brush). After you’ve cleaned the grille and windshield, don’t forget to clean the body of the microphone, since this is what you hold onto. If, after removing the grille, you notice that grime has managed to make its way into the actual microphone capsule, we recommend that you take your microphone to an expert for further inspection.

How to Clean a Microphone

Cleaning a Studio Microphone

Condenser and ribbon microphones are typically a bit harder to clean. The housing itself can usually be cleaned using rubbing alcohol, but it’s important to always check the manual just in case. Also, bear in mind that alcohol can dissolve ink so try to prevent literally cleaning off any lettering. Due to their delicate construction, cleaning the inside of a condenser or ribbon microphone is best left to a professional. To reduce the risk of one singer getting sick after using the same microphone as another, we recommend not using the same microphone for at least 6 hours. After all, most viruses can’t survive outside of the human body for too long.

How to Clean a Microphone

Better Safe Than Sorry

Not every microphone can be easily cleaned. That said, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so preventing your microphone from getting dirty in the first place is a great alternative to cleaning it. Slapping on a foam-rubber windshield can prove very effective and won’t affect the sound much. After use, the windshield can be removed, cleaned with hot water and dish-soap, and hung out to dry. If you want even better protection, you could slide a thin plastic bag over your microphone. This will, however, affect the sound since the extra barrier results in duller recordings that will need boosting in the high-end via an equaliser. By installing a foam-rubber windshield before sliding the plastic bag on, you can reduce the risk of any rustling or crackling noises. Just make sure not to tighten the bag too much because that would only result in more noise. Finally, there’s the pop filter, which does a great job keeping any plosives in check but doesn’t exactly keep your microphone clean. When used as an additional measure, it can however prevent you from accidentally brushing up against the plastic bag and creating unwanted noise.

Bring Your Own Microphone

For maximum protection against other vocalists’ germs, you could also bring your own microphone to gigs, rehearsals and recording sessions. When you do, make sure that everyone knows that you’re the only one who’s allowed to use or possibly even touch the microphone. You’ll also want to set up the microphone stand and plug in any cables yourself.

See Also

» Windshields
» All Microphones & Accessories
» Microphome Products
» Maintenance Products for Electronic Equipment

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