1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Cleaning microphones after Covid-19

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Two-Spirit, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Normally, I'd just use febreze. what do you think I should use on them>
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sunlight. Nothing kills germs better than fresh air and UV rays. Period.

    Other than that, any antibacterial wipe, alcohol wipe, Clorox wipe, etc. will do the trick. But it won't get down in the crevices as well as sunlight does. Just unscrew the ball and set it outside on the handrail of your deck.
  3. Hydrochloric acid. :laugh:
    dbsfgyd1, 210superair, HG1180 and 3 others like this.
  4. thanks
    HG1180 likes this.
  5. Awe come on...it was just a LITTLE funny right? :)
    Bassdirty, 210superair and Two-Spirit like this.
  6. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA

    This. Also, if I'm understanding this right, the virus needs a host and a microphone is not it. After three? seven? 15? more? days, the virus won't be alive anymore anyway.

    If I'm wrong, somebody please chime in.
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Three days.
    Jefenator, JRA and Two-Spirit like this.
  8. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    One should always clean your mics - even if YOU are the only ones using them - Dos Equis virus or not!
    You can still catch stuff from "dirty" mics.. that will goive you allergies, sinus infections, and bronchitis!
    A pro FOH guy friend of mine, sent me this.. as I recently got a sinus infection from a dirty mic. I usually bring my own.. but not this one time!
    With everything going on right now here's a reminder that it's OK and recommended to clean your pop filters and mic grilles. They're great for combating unwanted plosives, but they also go a very long way in preventing spit and saliva from reaching the capsule. An electronically charged capsule attracts all sorts of airborne particles!

    For your pop filter (cloth, silk, metal...doesn't matter), a little dish soap or mild detergent and warm water is all you need. If you need to really get in there, a new, clean toothbrush works really well. Just use one with soft bristles.

    Even dynamic mics, like Shure SM58s, can use a good cleaning. This goes double if being used by different people and clients each time. On most dynamic mics, you can unscrew the grille right off. Go ahead and clean it, and even the foam windscreen that's underneath.

    Air drying is best, but if you're in a hurry a hair dryer that lets you only blow air (and no heat) is best. Heat can destroy a foam windscreen.

    Last tip: keep your mics covered and stored when not in use. I don't care if that means the original case or box, a bank deposit bag, a plastic Walmart tote, or even a shopping bag. Just cover and protect them!

    Be well, be healthy, and be safe!
  9. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You know this how?
    DrMole and 210superair like this.
  10. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    For years, I have always encouraged my singers to use their own mics.

    I always keep two mics in my equipment bag: my personal and a spare mic. When ever I am breaking in a new singer, I hand them the spare mic and say: Here you can use this mic. It's only been spit on by 100 other singers at last night's open mic night.

    They usually show up to the next rehearsal with their own mic... ;)

    BTW: I keep a stash of alcohol pads in my equipment bag, and wipe down my mics when I'm breaking down.
    A box of alcohol pads are super cheap at the drug store by the glucose monitor supplies.
  11. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I learned this 30 years ago doing festivals with one group of singers after another all day.

    Alcohol wipes. Designated one guy to "vigorously" wipe down the mics with the wipes after every group finished and while the next group was being set up.

    Later on, a monitor guy with one group suggested Listerene and cloths is the steel wasn't so alcohol-y smelling (hey, I can invent words under the circumstances...:roflmao:). So we've done that and the wipes for several years now.

    We've also had enough vocal mics for 2 sets so one set could be pulled for cleaning and the second set to be used when times were tighter.

    The smart singers brought their own vocal mics! Some might say, "well, what if it's different than the ones you were using?". Man, such a small point to quibble, a pro sound person should be able to adapt to a vocal mic change.

    All this is nothing new, it's just that the implications for not following good hygiene practices are much more serious. And I've carried my own hand sanitizer and wipes for most of my adult life as well. Being in the public, large numbers of people, walking up to unfamiliar mixing consoles, proved backline instruments, etc. My Dad was an extreme germaphobe (like there's any other kind these days) and a little of that rubbed off on me.
  12. Except with Corona Virus, we know that doesn't do it. Nor does heat.

    Just my own theory about how I would wipe these things down if it was currently relevant to me:

    I would strongly recommend removing the ball, or in case of an LDC, take the capsule assembly out of the grille section, if that isn't too tough or dangerous to the mic (otherwise, leave it assembled).

    Then wipe down the grill with something antibacterial (there are dozens of products I'm sure that would suffice), but not something that could eat foam or destroy the finish. Put the cleaner on a lint free cloth, or quality paper towel - not sprayed directly onto the mic.

    wipe dry and let it air dry the rest of the way before reassembling imho, because who knows if the leftover vapors could damage the diaphram or similar.
  13. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Northest New Jersey
    Anti-bacterial wipes and a good shot of Lysol on the windscreens.
  14. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Antibacterial isn't enough bc this is a virus. You need something both antibacterial AND that kills viruses. Also since the entire mic is near the singer, you need to clean/de-virus the entire thing, not just the windscreen/ball. One way, maybe the best way, is just to leave the thing out unused/untouched for about two weeks, which is around the max time the virus seems to be able to remain viable on surfaces. And please remember that if you're touching those mics you need to clean your hands like a surgeon and especially don't touch your face while you're doing it.
    J_Bass, Rabidhamster and Geri O like this.
  15. I try to always use my own mic. But I agree with those above, if the mics have been sitting for a few days, any virus on them is probably dead.
    210superair likes this.
  16. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    Using someone else's SM58...especially when there's lipstick on it...no, no, no...don't want to kiss what she's been kissin'...
  17. Listerine and a soft toothbrush :)
    Geri O likes this.
  18. For my church’s SM58s I’ve unscrewed the balls, pulled out the foam windscreens and washed them with dish soap and warm water. For the grills, I put them in the top rack of my dishwasher.
    Samatza and Jefenator like this.
  19. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Put them out in the open air for a week. They'll be fine. The virus does not last long without a host. Febreeze is not an anti-viral agent, btw, it just smells nice.
  20. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Uh ... science.
    BassinCT and s0c9 like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.