With cold and flu (and now Coronavirus / COVID-19) season here in force, there have been a lot of questions about how to properly clean and disinfect microphones.
Unsurprisingly, there is some misleading and often bad information on some of the social media threads that I’ve seen lately.
Here are some tips to help you keep those mics clean and sanitary, now and any time of year.
The recommended mic placement for handheld vocal microphones means that the microphone is very close to or even touches the singer’s face or lips. This means that spit/mucus/etc. can easily be transferred from the mouth to the microphone grill and underlying foam filter.
The body of the microphone is another surface that can be contaminated by contact with the hands.
If you don’t have a dedicated microphone for each vocalist or pastor on your team, then you may want to consider some of the following health and sanitary recommendations.
Follow these steps to clean your microphones and have them ready for the next user.
Even if you have a dedicated microphone for each singer or pastor, the mics are often co-mingled in the same storage location after services. For this reason, it may be best to keep microphones separated after use.
I also like to label or color code microphones that are dedicated to specific people.
And don’t forget about those foam pop filters on the ends of lavaliere and headset mics. Anything that can attract spit or can be placed close to the mouth should be a candidate for disinfecting.
Oh, and wash your hands!
PRO TIP: While you're cleaning microphones, it might not be a bad idea to wipe down all those faders and knobs on the mixing console. A soft bristle tooth brush can work great for gently scrubbing mic grills and faders pads.
The following products are available on Amazon or other online stores and can be helpful in cleaning and disinfecting your microphones.
Did you know that 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is more effective at disinfecting than 91-100% alcohol solutions?
Alcohol solutions greater than 91% can still kill bacteria and germs, but they take longer to be effective than 62-70% isopropyl alcohol solutions. This is because the higher percentage solutions take longer to penetrate the cell walls and kill microorganisms. This is why 62-70% isopropyl alcohol products are recommended for disinfectant use over higher percentage alcohol mixture options.
And did you know that regular hand soap is more effective at destroying (or neutralizing) a virus than hand sanitizer?
Yup, that’s true as well.
Soap works better at breaking down the fatty parts (lipids) of a cell and allows the cell wall to fall apart.
I am not a healthcare professional and the information provided here is not medical advice.
Stay safe and healthy out there!
Download this step-by-step chart and keep it in your tech room for easy reference next time you need to clean your microphones.
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