It’s inevitable that, over time, your microphone windscreen will get dirty. If you don’t clean it regularly, the build-up of dirt and dust can cause all sorts of problems for your mic. In this article, we’ll show you the best method of cleaning mics the right way. We’ll also discuss some of the benefits of keeping your mic in top condition!
1. Remove the windscreen from the microphone
Wind noise can be a real problem when recording audio, whether you’re capturing dialogue for a movie or recording a podcast. One way to reduce wind noise is to use a microphone windscreen or pop filter. Windscreens work by creating a barrier between the mic and the wind, deflecting the wind away from the delicate microphone head. However, windscreens can quickly become clogged with dust and lint, which can lead to problems with sound quality. That’s why it’s important to clean mics properly, but also your windscreen on a regular basis. The first step is to remove the windscreen from the microphone. This will allow you to access the windscreen mesh, which is usually made of metal or plastic. Foam windscreens usually just pull off easily. This works for handheld microphones, condenser microphones, pencil microphones and headset microphones with a removable pop filter too, but you do need to be more careful as they tend to be quite fragile.
2. Soak it in a bowl of warm water and dish soap
Over time, mic windscreens and pop filters can become caked with grime, making them difficult to clean. To remove built-up dirt, I recommend cleaning the windscreen by soaking it in a bowl of warm water and dish soap. For metal windscreens, you can use some diluted isopropyl alcohol in some water to help kill off germs. (Don’t use any other harsh chemicals for doing this is as they may cause permanent damage). Let the windscreen soak for a few minutes. This will help soften the dirt and make it easier to remove.
3. Scrub off any dirt or debris with a toothbrush
And while there are a number of ways to clean a microphone windscreen, one of the most effective is also one of the simplest: a toothbrush. After soaking the windscreen in warm soapy water, dampen the bristles of a toothbrush with some water and scrub off any dirt or debris that has collected on the windscreen. With a metal mesh windscreen you can be a bit rougher with the toothbrush, but when you try to clean pop filters made with foam, you need to be more careful. After scrubbing with the brush, wipe off any dirt with a damp cloth. You’ll be amazed at how much difference it makes in the quality of your sound.
4. Rinse off the windscreen and let it air dry
After scrubbing off the dirt and debris, rinse the windscreen off with clean water. Then let it air dry. If you want to speed up the drying process, you can use a hair dryer on low heat, but don’t use this on a foam windscreen. Be sure to avoid direct contact with the mic’s capsule, as this can damage the mic. Also don’t use any chemicals, such as window cleaner or alcohol, to clean the windscreen. These chemicals could damage the mesh and cause it to fall apart.
Regular cleaning of your mic windscreen is an important part of keeping your microphone in top condition. Not only will it help improve the quality of your sound, but it will also help extend the life of your mic.
5. Reattach the windscreen to the microphone
Once it is dry, re-attach the pop filter or windscreen to the microphone. Make sure that it’s properly secured and that there are no gaps between the windscreen and the mic. This will help reduce wind noise and keep your audio sounding clear and crisp.
Cleaning your mic windscreen on a regular basis is an important part of maintaining your mic. By following these simple steps, you can keep your windscreen free of dirt and debris and ensure that your mic performs at its best.
Frank Edwards is the founder and owner of churchsoundtips.com and has over 10 years experience running sound in his local church.