How to Clean a Microphone in 5 Steps

Master the Art of Cleaning Your Microphone in 5 Steps! Say goodbye to unwanted debris, preserve audio quality, and keep your microphone in pristine condition.

Maintaining proper hygiene and cleaning protocols for microphones is of utmost importance, especially for individuals who frequently use these devices.

Regular disinfection is a highly recommended practice that serves various purposes, including promoting overall health, preventing cross-contamination, preserving the microphone’s longevity, and ensuring optimal sound quality.

In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the significance of adhering to good hygiene practices with audio equipment. We will explore effective cleaning methods for both condenser and dynamic microphones, discuss the essential tools and products required for thorough microphone cleaning, highlight potential pitfalls to avoid, and outline a step-by-step guide to facilitate the cleaning process.

Equipping yourself with this invaluable knowledge will greatly benefit not only you but also your devices and anyone else utilizing them. So, let’s delve into the essential information on how to properly clean a microphone.

The Importance of Hygiene When It Comes to Audio Equipment

As we speak into microphones, our mouths can rapidly spread bacteria and other microorganisms.

This issue is further compounded when handheld microphones are frequently passed around, used, and held by different individuals.

Even though these microscopic contaminants may not be visible to the naked eye, they can accumulate on the surface of the microphone.

Saliva, sweat, makeup, and skin particles are common culprits that find their way onto these devices over time.

Regular cleaning of your microphone is crucial to prevent the build-up of these unwanted substances. One way to assess whether your audio equipment has accumulated such build-up is by inspecting the internal components. Opening the top part and examining the inside can reveal any accumulation of particles that might hinder the device’s performance.

Choosing to ignore this build-up can lead to a continuous accumulation of particles, eventually resulting in a muffled sound quality. The reason behind this degradation is that the build-up significantly reduces the microphone’s frequency response, impairing its ability to perform optimally. Therefore, if your microphone sounds unusual and hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it is advisable to check for any build-up that might be affecting its performance.

To ensure the safety, health, and satisfaction of everyone, it is essential to maintain proper hygiene with devices, just as you would with any other item in your home or office space.

Cleaning a microphone involves effectively removing germs and dirt by using soap and water, while disinfecting a microphone involves using chemical products to eliminate germs and bacteria. Many individuals prefer to clean the device first and then proceed to disinfect it, providing an additional layer of protection against germs, bacteria, and dirt.

It is important to note that there is no singular right or wrong method for cleaning your device, as long as you thoroughly clean it on a regular basis. However, there are some recommended cleaning practices that can help you take care of your microphones as effectively as possible.

In the following guide, I will provide instructions on how to clean two popular types of microphones: dynamic and condenser microphones. You can use these guidelines as inspiration to properly clean and maintain your own devices.

How to Clean a Dynamic Mic

Most microphone users commonly agree that dynamic microphones are the most straightforward to clean. One of the main reasons for this is that many dynamic mics feature a removable grille, which can be easily unscrewed and detached from the main body of the device. This design element greatly simplifies the process of cleaning the microphone, allowing users to maintain hygiene and optimal performance with relative ease.

Tools and Products for Cleaning a Dynamic Mic:

  • Washing liquid which is typically used to wash dishes
  • A toothbrush
  • Cleaning surface disinfectant wipes
  • A paper towel roll

Things to Avoid while Cleaning a Dynamic Microphone:

  • Avoid using any cleaning product that contains bleach
  • Avoid using hydrogen peroxide
  • Avoid using hand sanitizers
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials that may be too rough on the device, such as a scouring pad or scrub brush
  • Avoid excessively hot water. Warm water works best.
  • Avoid placing the device back together before it is completely dry to avoid rust

5 Steps of Cleaning a Dynamic Mic:

1. Remove the Grille To begin

carefully detach the grille from the device’s body. Give it a gentle twist and unscrew to remove it. It should come off easily without applying excessive force. Using too much strength could cause permanent damage, so be cautious.

Once the grille is removed, take out the foam windshield as well. You might notice that the foam has accumulated saliva, while the grille has lipstick, dirt, and saliva build-up.

2. Wash the Grille Next

take a toothbrush and apply a mixture of warm water and washing liquid to it. Use the toothbrush to scrub the grille thoroughly, eliminating any build-up. Be gentle during the process and ensure that you reach all the corners and edges.

3. Dry the Grille After washing

use paper towels to completely dry the grille before reattaching it to the device. It is crucial to ensure the grille is entirely dry to prevent rusting. If you have additional time, air drying is also an effective method.

4. Wash the Windshield Now

wash the foam windshield with water and washing liquid until all the build-up is completely removed. Again, ensure that the foam windshield is thoroughly dry before placing it back on the device. It is advisable to let it air dry overnight, but if you need it to dry quickly, a blow dryer can be used.

5. Clean the Device Body Lastly

use surface cleaner disinfectant wipes to wipe down and clean the body of the device, including the areas around the microphone. This step helps to sanitize and remove any remaining dirt or grime.

To quickly clean your dynamic audio gear between multiple users, you can use a diluted mouthwash solution. Dilute the mouthwash with water and ensure that the device remains upside down while cleaning the grille, allowing any particles to fall out easily. It’s important to note that this method provides a basic cleaning and may not be as thorough as a comprehensive cleaning process. However, it will help reassure the next user that the equipment is clean and ready to use.

For a visual demonstration of how to clean a dynamic microphone, you can refer to Worship Leader Hangout’s YouTube video. In the video, the presenter provides a detailed guide on establishing a cleaning and sanitization routine for dynamic devices, effectively preventing the spread of germs.

How to Clean a Condenser Mic

Cleaning a condenser device can be slightly more challenging compared to a dynamic one. The delicate nature of condenser devices requires extra caution and attention during the cleaning process. It is crucial to handle them with care to avoid any damage or mishaps.

Tools and Products for Cleaning a Condenser Microphone:

  • A toothbrush
  • Cleaning surface disinfectant wipes
  • Paper towel roll
  • Washing liquid which is typically used to wash dishes

Things to Avoid while Cleaning a Condenser Mic:

  • Avoid using any liquid products directly on the condenser microphone element itself. Only clean the grille and windscreen.
  • Avoid using any cleaning product that contains bleach
  • Avoid using hydrogen peroxide
  • Avoid using hand sanitizers
  • Avoid using cleaning materials that may be too rough on the device, such as a scouring pad or scrub brush
  • Avoid excessively hot water. Warm water works best.
  • Avoid placing the device back together before it is completely dry. Even a tiny bit of moisture will permanently damage the condenser device.

5 Steps of Cleaning a Condenser Mic

The cleaning process for your condenser device’s grille depends on whether it can be removed or not. If the grille is removable, you should follow a specific method to clean it effectively. However, if the grille is fixed and cannot be detached, an alternative cleaning approach is recommended. By considering the grille’s removability, you can ensure the proper maintenance and cleanliness of your condenser device.

1. Remove the Grille

Carefully detach the grille from the device, if possible. This may require unscrewing it, so ensure the device itself does not come into contact with water or liquid products. Even a small amount of moisture can cause permanent damage.

2. Wash the Grille

If the grille is removable, also remove the windscreen. Wash the grille using a toothbrush and washing liquid, just as you would clean any other delicate device. Use warm water and focus on removing any build-up on the grille, paying attention to corners and edges where particles may be hidden.

If the grille cannot be detached, gently scrub it with a dry toothbrush. Hold the device upside down to allow any dirt or particles to fall out. Avoid pushing grime or bristles through the grille, as they may become lodged inside.

3. Dry the Grille

If you were able to wash a detachable grille, ensure it is completely dry before reattaching it to the device. This step is crucial because a wet microphone grill can cause significant damage to a condenser device. You can use a paper towel, but it is recommended to either air dry it or use a hair dryer to ensure it is 100% dry.

4. Wash the Windscreen

Proceed to wash the windscreen with water and washing liquid until all build-up has been removed. As mentioned earlier, it is essential to ensure the windscreen is completely dry before reattaching it to the device. Air drying overnight or using a hair dryer are the best methods for drying the windscreen.

5. Clean the Device Body

Use disinfectant wipes or surface cleaner to thoroughly wipe down and clean the body of the device.

If multiple people are using the same condenser device and you are unable to clean it after each use, I highly recommend utilizing removable external foam windscreens. These windscreens can be quickly and easily cleaned with soap and water, ensuring the audio gear remains protected from germs and grime.

To maintain cleanliness, it is crucial to switch out windscreens and clean them regularly. After washing the foam windscreen, it is essential to ensure it is completely dry before using it again. A blow dryer can be used for this purpose, as water should not come into contact with a condenser microphone.

For a comprehensive demonstration of cleaning a condenser mic, I suggest watching Eklo’s YouTube video. In the video, Eklo showcases his cleaning process for a large condenser device, employing simple tools such as a paintbrush and distilled water.

Additional Parts of Microphone Cleaning

These components are prone to accumulating a significant amount of bacteria and germs. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly sanitize them when cleaning microphones.


Cables often go unnoticed when it comes to cleaning, but it’s important to keep them tidy and free from dirt and particles that tend to accumulate on floors, surfaces, or the ground. Regular cleaning can help maintain their performance and longevity. Here are a few methods to effectively clean cables:

One simple and quick way to clean cables is by gently rubbing them with a soft cloth dampened with a small amount of coconut or olive oil. The oil helps to loosen and remove any debris that may have settled on the cables. Be careful not to use excessive oil, as it can leave a greasy residue.

Another effective method to consider is the use of UV-C light, which has proven to be highly efficient in eliminating germs. By exposing your cables to UV-C light regularly, you can ensure they remain clean and free of harmful microorganisms. It’s important, however, to take necessary precautions when working with UV-C light to protect yourself.

Avoid sanitizing cables using chemical agents or liquids, as they can cause the cable jacket to wear and tear, potentially affecting its durability and functionality.


Ensure to follow the aforementioned instructions by always removing foam windscreens from your devices and cleaning them diligently with warm water and soap. Allow them to air dry naturally for a couple of days, or for a quicker outcome, you can opt to blow dry them.

Avoid using isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or any other chemicals on the windscreen, as it may cause damage. Therefore, it is crucial to wash the windscreen thoroughly to ensure complete removal of germs and dirt.

A Final Word on Microphone Cleaning

Maintaining a clean microphone is essential for optimal performance and hygiene. While it may seem like an extra task to add to your daily routine, dedicating time to clean your microphone is well worth the effort.

By incorporating microphone cleaning into your regular studio maintenance routine, it becomes a seamless part of your day-to-day activities. The cleanliness of your microphone is crucial not only for your own well-being but also for the longevity and proper functioning of your audio equipment. Furthermore, it ensures that anyone else using the microphone is also provided with a clean and safe audio recording experience.

If you’re currently in the market for a vocal microphone, I recommend checking out my comprehensive article on the best microphones for vocals. In this article, I have curated a detailed list of top-notch audio devices that are specifically designed to capture vocals with utmost clarity and accuracy. Whether you’re a professional singer or an aspiring artist, these microphones will undoubtedly meet your needs and elevate your vocal recordings to new heights.

Have any questions about how to clean a microphone? Comment below and we’ll help you out.

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Meet - Tariq Rahim

Tariq Rahim

I'm a sound product specialist with expertise in identifying quality products and their features. I'm passionate about sharing my honest experiences and recommendations with others, helping them make informed decisions about audio equipment.


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