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How Should I Clean My Wired Microphone?

Guide from Shure

Fri 22, 01 2021

Please note this content applies specifically to Shure products. If you would like cleaning information for other manufacturers, we recommend you visit their web site. Shure will be updating this information over the upcoming months. New information will be found on this web page and at www.shure.com/en-GB.

Shure has received many requests for recommendations on the best ways to clean and disinfect our products. Please note that Shure cannot provide advice regarding what disinfectant methods are effective against the Covid-19 virus; any such question should be directed to appropriate disease control experts.  The information on this site relates solely to general information for cleaning methods for microphones.  Please note that the observations below do not imply any guarantee against damage to the product, but are based on the best information we have at this time.

Microphone Cleaning: Things to Avoid

To start off, let’s focus on the “don’ts.” It takes longer to test various substances to determine whether they cause damage over time than it does to determine the things we definitely know should be avoided. So while we continue our testing, here are a few general things to keep in mind:

How to Clean the Handle

  1. Be sure to unplug the microphone before cleaning!
  2. For now, leave the grille and windscreen on to protect the microphone element from accidental exposure to moisture and cleaning agents
  3. Use a soft cloth or soft-bristled toothbrush to apply the cleaner.
  4. Only use a minimal amount of cleaner – do not saturate the product.
  5. We have tested the following cleaning agents:
    • Mild soapy water (such as liquid dish soap), which is then removed with a clean, damp cloth
    • Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes
    • Isopropyl alcohol
    • NOTE: this may remove some of the paint from the handle and impact the aesthetics of the microphone. Though this should not affect the performance of the microphone, if this is important to you, test on an inconspicuous area first.
  6. When cleaning, avoid getting any moisture on the microphone element itself. Do not apply cleaning agents to the microphone capsule directly. If possible, hold the microphone upright so that any excess liquid will flow away from the microphone element.
  7. Avoid letting liquid pool in the XLR connector. If there is a slot near the bottom, block it with your finger or use tape to temporarily cover the opening. You can also push a paper towel or other absorbent material into the XLR connector to “catch” any excess liquid. Remove the absorbent material after cleaning to allow the connector to air dry.
  8. If the microphone has any switches or buttons, avoid this area while cleaning.
  9. Allow the surface of the microphone to dry fully before use.

How to Clean the Grille

We recommend keeping an inventory of spares instead of cleaning the grille and windscreen whenever possible. If you have spares, there will always be a clean replacement ready to swap in while the other gets cleaned and dries out.

  1. Carefully unscrew the grille from the microphone.
  2. Remove the foam windscreen pop-filter inside the grille (note that the windscreen may be glued in place. If the pop filter does not come out with gentle pulling, we recommend cleaning the entire grille with the pop filter in place).
  3. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, clean the grille with water or Isopropyl alcohol. If the internal pop filter is removable, the grille can alternatively be cleaned with mild soapy water. Suds tend to collect in the windscreen, which may affect the performance of the microphone, so this method is not recommended for filters that cannot be separated from the grille.
  4. Rinse the foam windscreen pop filter with water or Isopropyl alcohol only (NOTE: this applies only to removable foam windscreen pop filters inside the grille; see the next step for cleaning external windscreens.
  5. Only warm water or hydrogen peroxide should be used to clean external foam windscreens. Since they tend to act like a sponge, soap, or liquid detergents will be impossible to rinse fully. Isopropyl alcohol and Lysol disinfectant spray will cause color to leech from the windscreen. Clean replacements are the best solution!
  6. Remove excess water from the grille and windscreen and allow them to dry fully before reinstalling on the microphone

Note: If the microphone output seems low or quieter than normal, it’s possible the microphone element got wet and hasn’t fully dried yet. Unplug the microphone and allow it to dry out completely before using it.

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