With regard to dirt, in the best of circumstances microphones are no different from neckties or jackets. In the worst of cases they are more like Kleenexes! Either way, they can be very un-hygienic and even have their performance suffer due to lack of proper cleaning. Whether it’s a “stick” or a lavalier, there will come a time when it will need to be cleaned.
Obviously, the first line of defense against dirt and moisture is the windscreen. The easiest way to keep windscreens clean and dry is to just replace them periodically. However, it is certainly acceptable to just clean them. For dust and dry debris, REMOVE the windscreen from the microphone housing and blow any contaminants away from the screen using canned air. The same can be done for the microphones grille, but only after removal from the microphone’s body.
Never blow in the direction of the element.
For a more sterile cleaning of the windscreen, a weak solution of soap and water would be preferred. After cleaning the windscreen, it must be totally dry before use. Any moisture remaining in the screen could migrate toward the element, damaging the microphone. A hair dryer can speed the drying process.
Moisture should never be allowed near the element, in any type of microphone (unless it’s an underwater model!).
For microphone bodies, cords and connectors, usually the soap and water mixture will be sufficient. If someone has used a type of marking or electrical tape on the cord or connector, in most cases a small amount of alcohol on a cloth will remove the adhesive.
Be very careful, as microphones are very sensitive instruments.
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