Protecting & Cleaning Neumann Microphones
A PDF version of this note can be downloaded here.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we assembled this note on protecting and cleaning Neumann microphones and accessories. Especially for vocal and speech recordings, microphones are often used at close proximity to the mouth, possibly also by multiple users.
To reduce the risk of spreading diseases through bacteria and viruses, one or more remedies, explained in detail below, may be used:
- ideally, have just one user per microphone (including the accessories),
- after or before use, clean all surfaces, i.e. microphone housings, head baskets and accessories,
- leave the microphone unused for some time, possibly also applying elevated temperature to the microphone
- utilize accessories such as windshields and thin plastic film bags to add protection
This note assembles technical advice on which measures may be taken, and which materials should be used or not used, to protect and clean microphones and accessories without harming them.
For medical information on disinfection and disease spread please consult your national and regional medical authorities and follow their advice.
- 1. Cleaning Neumann microphones
- 2. Time and heat
- 3. Protecting microphones with foam windshields
- 4. Acoustical effects of foam windshields
- 5. Protecting microphones with plastic film / bags
- 6. Acoustical effects of plastic film / bags
- 7. Further notes
1. Cleaning Neumann Microphones
Cleaning the microphone housing
For cleaning Neumann microphone housings from soiling including human exhalations, you may use ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). Used as a disinfectant, typically a 70% solution is used. Apply with a disposable soft cloth, a soft brush or paper tissue. Make sure that the liquid is applied only to the outside of the microphone and does not enter the inside or the capsule. Do not apply the liquids to the circumferential type labels.
Do not use rough materials which might scratch the surface. Do not use any solvents stronger than ethanol or isopropanol, as these might damage the surface.
Never use sprays, as these can deposit on the membrane and thus damage the microphone capsule!
Cleaning removable microphone head baskets
With some microphones, the head basket can be easily removed for cleaning (KMS 104 / 105, KK 104 / 105, KK 204 / 205 and BCM 104 / 705). Make sure not to touch or damage the capsule!
With the head baskets containing foam windshields, remove the inner foam and clean it separately as described below (KMS 104, KK 104, KK 204 / 205 and the BCM 705).
Metal head baskets can then be cleaned also on the inside with ethanol or isopropanol. You may also immerse the head basket in clean, hot water (e.g. 70°C / 160°F). Do not use the dishwasher. Let the basket dry out completely before re-assembly.
Personalized head baskets
BCM 104 and BCM 705 were constructed for simple switching between personalized head baskets, so each user can use his own basket. Baskets for BCM are available as spare parts: