clean electronics

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Clean Electronics on Your Sound Stage

Electrical devices only have an expected lifespan of 4-5 years. So, electronics inside your sound studio need to be treated with care to extend their use period as they can be extremely sensitive.

Apart from the general cleanliness of the studio, the upkeep of the equipment is equally as important. You need to ensure they are safe from humidity and dust. Otherwise, there’s a massive risk of permeant damage to them.

Studio monitors are a huge part of the recording equipment and require cleaning just like any other electronic equipment. If you have a sound studio, you should be aware of the importance of clean electronics on your sound stage. Read on to learn how to keep your studio spic and span and increase the lifespan of your studio gear.

A Small Disclaimer

Please note that we refer to using a damp cloth several times in this article. When we say this, we mean an almost dry cloth. It shouldn’t drip when you squeeze it. A wet cloth has the potential to damage your gear, so it’s important to distinguish the difference between damp and wet.

How to Clean Electronics on Your Sound Stage

There are different types of equipment on a sound stage, and you should handle them all accordingly. Here are some of the equipment you should keep clean in your studio.

Studio Monitors

Your studio monitors are delicate, and not cleaning the monitors properly can cause permanent damage to them. There are two ways you can choose to clean your studio monitors: the cloth and the vacuum method.

The Cloth Method

We recommend using this for people who regularly clean their studio monitors or people who have only a bit of dust on their studio monitors. Depending on the monitor you want to clean, you can choose to use a dry or damp cloth. Do not use a wet cloth as it can harm electrical equipment.

Use minimal pressure when cleaning the speaker cones and tweeters, as the slightest bump can cause damage to these sensitive parts of the monitor. Wipe the monitor with a damp cloth to ensure no dust is left. Don’t use a damp cloth on a woofer made up of treated paper. Instead, use a dry cloth.

The Vacuum Cleaner Method

This method is best for people who don’t regularly clean their studio monitors or people who notice a significant amount of dust build-up. You need to use a brush and a vacuum cleaner simultaneously to clean the studio monitors properly.

Use the vacuum cleaner with one hand and the brush with the other. Give gentle wipes with your brush and hold the vacuum cleaner near the spot to clean the dirt. If there are stains and smudges on the monitor, wet the brush hair and gently rub it over the spot to clean it. Again, avoid using a wet brush on the cone of the speaker. 

Headphones

Over time, the earcups on headphones can become gross, especially if worn for long periods in a warm studio. The best way to clean your headphones is to use a damp cloth. If your headphones have removable cloth cushions or headbands, you can wash them as well by putting a spoon of detergent in warm water. Gently wipe the cushions and headband when immersed in water. When you finish, put them out to dry.

If using earbuds, a damp cloth is recommended for cleaning, and for smudges, apply a bit of force. For wax build-up in the ear tips, take the ear tips off first and use a q-tip to clean the insides. Alternately, you can use rolled-up tissue paper or paper. 

Feel free to wash the tips as well, as they are generally made of silicon. It may be best to double-check first though.

Computers

Computers play a huge role in studios these days and are essentially the backbone of your entire studio setup. Here’s how to keep them clean.

Desktop Computer

After extended use, dust can accumulate inside the case of your desktop computer. Having clean computers makes them look more professional and keeps them running efficiently. 

Remove the side panel of your desktop case and use a brush to clean the dirt from the motherboard, wires, and other electrical components. You can also use a can of compressed air or a vacuum cleaner for a more thorough cleaning.

Desktop computers also use external accessories like a mouse and keyboard. Unplug them from the computer and ensure you clean them as well. You can do this by wiping them with a damp cloth. Let them dry completely before plugging them back in.

Laptop Computer

Not only does a laptop see use inside the studio, but also outside the room. It’s essential to clean your laptop from dust or crumbs to ensure it’s clean and provides the best performance.

Unplug any cords from the laptop and remove the battery. Turn it upside down and give it a gentle shake to remove crumbs inside the keyboard. 

Then, use a damp cloth to wipe the laptop surface all over. Use an LCD cleaning liquid and a microfiber cloth to clean the screen. Don’t apply too much pressure.

Get a can of compressed air spray and use it in the vents to clean any dust. Find the fan vent generally located at the bottom or backside of the laptop and spray the compressed air inside it a few times.

Microphones

Microphones are the type of equipment with the most bacteria in the studio, right besides headphones. Make sure the microphone is unplugged and clean the handle of the microphone using a damp cloth.

It’s recommended to always have spare grills and windscreens as a replacement when the other is taken out for cleaning. 

To clean the grille, unscrew it from the body of the microphone. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and isopropyl alcohol to clean and disinfect the grille. If you can remove the internal pop filter, you can use soapy water to clean them.

Make sure to fully dry the grille before you screw it back on.

Tube Amplifiers

A build-up of dust and grime on tube amplifiers can greatly reduce the lifespan of the valves themselves as well as the overall device by causing it to overheat. So, keeping them clean with the following method will help prevent amps from overheating

  1. Make sure the amp is switched off, unplugged, and the tubes aren’t hot from previous use
  2. Clean around the tubes with a can of compressed air

Don’t blow the dust out with your mouth as your saliva can damage the electrical parts. If you don’t have compressed air available. You can remove the screws on the amp case, remove the tubes, and vacuum the sockets while giving the tubes a wipe-down with a dry microfibre cloth.

Keep Your Soundstage Clean

Keeping the soundstage clean be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. If done incorrectly, it can also cause damage to your expensive equipment. If you’re unsure of what to do or just can to save time, you should consider hiring janitorial professionals.

Contact us today to get a free estimate.