Why to SanitizeA microphone is a lot like a shared lollipop.
Lots of folks spit on it, making it an ideal vector for COVID.
How to SanitizeWe always spray each microphone with 80% Alcohol at least 4 times (3 sprays all around the screen, and a few to soak the handle.)
It would be even better to have 2 (or more microphones) so one can be cleaned while the other is used. This also gives the alcohol time to work, as well as reducing the time mic handoffs take.
If there is an MC, they can have their own dedicated microphone that only needs to be sanitized once. It is also helpful to sanitize the hands of the people who use the mic, before they speak.
When to Sanitize
This is the hardest part, as folks tend to forget in the energy of the moment. Everyone who plans to speak must accept that we have to spray between each and every person speaker. We did sound at a McDonald’s Strike action and later discovered that 7 of the 10 workers who spoke had then-undiagnosed active COVID infections. As far as we can tell, our microphone hygiene prevented further spread at the action.
What to Sanitize
While we have never damaged a microphone with 80% alcohol hand sanitizer spray, you may want to use a $3 foam windscreen to protect the microphone. Also note,some mics are expensive, but COVID is deadly.
Nice mics are available for as little as $16/each if you don’t want to spray fancy ones. (Wireless mics are not reccomended in general due to FM interference, battery stress, and folks tend to wander out of range. )
What to Sanitize With
We have found that the liquidy spray hand-sanitizers work great. The alcohol content is high, so they evaporate quickly. The presence of a little bit of glycerol keeps it from drying out your skin after spraying mics all day.
It has been readily available in grocery stores, already packaged in spray bottles.
Get several, expect to lose several bottles at each demo.
Who should Sanitize
It is ideal to have a dedicated person whose job is to handle and clean microphones. They should ideally also understand the basics of what causes audio feedback so they can assist people speaking with proper microphone placement and standing position to reduce feedback. (Holding the microphone close to the mouth, having the person stand behind the loudspeakers, ensureing the person knows about the microphone switch (if present))