Jump to content
Paulo Ricardo Nunes

Sterilizing lav mics

Recommended Posts

Good morning. In these difficult times when we have to keep our equipment sterilized, I've been looking for information how to manage with lav mics. I use Sanken COS-11 and Countryman B6. On their websites I found no official information on how to keep them sterilized. How are you guys doing? Thank you very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hearing 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes is what is recommended. It may degrade the cable after time, but that's the cost of business in these times. You may want to follow up with a wet wipe to minimize this? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there really no other good sanitizer besides alcohol?  For soundies doing short jobs there will be no production to charge for the eventual destruction of expensive mics by this chemical being used on them several times a day.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that if regular soap and water is good enough to break down the virus from our hands, the same is true for our lavs and gear, a gentle wipe down with a soap and water solution should be fine. I will not be using alcohol on my Lav wires or gear for obvious reasons. Non electronic items, maybe... but not the units or lavs themselves. Comtek pouches I use will get a alcohol wipe down, people should bring their own headsets until and when this blows over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydrogen Peroxide kills germs from what I understand. I never 'noticed' a negative affect on lav cables with rubbing alcohol. I've use it occasionally to remove tape goo and grime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goby Labs Microphone Sanitizer might work...?

 

I got one of these, but I’m not sure how effective it really is. They claim it kills 99.99% of germs, but to me it doesn’t smell like it has a lot of alcohol in it. Could be a good thing if it’s milder on cables etc.
Seems like it’s intended purpose was for karaoke, where numerous people share a mic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished a weeks shoot with three wireless mics were used. I made the talents wire them self and keep it in there own designated box. When we wrapped I wiped the mics (4060s) with 75% alcohol, let it stay on for 30  secs, when wiped with water. Repeated that a few times and did the same rutine with the transmitters. After that I left them in a box and havent opened it for over a week now until now. The cables seems good as ever. But I was at a shoot about a month ago where we used Cos-11s and we had to wipe them on loc since they were going to be used again the day after. Didnt wash them with water  afterwards and the cables felt pretty stiff on day two.... so think the key is to use water before putting them away 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Is there really no other good sanitizer besides alcohol?  For soundies doing short jobs there will be no production to charge for the eventual destruction of

expensive mics by this chemical being used on them several times a day.   

I’m going to be charging $10/wire. If I’m on an interview shoot with four separate interviewees and they don’t want to use a mic that was previously on someone, I then will add $40 to my invoice. Plus I’m also going to be using soap+water on the lavs to clean as opposed to anything harsh and then rub with olive oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Different approach may be an ultraviolet germicidal lamp.

Anyway, massive UV radiation seems not the best for cable and mic surfaces but kind of better than alcohol and chemicals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to wait for guidance from Lectro etc before I nuke any gear in a sanitizer box or with a UV wand.  We already know what the effects of harsh chemicals (including sweat) are on lav mics and TX, but we also know that they do a pretty good job killing the bugs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soap is more effective than the alcohol - a mildly soapy, moist wipe should be enough. I'm thinking a reasonable workflow used to clean the cable and belt pack should be OK-ish to practice and reassure others. Not sure about the waist bands etc. May be now would be the time for cast to have their own made to measure; labeled and wardrobe to manage the (fabric) washing into their workflow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Atlanta, local 695 is putting together detailed information about this very subject, so it'll hopefully eliminate some of the equipment care speculation that seems rampant.

 

Meanwhile, here is an article that details more about how this survives on different surfaces:

https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/20/sars-cov-2-survive-on-surfaces/

 

Here's what appears to be an accurate info sheet that is said to have come out from Johns Hopkins University. I haven't verified its source, but it seems right on:

 

JH_Guidelines.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

From Lectrosonics' guidelines: 

 

"Bleaching solutions, such as Lysol or disinfectant wipes, are not recommended for any gear, since they can be corrosive."

 

https://www.lectrosonics.com/wire-lists-26-developing-sanitation-protocols-for-lav-work.html

Ah, yea, that would be bad. Maybe a squirt bottle with hydrogen peroxide ...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's from something Lectro posted yesterday:

=====

A Word About UV Disinfection

Many of you have asked us about UV light for disinfection, and we haven’t tested any UV methods thoroughly enough to recommend them at this time. Our Service Department is presently testing options, and we will share our findings when they are available.

=====

That quote is from this post: Wire-Lists #26: Developing Sanitation Protocols for Lav Work:

 

And here's something from the US National Academies:

=====

Does ultraviolet (UV) light kill the coronavirus?

[snip]

UVC light probably destroys the novel coronavirus, but we need to learn more.

UVC light has been found to destroy viruses and other microbes on surfaces in hospitals. But it is not widely used in hospitals or other health care settings. The U.S. government and the UV technology industry are working to define standards for UV disinfection technologies in healthcare settings.

Most UV sanitizers have not been tested against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. But UVC light been shown to destroy related coronaviruses, including the one that causes the disease MERS.

=====

Complete post, with links, etc, here: https://sites.nationalacademies.org/BasedOnScience/covid-19-does-ultraviolet-light-kill-the-coronavirus/index.htm

 

 

So these are not the last word, but they do make me think I'm probably not going to totally rely on on UV light as for COVID-19 disinfection. At least not yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the Johns Hopkins doc posted by JB above, I learned that the virus is “not a living organism”, and therefore cannot be ”killed”. This answered my question about why they keep saying soap and water is better than sterilization or sanitizer.

It’s DNA, a protein cell covered by a protective layer of fat. Soap dissolves the fat and basically breaks it down. Alcohol works since it also melts the fat, but it must be minimum 65% alcohol (Vodka won’t do it, since it’s only 40%).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

Reading the Johns Hopkins doc posted by JB above, I learned that the virus is “not a living organism”, and therefore cannot be ”killed”. This answered my question about why they keep saying soap and water is better than sterilization or sanitizer.

It’s DNA, a protein cell covered by a protective layer of fat. Soap dissolves the fat and basically breaks it down. Alcohol works since it also melts the fat, but it must be minimum 65% alcohol (Vodka won’t do it, since it’s only 40%).

 

 

Some absinth will do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advice from Austria: Stroh Rum 80% will enhance your tea in Wintertime, but terrribly stiffen your lav cables throughout all seasons. I'd never buy a used DPA from over here ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...