Blue Snowball Microphones are some of the most popular mics available. They have unique designs that make them stand out from the crowded microphone market, but they’re also challenging to clean if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to clean your Blue Snowball Microphone once you learn the proper process.
To clean a Blue Snowball Mic, wipe it with a microfiber cloth, then clean the legs and mounting ports. Remember to wash the windscreen with gentle soap and warm water. You can remove trapped debris by putting a toothpick about 1/16” into the grate. Wash the mic with isopropyl alcohol and let it dry.
Throughout this article, we’ll break down the step-by-step method to clean your Blue Snowball Microphone and make it look as good as new. Enjoy!
Remove the Surface Debris
Removing all of the surface dust and debris from your Blue Snowball Microphone will make it a lot easier to clean. Not only will it keep dust out of the grate, but it’ll prevent your microphone from looking and smelling gross.
Here are three ways to remove excess surface debris:
- Wipe the whole microphone with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber cloths are perfect for cleaning Blue Snowball Microphones because they don’t shed lint or harbor trapped bacteria as much as rags and towels. You can wipe a dry cloth on the microphone or apply a small amount of water to the cloth beforehand.
- Use a soft bristle brush to remove excess debris. Knoji recommends using a soft toothbrush since it’s stiff enough to scrub away tough debris without scratching the microphone. Work the toothbrush in circular motions around the main body of the Blue Snowball to clean it before applying any cleaning products.
- Gently brush a soft, damp sponge (the smallest amount of water is enough; it shouldn’t be dripping) on the closed parts of the microphone. This method is only suggested if there are extremely tough stains on the microphone. Never let water get into any of the connection ports or grates on the microphone.
If you don’t have any of these supplies, you can use a soft paper towel in a pinch. However, it’s best to avoid wetting the paper towel since it could leave small bits and pieces on the microphone. It’s also harder to prevent moisture from getting into the grate compared to using microfiber cloths, sponges, and brushes.
Wipe Each of the Cables
Blue Snowball Microphones are USB mics, which means they only have one cable. This cable connects directly to your laptop or PC. It’s important to clean the cable on both ends to prevent overheating and other electrical interference.
Follow this method:
- Disconnect both ends of the USB cable.
- Wipe the whole cable with a soft microfiber cloth.
- Use compressed air to remove debris from both ends of the USB port, as well as the connection ports on your computer (or audio interface) and the Blue Snowball.
Note: Avoid liquid dusters that can cause electric damage to the USB cables and ports.
Clean the Legs and Mounting Port
Blue Snowball Microphones usually consist of three primary parts: The body, the legs, and the mounting hardware. The USB cable is attached to the body, but it should be cleaned separately with the previously mentioned suggestions.
To clean the legs of the microphone, you can use isopropyl alcohol mixed with water. However, you can also use a gentle all-purpose cleaner. This is the only part of the entire microphone that can be cleaned with a cleaning solution because it’s not connected to anything electrical. Always remove the legs from the mounting hardware before cleaning them.
When you want to clean the mounting port, use a pipe cleaner, a toothpick, or a thin towel. Twist off the mounting hardware above the legs, then clean the male and female ends of each connection. Leaves these parts disconnected until you’re finished with the final step of the whole cleaning procedure.
Wash the Windscreen or the Pop Filter
Whether you have a windscreen over the microphone or a pop filter in front of it, this part needs to be cleaned. Blue Snowballs often have customized windscreens that fit over them to limit plosives. However, they catch a lot of saliva, debris, and other contaminants you don’t want settling on the microphone for too long.
Here’s how you can clean the windscreen or pop filter:
- Mix one drop of all-natural soap in a bowl of warm water. Don’t use soap with dyes, harsh additives, or artificial scents. Additionally, it’s best to avoid dish soap since it’s a bit too thick for cleaning foam and mesh. You should use at least one to two cups of warm water for the ideal dilution.
- According to Music Strive, you can dip the entire pop filter or screen into the solution. Gently squeeze the material to soak and wash as much of the debris out of the foam or mesh. Agitate the water around the material. You should see brown or black water coming out of the screen or filter.
- Rinse the screen or filter under running water. It’s essential that you remove all of the soap to prevent it from damaging the pop filter. Not only can it dry and crumble the material, but it can also collect extra debris (crumbs, saliva, and other gross particles) that your microphone can’t filter.
- Gently pat the windscreen or pop filter with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture and soap. These foam and mesh screens absorb tons of moisture. You can gently squeeze them to remove a lot of water from the material. Dab them for a few minutes to get rid of the surface moisture when you’re done.
- Set the filter out to dry for a whole day. You can place the mesh or foam in front of a fan to expedite the process. That being said, never put either material in front of a fireplace, space heater, blow dryer, or other heat sources. They can get too hot and dry, causing them to crumble and fall apart.
If you don’t have one or you need to replace yours because it’s too dirty, try the Blue Snowball Foam Windscreen. These screens prevent loud noises from ruining your recordings, such as the sounds created by harsh letters (p’s and b’s), breeze, and loud breathing. These filters slide right over the top of your microphone.
- Blue Snowball Popfilter - Specially designed for Blue Snowball iCE Black Microphone (We also have...
- Sound Quality - Effectively reducing ambient wind, popping and other noise to improve your sound...
- Complete Cover- It fits snugly and allows all cords and attachments (Blue snowball stand mount /...
Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Remove Trapped Debris with a Toothpick
Toothpicks are the perfect size for removing hard-to-reach debris from your Blue Snowball Mic. not only will they get rid of the dust and grime in the grate, but they can also clean the seams and edges. You can even use toothpicks to clean the electrical ports without damaging them.
If you want to clean your Blue Snowball with toothpicks, review these precautions:
- You only need to put the toothpick about 1/16 of an inch to clean the microphone’s grate. If it goes too far into the microphone’s grate, you’ll risk scratching the motherboard. You could break the wires, damage the fuses, and more. All you need to do is poke the toothpick into each grate hole and rotate it a few times.
- Try finding toothpicks that are thinner than the grate holes to prevent them from pushing debris into the body of the mic. If the toothpicks are the same width as the grate holes, they’ll cause more harm than good. However, this is quite rare since the grates are fairly wide on a Blue Snowball Microphone.
- Don’t scratch debris from the face of the microphone with a toothpick. Again, the only places you should use toothpicks to clean your Blue Snowball are the seams, connection ports, and grates. These areas won’t scratch easily, and they won’t cause internal damage to the microphone.
Use Isopropyl Alcohol for a Finishing Coat
Isopropyl alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent for many microphones, including the Blue Snowball. However, DPA Microphones states that pure isopropyl alcohol evaporates too quickly, so it should be diluted with 20% water. Not only will this prevent it from immediately evaporating, but it’ll also let you spread the solution around the microphone much easier.
Here’s how you can clean your Blue Snowball with isopropyl alcohol:
- Mix four tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol with one tablespoon of warm water.
- Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution and scrub it on the microphone to remove the excess debris.
- Apply two coats to ensure you get all of the debris off of the microphone, then wipe it with a semi-damp cloth (again, it shouldn’t be dripping water all over the mic).
Note: Avoid using hand sanitizer to clean your Snowball microphone. Many people try this method because it strips a lot of debris from the surface of the mic. However, it can add harsh chemicals to the microphone that strip away the protective layers. It can also discolor the microphone after multiple uses.
Dry the Microphone Before Using It
It’s important to dry off your Blue Snowball Microphone to prevent moisture from dripping into the electrical ports, grates, and motherboard. If any of these parts get wet, there’s a high chance that a fuse will blow or the microphone won’t work anymore. All you need to do is wipe the whole microphone with a dry, soft cloth to remove the excess moisture.
Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t use heating devices to dry your Blue microphone. While it’ll inevitably dry the mic much quicker, it can also damage the internal wiring. If you’re adamant about using blow dryers to dry your microphone, cover the grates to protect the electric circuitry.
Additionally, it’s best to avoid leaving your microphone outside to dry. While the sunlight isn’t as harsh as a blow dryer or space heater, it can still overheat the internal wiring. It’s best to place the microphone on a soft surface (such as a towel) and let it dry under a fan after wiping it with a microfiber cloth.
Blue Snowball Mic Cleaning Safety Tips
While cleaning your Blue Snowball is easy enough, there are several safety suggestions you’ll need to keep in mind. Failure to abide by these tips will expose your microphone to all sorts of issues that could prevent it from functioning properly. Review the list below for a handful of safety concerns.
- Never spray anything directly on your Snowball mic. Always apply the cleaning solution (water or isopropyl alcohol is all you’ll need) on a cloth, brush, or something similar. Spraying your microphone is a surefire way to damage the electrical components. Blue Snowballs have loads of wires right behind the front grate.
- Avoid using anything wet to clean the electrical components. All you’ll need are toothpicks, soft brushes, and microfiber cloths. Some people prefer gentle pipe cleaners since they quickly remove gunk and debris buildup.
- Don’t remove or clean the internal foam of the microphone. Blue Snowballs have insulation foam that regulates the sound going into the grate. This foam is fragile and custom designed to fit the microphone. Once it’s damaged, it’s extremely difficult to find a replacement (even if you directly contact the company).
- Steer clear of abrasive brushes and sponges that can scratch the Blue Snowball. Blue Snowballs are durable, but they can develop scuff marks if you use harsh cleaning supplies. Even the toughest debris can be removed with elbow grease and a soft cloth or toothbrush. There’s no need to use scratchy materials.
- Many all-purpose cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage your microphone. The names might be misleading since they can’t be used on everything. Your Blue Snowball is sensitive to all sorts of chemicals. These additives can cause rust, corrosion, deterioration, and electrical failure.
Cleaning a microphone is a key part of the maintenance process. Blue Snowballs are extremely popular and long-lasting, but gunk, oil, and other debris can drastically hinder their performance. Follow this process once every couple of months to keep your Blue Snowball in good condition for many years to come.
- DPA Microphones: PROPER MICROPHONE HYGIENE
- Music Strive: How to Clean a Pop Filter / Foam Wind Screen / Mic Cover
- Knoji: How to Clean and Sanitize Your Microphone or Yeti Microphone
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