Published on March 30th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
How to Clean Your VR Headset
Advice for keeping the world around us as sterile as possible has never been more critical. As Scott Hayden at Road to VR reports, that advice also pertains to your VR headset. Honestly, being vigilant as described below is smart for any of your tech equipment. The combination of hard surfaces and people touching them with their hands and faces is a perfect recipe for germs. If you are delivering a VR or AR solution to a workforce or employee group you should have a process in place of cleaning the hardware after every usage and then a deeper clean at the end of a meeting or workday. Good hygiene habits are needed all the time – not just during a pandemic.
Photo by Road to VR
Would you wear the same pair of underwear multiple months in a row, sitting in the flaked remains of your dried sweat and bodily detritus which has justifiably ejected itself from your filthy human body? Don’t answer that! Whatever your personal hygiene regime, your VR headset is probably a hotbed of disease and pestilence. And it must be cleansed.
All joking aside, it’s pretty impractical to completely sterilize your headset—no matter how germaphobic you may find yourself these days—but you can still get peace of mind with a thorough cleaning and a few preventative measures to make the process easier next time around.
- Macro gunk – the things you can see or feel, such as oily secretions called sebum, salt from evaporated sweat, hair, dead skin cells, makeup, dust, etc. These have a good chance of working their way into every crevice, but you’ll most likely find them ground into the facial interface foam, nose guard, on the lenses and the interior area around them.
- Micro gunk – the things you can’t see or feel, including pathogens like viruses, bacteria, protozoan, or fungus. Micro gunk absolutely loves macro gunk, so keeping a headset clean helps reduce growth & transfer of your face garbage from one person to another. It’s also good habit no matter what’s going on outside, pandemic or otherwise.
How to Clean Your VR Headset
You can clean a headset by wiping it down to remove the macro gunk and mostly go about your life unphased, provided you’re making sure to keep good hand hygiene, i.e. washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, and making sure not to touch your face. Sanitizing after a suspected encounter with an unwanted pathogen is a different story, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Headset manufacturers have their own cleaning guidelines, however there are some general tips you should consider:
- Don’t use harsh abrasives or solvents such as alcohol, acetone, etc. These can damage glue holding fabrics together and many types of plastics, leaving a frosted, ugly residue that you really don’t want, especially on your lenses.
- Don’t use household cleaners like Clorox wipes. It may be tempting since they’re readily available, and most polymers shouldn’t react with non-bleach Clorox wipes, but you don’t want the wipes’ chemical irritants anywhere near your eyes, breathing pathway, skin etc. Using Clorox wipes on hard plastics like the headset’s outer surface and controllers is probably totally fine, but keep them away from the facial interface, lenses, and nose guard.
- This one’s controversial, but don’t use compressed air. Not only could you risk blowing more garbage into the inside recesses of your headset than you actually intended to remove, but the fluorocarbon-based propellant inside the can may damage plastics if they spurt out accidentally in their liquid form.
- Use a lint-free cloth to do the lion’s share of the work, both inside and out. Remember: lenses can scratch easily, and should only really be cleaned with the included microfiber cloth or a lint free cloth, cleaning in gently expanding circles.