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I hate cleaning.  Like i really do… but as an audio engineer, I need to ensure that my consoles and equipment are clean, and I’d like to describe to you how to clean your audio mixing consoles.

If left alone for a long time, dirt and dust start to gather around the knobs and this affects the equipment over time

The internal circuits, and most especially the moving parts all rely on good electrical contact so they can function properly

This can have adverse effects on the output of your equipment and how your audio sounds

So in this article, I will be showing you a step by step guide on how you can go about cleaning your mixing consoles

Before we begin talking about how to go about cleaning your audio mixing consoles, here are the major causes of dirt that we have found

  • Dust
  • Smoke especially cigarette smoke
  • Finger marks and greasy fingers

Things needed to clean your console

  • An air compressor or vacuum cleaner with the necessary attachments
  • Tools such as screwdrivers (Phillips), pliers, and a stiff bristle artist paint brush
  • Cleaning solvents such as window cleaner and alcohol
  • Cleaning rags or any soft cloth

Getting started

  • Start by using the liquid cleaner on the cleaning rag to remove markings from the sides, knobs and cables
  • Before removing the knobs make sure they are all turned to the zero position
  • Wash and dry the knobs using water and towels and leave them to dry
  • Use the paint brush to thoroughly remove all dust and debris from the main console. Make sure you take time to reach areas behind the bolts and nuts
  • Using the vacuum cleaner is necessary to suck out the dirt from the gaps of the console
  • It is advised to make it a habit to clean your console daily. This will ensure that the dirt do not build up making it harder down the line
  • While dusting the console, try not to brush the dust into the faders but away from them, particularly the faders
  • To remove the finger marks and greasy palms use isopropyl alcohol
  • Make sure you do not spray the cleaning solution directly on the console. Instead use cotton or soft clothes when cleaning the fingermarks

How clean your faders

The faders on your audio mixing console are the one part you should pay special attention to

Here are some tips to making sure that your faders are always clean all the time

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to blow out your faders using compressed air. Try to run the fader up and down as you do this.
  • Treat your faders using the CAIG Deoxit/D5 cleaning solution. This is a thick lubricant which helps remove grease and dirts from your faders
  • After treating with a D5, make sure you blow out the faders to remove excess liquid and the the remaining dirt

Here is a cool YouTube Video explaining this process in more detail, and after you get everything clean, check out an article I wrote about how to sing like Dave Grohl