How Often Should I Clean My VR Headset?
Virtual reality headsets allow us to immerse ourselves in exciting experiences and games, but at a cost. Aside from the possibility of nausea, users also experience hair, sweat, and dust, which can also become caught in the VR headset during use before even factoring in the current pandemic. That said, if you already know how to clean your VR, you should consider how frequently it needs to be cleaned.
VR headsets should be cleaned each time before you use it because it is not always easy to remember when it was last used and who may have used it. Additionally, HMDs should always be sanitized when shared amongst individuals to get rid of dirt and germs.
Because you’ll be in close contact with the VR headset and any controls you’re using for lengthy periods, it’s critical to keep them spotless and sanitary. Also, because high-quality VR headsets aren’t cheap, it’s worth looking after them to extend their life. So, let’s review how frequently you should clean your VR headset and some of the obvious signs that prove that it’s time to clean it.
Do VR Headsets Need To Be Cleaned Often?
So you’ve got everything lined up for a lengthy VR session, but you’re sharing a VR headset with two or more people. Believe me when I say that the shared experiences amongst friends, families, and coworkers make these pleasures in life so special!
However, since safety always comes first, it’s worth noting that scientists have discovered that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, “may be identified in aerosols for up to three hours” and on plastic for up to 72hrs, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Likewise, the influenza virus may live for the same period, and a runny nose can swiftly stop your exciting VR session.
Health professionals recommend washing our hands before touching our faces, and the same rationale should be applied to your VR headset, which connects to your face. With the assurance that comes with a clean VR headset, it’ll be easier to zone out, detach, and travel off to remote virtual realms.
In addition, I looked at various research on headsets and workplace hygiene to give you an idea of why cleaning your VR HMD between usage is a good idea.
Cleaning Your VR Headset Between Uses Is Essential
It may seem obvious, but racing to the bathroom to wash your hands isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of playing a virtual reality game. But it should be!
Before utilizing any VR equipment, always wash your hands. To be safe, use hand sanitizer once your hands have dried thoroughly. Whether you’re engaging solo or with a group of people, ensuring hygiene is practiced before starting is essential. Like any close encounter activities, there are always risks of spreading unwanted invisible threats.
Influenza, pink eye, strep throat, and meningitis are the most frequent infectious illnesses transferred via close contact with an infected individual’s saliva or nasal secretions when sharing a VR headset.
In addition, HMDs (Head Mounted Devices) may become relatively warm due to their enclosed design, leading the user to sweat, which can be worsened if the user is actively engaged in moving about while playing. Fortunately, cleaning between uses helps prevent the spread of said illnesses.
As a result, here are guidelines for keeping your headset clean and in good working order, even if you share it with many people.
- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the lens and foam, much like for glasses or a computer screen. If required, dunk the cloth in water or soapy water.
- If you have a waterproof VR Cover, I recommend wiping it out with non–alcoholic antibacterial wipes after each usage and using alcoholic wipes every 10 – 15 users (or uses). Alcoholic wipes’ residue might be irritating to certain people’s skin.
- Cover the lenses with watch glass protectors or any other type of plastic. It may aid in the prevention of scratches.
- Keep your VR headset somewhere it won’t accumulate dust and blast it out of any nooks and crevices using compressed air.
Surfaces Should Be Cleaned Frequently
It’s critical to clean equipment before use, but it’s also a good idea to clean surfaces regularly, and this is true not only for your headset and controllers.
That said, it would be best to clean the area around you regularly. It’s one thing to have some dust or grime on the floor. However, wearing it on your face is a different story.
Follow the required directions for cleaning your TV or monitor region and any other furniture you’re cleaning. Headset holders and charging stands are a natural breeding ground for germs, so keep them clean regularly. Unfortunately, these are easy to overlook, especially if hidden or in another room.
Create A Cleaning Routine For Your VR Headset
Grime, dirt, dust, and hair buildup are all indications that your VR headset or even controllers require some cleaning, and neglecting to clean it can breed all sorts of nasties. However, there are ways to prevent any form of buildup from happening in the first place. As a result, creating a routine is always a great way to ensure your VR headset maintains the love it needs.
Even if your VR headset hardly gets used, slapping on some rubber gloves and thoroughly wiping down your VR headset every second or third day will ensure that its quality will be maintained, and you will also be keeping hygiene in check for when it does get used.
In addition, for surfaces with more contact, the CDC suggests routine cleaning. Areas with a high traffic volume and interactions may require more frequent cleaning. However, this will differ from person to person.
You may not need to clean your headset and controllers as regularly if they are kept in a low-traffic area of your home. For example, if they’re near the TV in the living room (with higher traffic volumes), you might wish to clean the area every day for a few minutes. Consider your environment and requirements before establishing a cleaning schedule.
Consider What To Do Before Forming A Routine
Before you begin your cleaning routine, make sure all headsets are turned off. If you’re using a wired headset, you should unplug it first.
It’s easy to go for a napkin or your shirt to wipe away smudges immediately but resist the temptation. Unfortunately, VR headset lenses are susceptible, and if they come into touch with abrasive cleansers or surfaces, they can be scratched or damaged; therefore, consider keeping a microfiber cloth nearby.
Furthermore, you should also verify the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Oculus, Vive, and Index all have official pages with crucial safety information. The company also gives important need-to-know data, such as how to store equipment properly.
Detailed instructions on removing your headset’s face cushion can usually be obtained online. However, it’s critical to double-check that nothing is damaged throughout the sanitation procedure. Some people will advise utilizing more particular approaches on specific sections, but this routine is a broad overview. As a result, play it safe and combine your routine with their instructions.
Finally, I recommend washing your hands before you begin cleaning and again when you’re through. In fact, this is a smart habit to develop whenever you use your headset.
It’s critical to look after your HMD, store it correctly, and keep it clean if you want it to last long. But, in addition to ensuring that you get the most usage out of your investment before having to replace it, it will also keep you and your users healthy and free of infection.