When you love gaming as much as we do and use your VR gear regularly, there is a problem you’ll be forced to face – sweat and grime.

To keep your VR gear clean, you will need to regularly wipe it down with wet wipes and wash the sponges and straps. Straps can be dismantled to be washed with your hands; sponges should not be soaked in water, while the headgear itself should only be wiped off with a damp cloth or towel.

You need to be aware of several things when cleaning your VR gear, with most people learning through trial and error what works best. However, when you have a piece of equipment that costs you several hundred dollars to buy, the last thing you want is to accidentally damage the internal hardware.

How Do You Get Sweat Out Of VR Gear?

The first challenge you’ll face when cleaning your VR gear is the build up of sweat and grime from your hair and brows. It’s inevitable and you will have to clean this every time you use your VR gear. It will create a lasting stench and cake grime across your entire VR gear. No one wants that.

We see far too many people ignore this step of the cleaning process only to find that they are no longer willing to use their VR gear after a few weeks. The sweat absorbed by the VR gear can build up quickly, causing smells and stains to appear, making the experience of using your headset uncomfortable.

Rinsing The Sponges

Sponges are going to absorb the most sweat out of any individual piece of your VR gear and will need to be constantly cleaned to keep them useable. We recommend rinsing them out every three to four days of heavy use, removing them from the VR gear when cleaning them.

You don’t need to use any chemicals; just clean freshwater, then hang them to completely dry out. It is important to hang these as leaving them on a flat surface will cause the sponge to be damaged and the water to stay in the sponges for several days.

Cleaning The Plastic

The plastic parts of your VR gear are the easiest to clean; simply use a damp cloth or some wet wipes to wipe away any grime that has built up. It can help a lot to use a damp cloth and then dry it off with a paper towel, ensuring that you are not simply spreading the grime across the entire plastic surface.

We always recommend cleaning the plastic parts after each use of the VR gear, as you may not be aware of how dirty it has gotten while used. Just use a cloth to quickly wipe away any sweat that may have gotten on the gear or even wash off the grime that is transferred from your fingers.

Washing The Straps

This is the second component of your VR gear that requires regular cleaning; the straps around your head or wrists. Your hands naturally sweat more, especially when getting heavily into a game or even a virtual exercise routine that you are following.

We always recommend that you handwash these with soap or throw them in the washing machine with other clothes. The plastic can handle the treatment while the straps will not be affected by the chemicals in the machine, allowing them to dry on the washing line.

Replacing Straps And Sponges

The biggest challenge that we have had to face is convincing gamers that the straps and sponges on their VR gear need to be replaced after a certain period. The straps will start losing their elasticity, and the sponges will stop being spongy, becoming hard and brittle when used.

Furthermore, the grime builds up, and you must replace these parts to ensure they aren’t growing diseases or other unwanted bacteria on your VR gear. We recommend replacing these once every two years with regular use, once a year if using the VR gear at an arcade or expos.

How To Clean VR Lenses Without Microfiber Cloth?

The lenses of your VR headset are the trickiest part to clean, especially if you have bought second-hand VR gear that requires a thorough wash down before use. The lenses are a direct line to your gameplay experience and significantly affect how you will enjoy your time with the VR headset, and if they are dirty, you’re simply selling yourself short.

But you will also have heard that you should not use microfiber cloths when cleaning your VR lenses. This will lead you into a spiral as you try to find something that will clean the lenses without scratching them; we have three things we recommend using when cleaning the lenses.

Compressed Air

Your VR lenses should preferably only have some dust and no oil or grime on them; otherwise, you may have to disassemble the system to clean them properly. However, you can simply use a can of compressed air to blow away the dust, eyelashes, and hair in most situations.

This is the safest way of cleaning any lens type as it completely protects the glass and prevents anything from being smudged across it. If you start cleaning a lens that has some hair on it, even the softest cloth can cause scratches as you press the hair onto the lens.

Nylon Brushes

If you do not have the money to constantly buy new cans or an air compressor, we recommend getting a nylon lens cleaning brush. These are special brushes with soft tips and longer brush lengths that won’t easily fall out the same way that a paintbrush may fall out.

They are meant to clean away the general dirt and hair that may accumulate on lenses, with many photographers having one in their kit for emergencies. You can use these to clean your VR lenses quickly if you find that hair or dust has gotten in the way exactly where your eyes can’t stop seeing them.

Glasses Cleaning Cloth

Some cloths are specifically made to clean all lenses; these are the small bits of cloth that you get with your glasses. You can usually buy these from opticians or stores that sell glasses, with the price varying from location to location.

However, these clothes will perfectly clean your glasses but will require that you wash them now and then as well. With most people being aware that they are never the same after being washed, you will need to decide how much you use these before using new ones.

How Do You Get Sweat Out Of VR?

One of the most problematic things that happen to your VR gear is that when you are done jamming to a session of Beatsaber, your gear is coated with sweat. Getting rid of this sweat is not always easy and requires that you clean all your gear each time.

We recommend not taking shortcuts when getting rid of sweat, as you may find yourself having to deal with sweat that has become a permanent part f the gear, especially the smell. If you clean your VR gear regularly, you can prevent sweat from ever becoming a problem you have to fight with.

Wash Softer Parts

The softer parts of the VR gear need to be washed properly whenever you know the VR gear will not be used for too long. This means taking them off and properly washing them, either with soap or scrubbing in some clean water to ensure the best clean.

These are the two parts of VR gear that are often overlooked as they will dry out when not used, causing many to believe that it is not a problem. However, imagine using the VR until the sponge is dripping with sweat, letting it dry, then using it again a few days later and all the dried sweat dripping down your face.

Clean Out Hard Parts

VR gear has many plastic parts, not just the headset but the controllers and footgear, which means that you need to clean them too. Your hands and feet naturally sweat almost as much as your head will; fortunately, plastic is much simpler to clean than the other softer parts of your gear.

After each use, a simple wipe down with a damp or even dry cloth will already mean that the plastic on your VR gear is going to stay much cleaner for longer. A proper wipe down is only really required every few weeks to get into the crevices that appear, using sanitiser to clean everything.

How Often Should I Clean My VR Headset?

The hardest thing to get right is knowing when to clean your VR headset. Many people forget that they need to clean their VR gear while others clean their gear so much that it damages parts that should last a lifetime.

Knowing how often to clean your VR gear will mean that you can safely use the pieces without having to stress about breaking anything. We have three total recommendations to make, each one covering the most common ways that VR headsets are used and why cleaning them routinely is best.

When Using VR Headsets Each Day

If you use your VR gear every day for at least an hour, we recommend washing them once a week to ensure that they stay clean. This will prevent anything significant from growing on them and prevent mold and other fungi from growing on the moister areas.

When used this regularly, the sponge and straps of the VR gear will naturally soak up more sweat, requiring  you to clean them the same way you would clean a towel. You may not be dirty, but the accumulating sweat does mean that you need to clean it to ensure the best possible experience.

When Occasionally Using VR Headsets

If you are only using your VR gear once a week or even less, we recommend that you only wash the gear when you feel they are becoming too dirty. With the sponges and straps only be cleaned once a month or once every second month, there is very little chance anything will be dirty.

We have found that dust might be your biggest problem when not using VR gear for such extended periods. For this, just wipe down everything before you start playing to ensure that your gear stays clean and the sweat does not mix in with the dust on the controllers.

VR Headsets Used At Conventions

You will need to clean out the straps and sponges; the VR gear will be in more hands and faces than you can simply count. We recommend that you replace the sponge halfway through the day to ensure that it all stays as fresh as possible.

It should be noted that you do get paper covers for VR gear when they are used at expos, but these usually do not stop all the sweat from accumulating on your VR gear. Instead, you will need a microfiber or wet wipe to clean everything between people using the gear.

Best Wipes For VR Headset?

You will need three wipes to clean your VR gear: a microfiber cloth for the outside, glasses wipe for the lenses, and then wet wipes for the straps and sponges. We recommend using them in this manner to ensure that your VR gear stays as clean as possible for as long as you are using them.

Remember that you can make changes as you need and find things that work better, with many VR gear owners having their kit to use. However, if you are using the VR gear at expos and shows, you need to think of the total time spent cleaning.

We have seen people make the mistake of trying to clean the entire VR gear before the start of each morning at expos only to have to clean while people are walking. Sometimes a quick clean is all you can do, and you will need to have the clothes you trust ready to be used.

Conclusion

Maintaining your VR gear is as simple as ensuring that it is always as clean as possible, with cloths, air, and other tools to keep dust out of the inner parts. The screens area should never get dusty or dirty and will require special tools to properly clean.

Whatever you do, please remember that your VR gear will need to be cleaned, or it may become useless!

References

How To Clean VR Headsets – Oxford Medical Simulation
Oculus
How To Clean And Maintain Your Samsung Gear VR | Tom’s Guide Forum (Tomsguide.Com)
How To Clean VR Headsets | Space
How To Clean Your VR Headset And Hand Controllers (Virtualspeech.Com)
How To Clean Your VR Headset (Roadtovr.Com)
Guidelines For Cleaning Your VR Headset – Irisvr
How To Maintain, Clean, And Store Your Samsung Gear VR (Technorms.Com)