Best Practices For Safe Cleaning of Broadcast Studios, Equipment


With the current coverage of unprecedented world events, many live and production studios are in use around the clock.

Johns Hopkins Medicine warns that “Studies suggest that coronaviruses may stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.” As such, keeping common areas sanitized to protect on-air staff and production personnel is a top concern.

Here are some tips for a clean work environment, protecting the remaining staff in your radio or TV station, courtesy of German broadcast production and radio on-air workflow tech company LAWO.



Several measures for maintaining a clean work environment are recommended by the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins, and the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While hand-washing, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds has been widely shared, media broadcasting companies but remember that disinfecting communal areas like countertops, desks and other working spaces where the Covid-19 virus may be present is essential.

The CDC recommends “diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common…household disinfectants should be effective.” They further recommend wearing disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and cleaning hands immediately after gloves are removed.

“Before cleaning, remember that most broadcast equipment is made from a variety of different materials, which could have adverse reactions to cleaning agents such as bleach and alcohol,” Lawo notes. Mild cleaning agents should be used for sensitive broadcast gear.

Consider these “dos and don’ts” when cleaning audio equipment:

  • Unplug all external power sources before you clean the device.
  • Clean using a soft, slightly damp cloth, moistened lightly with warm to hot soapy water.
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives on broadcast equipment.
  • Don´t use any liquid cleaning agents or spray cleaners which may contain flammable materials.
  • Don’t spray cleaning solution directly onto the item.
  • Be careful not to allow moisture into any openings.

Some cleaners may have effects so damaging that product warranties are affected.

For instance:

  • VSM control panels using LCD buttons manufactured by NKK and e3. These products are not approved for treatment with chemical cleaning agents and disinfectants and can be permanently damaged by treatment with such agents.
  • Lawo Audio Production and Radio console surfaces are not approved for treatment with chemical cleaning agents and disinfectants. The use of some substances can even lead to permanent discoloration of work surfaces.

To be on the safe side wear disposable gloves while operating your broadcast equipment and sanitize your hands afterwards.

If you are in doubt about a cleaning agent you wish to use, contact your equipment’s manufacturer first. Strong chemical cleaners and abrasives are to be avoided; a thorough cleaning with a cloth moistened with warm soapy water is enough to remove most contaminants from operating surfaces.