How to Clean your VR Headset and Hand Controllers

March 25, 2020 - Rosie Steward

Cleaning your VR headset and hand controllers has always been important, especially when used for training, demos and other use cases, where the device will be used by more than one person.

Headsets are regularly exposed to dust, natural body oils, sweat, and other substances that can transfer between users. Over time, these can also damage the hardware.

In this article, we discuss recommendations for cleaning, hygiene and promoting safety best practices. Note that if anyone is showing symptoms of an illness, they should not be using a shared headset.

Cleaning your headset and controllers

  • For most parts of the headset and controllers, use alcohol-free antibacterial wipes to wipe down all of the hard surfaces, with particular focus on the areas you're likely to touch the most. Key areas include the top and bottom of the eyepiece, which you grab when putting on and taking off the headset and, on the Oculus headsets, the halo adjustment ring on the back.
  • For the lenses, avoid using liquid, alcohol-based or chemical cleansers. You can use a microfibre cloth (the same kind you would use to clean glasses or a computer screen), dabbed in soapy water, or a non-alcohol based glasses cleaning wipe. Don’t put your headset in direct sunlight to dry, as it will cause damage to the lenses.
  • When wiping the lenses, starting from the centre of the lens and gently wipe the lens in a circular motion moving outwards.
  • For the soft areas of the headset, such as the headband and the foam interfacing found inside, use the same wipes you used on the hard surfaces and leave them to air dry. Don't use your headset until everything is completely dry (wait at least 10 minutes), or else you're introducing more microorganisms to an already wet environment. While cleaning your facial interfaces, don't forget to wipe down the nose area!
  • Try to wash your hands and face if possible before using your headset, to minimise the amount of bacteria that is left on the headset.
  • Keep your VR headset somewhere where it won’t collect dust.
  • If you can, use nitrile gloves while cleaning and dispose of the gloves after each use

Generally, it is not difficult to maintain or keep VR equipment clean and worthwhile getting into a regular habit of thoroughly cleaning your equipment. And above all, wash your hands frequently - before and after cleaning!