There are a few ways to mostly sterilize your headset, but you may be better off focusing on keeping it generally clean unless you suspect it’s been exposed to a nasty pathogen. While we’d rather point you to the WHO for advice on something so dire, here’s a few tips to consider in addition to your own research:
Alcohol-free Antibacterial wipes: Non-alcohol based antibacterial wipes are perfect for cleaning facial interfaces, both foam and less porous surfaces like PU leather, and there are actually some on the market specifically designed for the task. VR Cover sells alcohol-free, hypoallergenic and unscented wipes just for the job. These include hydrogenated castor oil however, which may leave some residue on lenses.
Ultraviolet Light: The nuclear option. Short of baking your VR headset in an oven (don’t do that), you can sanitize pretty much anything with UV radiation, namely UV-C radiation. UV-C light destroys the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria in a matter of minutes, and is used in hospital settings for that purpose, as well as in nail curing boxes to quickly dry nail polish. You can pay up to $200 for a UV-C box from manufacturers like PhoneSoap, which offer a box big enough to fit a VR headset, or you can make one yourself. This UV-C Shoebox Instructable shows the basics of how to go low-tech with a UV-C light, cardboard, and some aluminium foil. Like with ordinary sun rays, it’s probably best to cover the lenses if you go this route because of possible damage to the displays. Never look directly at a UV-C light either. Eyeballs are important.
Quarantine your headset: Maybe you lent your headset to a friend who has a virus, cold, whatever. One of the lowest tech solutions is to simply put down the headset and leave it be. According to a study from the Nation Institutes of Health (NIH), the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been observed live up to four hours on copper, up to a day on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Don’t burn it with fire, or smoother it with hand sanitizer. Follow the steps above, and maybe take a rest from VR for a little while if you think your sick little cousin coughed inside it.