It’s a great feeling to have a record player in your home- something that produces best music and high quality sound. Audiophiles have always been fans of this device, because of the crystal clear and natural acoustic sound it produces. Digital music players cannot compete with it.
Buying a record player requires some effort but maintaining it for a long time requires more than just usual cleaning methods. You have to be careful with the equipment, because some of the components are so small, they cannot withstand rigorous rubbing or dusting.
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Why Cleaning a Record Player Is So Important
Like any other electronic device, record players are also likely to catch dirt, dust and debris. In fact, it attracts dirt more rapidly and frequently for obvious reasons. Just like a CD player; if a dust gets inside, it not only causes damage to the CD, it may get stuck inside the player. Obviously, the functioning of the player and the sound quality will be affected as well. Similarly, the mechanism of the record player is quite delicate.
- Why Clean Record Players Frequently
You need to clean the record player more frequently than any other electronic mechanism. The reason is, as the vinyl record spins on the turntable, it generates vibrations and static electricity. These vibrations attract dust and dirt to the records and the device. So, always clean your record player before and after playing vinyl album.
- Why Clean it When it Looks Clean
That’s a tricky thing with vinyl record players. They seem pretty “OK” with the feel and appearance, but they actually need cleaning. If you’re a new user, you wouldn’t figure out initially, but you’ll learn it with time.
You can identify it by listening to the sound of the music. If there’s a distortion in sound, it must have been due to those tiny dust particles hidden inside the turntable, or may be on the tip of the tiny needle.
Frequent cleaning of vinyl record players becomes important because of the following reasons
- Dust and dirt from the turntable can easily sit inside the grooves of Vinyl record and cause slips and pauses.
- Some dust particles may be stronger than vinyl that can easily damage the needle or the turntable.
- Smallest dust particles can flow with the vibration and sit inside the magnetic cartridge, and cause disturbance in sound.
- Dirt and debris can easily hide inside the tone arm and cause hindrance in its arc-like movement.
- Dirt and dust hidden inside the turntable can damage the records. If there is a crack or scratch on the record, it cannot be cleaned.
Simple Cleaning of a Record Player
Well, don’t be too scared though. You can clean your record player in following simple steps. But before you move on to the steps, these are the things you’re going to need.
Things Required for Cleaning
- Soft paintbrush,
- Cleaning brush for stylus,
- Lint-free cloth
- Dusting cloth (antistatic)
- Rubbing alcohol
4 Steps to Clean Your Record Player
Step#1: Stylus or Needle
You need to keep the stylus/needle clean. Clean it with a stylus-cleaning brush, readily available at all record stores. If stylus cleaning brush is not available, you can use soft paintbrush.
- While cleaning the needle, make sure you wipe it from front to back, or vice versa. Wiping it side to side involves a risk of bending the needle.
- You can use rubbing alcohol to dampen the brush and deep clean the stylus.
Step#2: Record Player Surface
The record player surface can be cleaned with the help of antistatic cloth used for dusting. Make sure to remove dust from the surface every time after playing the vinyl record.
If there are fingerprints or stains on the record player surface, you may need to use rubbing alcohol for deep cleaning. Some experts also recommend ionized or distilled water for surface cleaning.
Step#3: The Turntable
Turntable is a part of the surface, and it can be cleaned with dusting cloth. However, there’s always a better way. Take a lint-free cloth and moist it with rubbing alcohol. Then wipe the turntable surface. Start from the center of the turntable and wipe outwards in a circular motion.
Step#4: The Moisture
Rubbing alcohol will leave the residue on the surface. So wipe the moisture using lint-free cloth (dry cloth).
Things to Remember
- Avoid wiping the stylus with fingers, as the finger oil may be deposited on its surface. It could also bend.
- Avoid blowing on the stylus for removing dust. You might spit on it accidentally.
- Keep your record player covered to prevent dust.
- Keep the turntable covered to prevent dust accumulation. If cover is not available, you can use a cloth.