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How to Clean a Record Player

by Ronald Elias

Vinyl is back in, baby. 

With its lovely pops and cracks and its superior sound quality, vinyl is once again a thing. What was once an almost-dead format and a niche collectible has exploded, with people of all ages returning to analog for their music-listening experience. 

But, unlike the shiny and compact streaming devices that kids use these days, the pure physicality of vinyl means it has some upkeep costs. One of those costs is cleaning, and if you want your record player – and records – to last a long time, keeping them clean and in their best shape is a must. 

How do you do that, though? How do you clean a record player? It isn’t something that they teach in home economics anymore, but you’re in luck because this week on the blog, we are going to take a look at just that. We’re going to help walk all of our loyal customers – you included! – through everything they need to know to keep their record player running for years to come.

Dust in the Groove 

There is a certain amount of “noise” that is normal for a record player, but if you are getting too much noise and static during playback, the first culprit is probably going to be the record player stylus – the needle that directly touches the record. 

We urge caution here: Be very, very careful anytime you do anything with your record player concerning the stylus. To clean this, you either are going to want a stylus brush or a soft paintbrush. Dampen the end of whatever you are using in rubbing alcohol, and then carefully wipe the needle front to back – not side to side. Be sure to not touch the needle with your finger: nasty oil from your skin can wreak havoc on your stylus. 

Dust Everywhere Else

The stylus on your record player isn’t the only thing that’s going to collect dust. Especially if you have a player without a dust cover, dust collecting on the slip mat or around the rest of the player is very, very common. 

The good news is that cleaning this area of your player is pretty easy. Simply grab an anti-static dusting cloth and wipe everything down. Doing this regularly will help your record player – and records – stay clean and last longer. Also, remember to leave the needle alone this time! You don’t want to wipe that down with the cloth. 

Of course, if you are running into bigger problems with your record player that a cleaning can’t fix, perhaps it’s time to give someone a call. No, not the Ghostbusters – give us a call instead! We’re always here to help you with all your electronics needs, so feel free to stop on in or give us a call and we can help you get to the root of the problem. 

Deeper in the Grooves

Sometimes your record player may require a bit of deeper cleaning – don’t worry, we have a tip to help you get through that dirt and grime and back to enjoying your music, too.  

Fingerprints can often be the culprit here, but hard-to-remove dirt can sometimes get stuck to your player, as well. For this, you are going to want to use some rubbing alcohol and that anti-static microfiber cloth again. Start from the center and work your way out in a circle, and then grab a lint-free cloth to wipe things down for a last time. Use a dry lint-free cloth to dry the whole thing down at the end. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Record Player?

Is it necessary to clean your record player on a daily basis? Of course not! It’s not something that you need to clean every day, but it is something that you want to clean on a regular schedule. Once a week is a pretty good rule of thumb, though some people do go over and above and clean their record player every time they use it. 

Regardless of how often you use your record player though, you should make sure you keep it clean! And if you are having problems with your player, your speakers, or any other part of your audio setup, give us a call! We’d be glad to help figure out what’s wrong with your system, and to do what we can to get you rocking and rolling again in no time.