Vinyl constantly needs care. It becomes dusty, mold, and unpleasant bacteria can form. There is no ideal rule for cleaning vinyl records. That is why the eternal debate about the best record cleaner does not fade away.
This process has several positive aspects at once. With great care and certain efforts, you lengthen the life of your records a lot, prevent needle distortion while playing, and even add value to your old and rare records that are difficult to clean.
You need to follow some rules to keep your records in good condition and make them sound clear, harmoniously, without any interference. I sincerely hope you will figure out helpful information about different kits and machines available at the market thanks to these vinyl record cleaner reviews. By the way, this review is divided into categories to make it much easier for you to understand the topic and understand what is the best vinyl cleaner for you.
Record cleaners comparison table
|Spin-Clean MKII Deluxe Kit cleaning kit||Kit||Review|
|Record Doctor VI cleaning machine||Machine||Review|
|iSonic P4875II+MVR10 professional cleaning machine||Machine||Review|
|AudioQuest Anti-Static cleaning brush||Brush||Review|
|Vinyl Buddy budget||Brush||Review|
|Lasermedia VNC-8 cleaning fluid||Fluid||Review|
Best Vinyl Cleaning Kits
Spin-Clean Record Washer MKII Deluxe Kit – best cleaning kit
I would like to start the list with the best record cleaning kit I’ve tested. It has an excellent design in yellow colors, adds freshness, and looks very cool.
The most important thing to start with are items this vinyl record care product has in the box. The package contains a washer basin and lid, two bottles of specially formulated non-alcohol liquid that does not leave streaks. There are also two pairs of premium MKII removable, cleanable, record-cleaning brushes, one pair of durable MKII rollers which can accommodate LPs, 45s, and 78 RPMs, and finally, super soft, lint-free drying cloths.
I think that any user can follow the instructions and understand how to use this device correctly. It is pretty simple. Just insert a record in the SPIN-CLEAN, rotate it three times for each side. Frankly, you will need to invest some effort into cleaning your records.
I’d recommend doing three rotations on each side without any rush so you can clean all of the dirt. The plate snugs well into the device, so you may need to pull it out with one hand and hold the device with another.
Then, gently wipe the record and let it dry. I like to use a soft towel or cloth for this. Besides, I want to add that after washing your vinyl records, you need to let them dry for a while because by hiding them back in the box, you risk getting them dirty again.
It may be too much for cleaning of 2 or 3 plates (the cleaning liquid can’t be stored in the basin), for a vast collection of records – go for Spin Clean. You’ll get fast and effective helper for cleaning your vinyls.
- Greatly fights even the dirtiest things that are hard to remove
- Includes the fluid that is alcohol-free and does its work perfectly
- The kit consists of enough amount of brushes and fluids to wash up to 6000 vinyl records
- Not always removes all kinds of dirt, but it still depends on the user
Record Friend is a way more simple kit but still worth being considered as the best record cleaner. Let’s figure out why. As the manufacturer claimed, Record Friend not only cleans up your vinyl but also makes it shiny and bright.
The whole package includes any record cleaning supplies you may need. It has a Spinner Machine with brushes and rollers, two bottles of 150ml cleaning fluid, a multifunctional cleaning cloth, a microfiber cloth, and a record rack.
The vinyl disc cleaner includes adjustable roller sets to help clear vinyl records of different sizes 33, 45, 78. Record Friend also offers a Dual-Wash system because of its extra-soft microfiber brushes that can wash both sides of the record at once.
To be honest, this set is the most reliable I’ve come across. It simply and easily does its job.
- Offers a pretty convenient kit with fluids enough to wash up to 1000 records
- Does its job very reliably, cleans even the toughest stains that cannot be removed by hand, leaves a pleasant shine and skins after cleaning
- In-built brushes are tight a lot so be careful while you place the record in to avoid scratches
Vinyl Styl Record Washer System
It is a very reliable standalone LP cleaner. With a beautifully designed build, it securely holds your vinyl record for a good cleaning.
The brushes are made from 100% goat hair and, together with a liquid, will provide the perfect cleaning of your records. In general, the Vinyl Styl Record Washer System packaging includes many things, including the Vinyl Styl ™ Deep Groove Record Washer Reservoir, with Lid, and the Drying rack, 16oz Fluid.
In addition to all this, the tool is equipped with Washer fluid reusable funnel and Washer fluid strainer. I think it will not leave anyone indifferent. This device is easy enough to set up, doesn’t require a huge amount of effort, and can clean up a bunch of your records with no problem.
I’d recommend this one as a specially designed and focused on cleaning deeper stains that damage the needle and are very difficult to brush. However, it is suitable for different sorts of pollution.
- The package includes lots of useful things to wash different types of dirt on your vinyl records
- This record cleaning system is adjustable to clean 7″, 10″ and 12″ records
- Designed with simplicity, so it is easy to set up and to use
- Included washing fluid sometimes leaves residues on the record that may be destructive
Best Record Cleaning Machines
iSonic P4875II+MVR10 – best professional cleaning machine
As for me, everything in this device is fine: a special drain for the used liquid, Ultrasonic Frequency 35 000 Hz, 110V 380W, heaters, one 8-OZ bottle of cleaning liquid concentrate. The package also includes one box of Kim wipe non-fibrous wipes for drying the records.
Finally, the built-in timer is 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 5 minutes with a reducing button to adjust it every minute between 1 to 30 minutes. True experts will appreciate the excellent ability to simultaneously clean 5 to 10 records using the system speed of 5 rpm. The device also adapts to each item in size. It ideally protects your labels in such a way that only the area of the record itself is cleaned. The interface is also very easy to use by touch.
Moreover, the device is equipped with a cooling system. You can not be afraid that the device will heat up and spoil your records because everything is thought out to the smallest detail. The best vinyl cleaner, iSonic P4875II + MVR10, justifies its high price by 100%.
There is an ideal solution for people who are more professional in collecting records. The best professional record cleaning machine is iSonic P4875II + MVR10. It is a real monster that will help you clean your vinyl records incredibly quickly.
- The most convenient combination of price and multifunctionality covered with several astonishing features
- Automatic cleaning scrolls the records evenly and mechanically, cleaning them to a perfect, almost new condition
- After cleaning the grooves, the needle goes very smoothly providing incredible clarity of sound, it is balanced, smooth, and gentle
- For all available features, no actual cons found
Record Doctor VI – best cleaning machine
Created to counterbalance its forerunner V, Record Doctor VI is made very reliably and concisely. It can be called the best record cleaning machine for several reasons.. It is equipped with a powerful high-performance vacuum motor which is great for cleaning any dirt on vinyl records.
Along with the vacuum, there is also an 18 RPM turntable motor. This device offers two options for cleaning your records – dry and wet. It suits cleaning old records that are nearly impossible to reproduce. A special liquid included helps remove pressed stains or dirt that has long been coiled into grooves.
After cleaning about 25 vinyl records, you can remove the remaining used solution by simply pulling out the plug on the bottom of the case.
To summarize, I want to say that the automatic record cleaner called Record Doctor VI is ideal for those who do not want to clean records by hand and do not want to pay fabulous sums for an automatic machine. It is the perfect combination of excellent quality and comfort.
- Quickly performs a full cleaning action in about a minute
- The clamping area completely covers the label area but suits only for standard size of vinyl recordings
- Not fully automatic since you will have to flip the record to get another side cleaned
- Sometimes might be quite loud while cleaning
Best Record Cleaning Brushes
AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Brush – best cleaning brush
You are probably wondering why there are also ordinary brushes on a par with cleaning machines and sets? Let’s look at the one that many people call the best record cleaning brush. The AudioQuest brush is actually a very reliable and easy way to keep your records clean and free from dirt and dust.
The brush is made of carbon fiber, so The Anti-Static Record Brush has ideal conductivity through the brush’s internal parts to the conductive Gold Contacts placed right in your arm. The brush is also equipped with smaller fibers to remove small impurities that the eye cannot see.
You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out how to work with this brush. It’s more than simple: place the record on a flat surface, being able to scroll. Lightly press the brush firmly against the recording surface. After 3-5 spins, you will immediately notice a pretty good result and no dust.
If for some reason, you cannot afford to buy an expensive standalone cleaning machine or a premium kit, this brush is your perfect choice.
- More than affordable price for a very simple but still reliable product to gently clear your records
- Extremely convenient feature with a connection between carbon fibers and gold-plated strips that create a static charge for cleaning
- For the simplicity and ease of use, no cons actually found
Vinyl Buddy Record Cleaner – best budget
From the category of relatively cheap products, Vinyl Buddy Record Cleaner can be selected. The first point is its incredible simplicity. At first glance, this is a simple elementary mechanism in the form of a ROLLER. It would also be pointless to explain the principle of its operation.
Unlike various brushes that smear debris across the surface of the record, Buddy Record Cleaner attracts debris and dust around as you roll it across the record.
The main feature of this device is that it has a sticking effect. What’s more, it’s incredibly soft and never leaves any glue on your vinyl. Plus, it’s easy to clean. All you need to do is dip it in warm water, wash off the remaining dirt and dry it.
In fact, it is a very profitable product that can be called the best budget record cleaner because it is relatively inexpensive and does its job perfectly.
Many satisfied customers notice a strange effect – without expecting something special from this roller, they get a very good result after the very first use.
- Gently clears the surface of recordings using previously unmet technology
- Created simply and is very easy to use
- Cleans only a surface part of the record and cannot reach all grooves to clean them from inside
Vinyl Vac 33
On the one hand, the availability of Vinyl Vac 33 is good news. On the other hand, a question arises. Is it worth the money? A Set of Replacement Pads, Two O-Rings enable you to create a snug fit between your wet or dry vac hose, and Two Suction Reducers are included to help you regulate the amount of suction you want.
I can conclude that there is no difficulty in using it. Everything works simply and logically. Whether you want to dry or wet your vinyl, the Vac 33 will do the job reliably and right. Just connect it to the vacuum cleaner, lay it horizontally in the middle, and spin the vinyl record a few times, not very quickly.
It is better to first treat the surface with a special brush during wet cleaning and then use a vacuum. What’s more, the soft velvet pads on the handle provide maximum protection for your vinyl while cleaning.
After careful cleaning, the result is immediately noticeable. The record starts to sound like a brand new one. The main thing is to do this cleaning regularly, especially if you use the record often.
I can say that the device is very easy to use at first glance, but it does its job perfectly. Of course, it will not remove frizzy stains, they must be removed by hand, but it perfectly copes with dust and dirt on the surface.
- It works simply and perfectly clears your stuff
- Designed smartly to prevent any possible damage to your records
- It does not include fluid for cleaning
Best Vinyl Cleaning Fluid
Lasermedia VNC-8 – best cleaning fluid
I do not think that it is worth focusing very much on the number of liquids for washing records. However, some really decent products on the market are worth taking a closer look at. The record cleaning fluid is undoubtedly an important purchase for people who want to keep their audio library tidy and clean. Lasermedia VNC-8 is a high-quality product based on distilled deionized water. The manufacturer uses neither ammonia nor alcohol, which is also a huge advantage. VNC-8 is based on a very reliable formula that will provide safe care and a flawless glossy look to your records. One bottle contains 8oz.
Apply the liquid evenly over the surface. Then use microfiber cloths and velvet brushes to get the perfect result.
I can add that this is the best record cleaning fluid because it is definitely worth the money spent. It ideally removes not only the top layer of dirt but also dirt in the grooves, which is very important.
- Great combination of price and quality, due to the fact that it removes dirt and dust very carefully
- Doesn’t include alcohol or ammonia is definitely a strong advantage because the fluid won’t ruin plasticizers in the vinyl recording
- Absolutely non-flammable
- To gain a maximum result requires a special brush or towels to be used with
Mobile Fidelity Super Record Wash
Mobile Fidelity Super Record Wash is next in line. For a relatively normal price, you get a whopping 32oz of recording detergent. As for me, this will be enough for several hundred records. This liquid can be used both for cleaning machines and manual cleaning, which is also an advantage. I am very pleased with the formula of this liquid.
Mobile Fidelity uses a quadruple-distilled, hyper-pure water base in combination with natural degreasing agents and dirt solvents. It is important to know that this liquid also does not have any alcohol or ammonia in its composition. Therefore it will not kill your records.
In my opinion, this product’s main advantage is the ability not to spread over the surface. Unlike all liquids, Mobile Fidelity Super Record Wash has high-surface-tension water. This is done specifically to lift dust and dirt from the grooves of the record to the surface and only then wash off or use a vacuum. It often happens that conventional products clog the grooves with debris because it flows inward, interfering with normal playback and spoils the needle.
- А high-quality composition of four-fold purified water and natural ingredients guarantees perfect washing of your records
- There are no toxic chemicals or alcohol or ammonia in the composition, so you don’t risk ruining the record
- Often it does not spread, but forms into separate drops on the surface of the lp, so you need to additionally use a brush
Best Anti-Static Record Solution
Milty Zerostat 3
I must admit, the reviews for Milty Zerostat 3 are very controversial. On the one hand, people like the simplicity and low price. On the other hand, there are statements that this device does not do its job at all. Anyway, let’s take a look.
The device has the shape of a full-fledged pistol and is made of high-quality plastic. It fits well in hand and is easy to use. Its main task is to produce a combination of positive and then negative ions at the vinyl record’s surface. The manufacturer originally intended Milty Zerostat 3 to neutralize the static charge area that attracts dust and unwanted debris.
This device’s operation is also quite simple: you need to direct your “pistol” into the spindle bore to allow the ions to be evenly distributed over the recording. Pull the trigger 12 inches from the record. In this way, you enable the ions to get onto your record and neutralize unwanted problems.
As an independent device, the Zerostat 3 can get a score of 10/10 because it does not require any charging, configuration, or battery. The device is COMPLETELY autonomous, so it is perfect for the role of a reliable record album cleaner.
- It comes in an attractive blue color and made of high-quality plastic
- Very easy to use: just aim correctly and pull the trigger
- It works well, but sometimes it is not enough; it helps rather superficially
Best Vinyl Record Storage Cases
Big Fudge Outer (100 Pack) + Vinyl Fevуr Inner (125 Pack)
Although the products are quite different, they are united by one important goal: protecting precious recordings from the destructive outside world. I suggest Big Fudge Outer (100 Pack) and Vinyl Fever Inner (125 Pack) for consideration.
Big Fudge Outer is completely transparent, made from high-quality polypropylene, and does not harden over time like cheaper products. These packs are 3 millimeters thick to ensure your records are maximally protected from scratches, household dust, and dirt. With a size of 12.75 “x 12.75”, they can hold records of all sizes, which is a big advantage.
Vinyl Fever Inner offers 25 more cases for a similar price. Compared to the previous product, these cases are made of high-quality archival paper, which is unfortunately not transparent. It protects your vinyl very reliably. Several things made me very happy. The manufacturer creates protective cases and therefore makes external seams that reduce friction inside, the amount of dust and greatly reduce the chance of creating static electricity on the records.
Depending on the size of your collection, pick each of these two. Paper or polypropylene – it’s up to you.
- Both case packs are entirely made of high qualitative materials to provide maximum comfort for the user
- Both are totally suitable for all vinyl records sizes
- Vinyl Fevуr Inner made of paper, so in a long-term condition may be dirty and so reliable as the polypropylene one
Check the price of the Big Fudge Outer Sleeves (100 Pack) and Vinyl Fever Inner Record Sleeves (125 Pack).
What are the cleaning options for vinyl
There are two types of cleaning for the user to choose from – dry and wet. If you decide to use a dry one, take into account that you should definitely use a special brush that will not smear dirt on the surface. It must be used before each playback and, accordingly, after using the record.
If your choice is the wet cleaning of vinyl records, be sure to use a special cleaning liquid. It is needed in order to clean deep stains and dried dust. You can do it manually or using special machines. For maximum effect, I recommend using a cleaning machine, as it will reliably clean even the deepest dirt in the grooves of your vinyl records. If you cannot afford to buy a special device, you can use a special cleaning kit. It is important to understand that this is more difficult and time-consuming, so it all depends on each person’s needs and capabilities.
Can you clean vinyl records with soap and water
Needless to say that there is an incredible variety of opinions. Some people think that washing records with water and soap or dishwashing detergent does not harm vinyl, while others consider it barbaric. I think it is very strange because people have already come up with the best vinyl record cleaner, and everyone actively buys them and pleases them with positive reviews. To be honest, I generally do not recommend washing records this way if they are really valuable to you because there is a huge chance of ruining them.
However, if you are an adventurer and decide to experiment, I wish you good luck. Note that the quality of water is important because water with a high amount of minerals damages vinyl. You need to flush the grooves of the recording ultra carefully so as not to damage them. It is also very important to dry the vinyl well, wipe it with a towel, and test it only after complete drying.
Is it OK to clean vinyl records with alcohol or vinegar
Although collectors constantly argue whether it is possible to use alcohol to clean records, it is important to understand its need and ability. Alcohol is good, but it dries very quickly, so you simply won’t have time to finish cleaning. Also, it loosens the grooves in your records, making them much more fragile. Many manufacturers use alcohol, and many also criticize it. Nevertheless, I would not risk it.
As for using vinegar, the opinion is uncertain. While experimenting, I don’t recommend using vinegar for cooking, such as apple cider, rice, or balsamic vinegar, to clean vinyl. They contain many natural particles, many ingredients that are simply excessive and do not contribute to cleaning in any way. There are lots of vinyl record care products that are more suitable for this procedure.
Cleaning with vinegar can cause mold on infrequently used records. Vinegar is very acidic and can corrode the aluminum parts of the cartridge. All aluminum products are vulnerable to acid attack.
Therefore, I think it’s super obvious that it is better to overpay but use reliable special detergents. In this way, you will protect the records and get rid of unnecessary headaches.
Can you use WD-40 on vinyl records
You cannot use third-party lubricants, glass cleaners, and in particular WD-40 solvent. Of course, I cannot prevent you from using these things. But you should be well aware that you need to use products like “vinyl record cleaner” or something similar. The paradox is that people often do not think about it and spoil precious rare records.
It is important to understand that the records’ surface also has some properties and, accordingly, reacts to some liquids in different ways. You can create an accidental destructive chemical reaction, and accordingly, it is very easy to spoil the record. Therefore, I strongly do not recommend using the WD-40. It’s up to you in any case.
Why are my records so static
A static electric charge on the surface of a record is caused by friction between the playback stylus and the vinyl groove wall. It occurs when the recording is played back. Removing the vinyl from the plastic inner case will also generate static electricity. The surface of the record is not conductive because vinyl is an insulator.
So any static charge that occurs remains locked on the surface of the record. As the static charge builds up, you may notice crackling when playing. This is called static noise. To avoid it, I can advise you to use cellophane cases for records. They greatly reduce the chance of static charges.
How to store vinyl records
To tell the truth, I will probably never get tired of saying the same old but immortal things about the proper storage of vinyl records.
- Most importantly, all vinyl recordings should ALWAYS be upright and in no case in the stack. This way, you save them from excess pressure. Their weight will be evenly distributed over the body, and you will avoid bending.
- It is also extremely important to absolutely always hide the records back in the packaging! Do you think they are just made like that? No, inside the package, they are ideally placed so that no dust and dirt get into the grooves and along the record’s perimeter.
- Be very careful about sound reproduction. Do not try to guess where to put the needle so that your favorite song will play. It is better to enjoy the whole album and wait patiently for your favorite composition.