Nowadays, the internet brings a wide array of recommendations from different people as we have the freedom to do so. Unfortunately, not everything we can read online is factual nor beneficial. A good example is the assumptions about vinyl and turntable cleaning which can lead to a worst-case scenario of damaging their pristine condition.
For vintage players, owners need to take extra care and shun these clean-and-shine myths. Before it is too late, it is time to bust the tales that many believed for a long time.
Do Not Play It Dirty, Honey!
As opposed to the belief, playing a record will never help clean it up because it will only remove the topmost layer of dirt and dust. If done repeatedly, it will turn into molds which may reduce the lifespan of your vinyl. Moreover, this practice can also break the needle of the stylus, which will impair the record’s groove. These are the reasons why thorough cleaning is needed before and after use.
Choose Your Cloth Wisely
A T-shirt or hankie might be soft but never use any of these to clean your vinyl and turntable. By doing so, it will leave unwanted scratches on your record. In addition, the dirt will scatter all over the place instead of being removed.
When dry cleaning, it is best to use an anti-static record brush as it completely releases static while lifting dirt without causing any damage. Meanwhile, utilize a strength record cleaning solution for deep cleaning. Record Preservative is the most popular tool with the collectors to reduce friction while the record is in use.
Not Even A Single Spray!
A lubricant such as WD-40, Armor-All, baby oil, eyeglass cleaner, and lighter fluid is unnecessary to clean your records and will never lubricate your turntable. Thus, any of these will only bring permanent damage because of their harmful chemical contents. Always make sure to use a cleaning fluid formulated explicitly for records and turntables such as DiscWasher.
Keep Your Fingers Off
Even if you did sanitize, do not use your bare hands in cleaning vinyl. This hands-on labor is already enough reason to transfer body oil to the record, attracting dust that affects sound quality. If possible, use neat, white, and lint-free gloves for handling. This is an effective way of preserving your vinyl collection.
Stop Using Tap!
There are instances wherein you need water to mix with some cleaning materials. Often, tap water is what people use as they believe it has no adverse effect on vinyl or turntables. However, it has. Tap water will leave mineral deposits behind, which can cause damage in the long run. Using distilled water is highly advised all the time.
Some of what you have read might be surprising, but at least you learned about the dos and don’ts in cleaning your vinyl and turntable.
However, whether you’ve done it right and you’re a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to maintaining your vinyl record player, the cartridge needle will wear and tear. You’ll find yourself searching for a styli replacement, but we know you wouldn’t mind as it’s all part of the classic experience.