Are vinyl cleaning machines worth buying? Are they needed?

Are vinyl cleaning machines worth buying? Are they needed?

To truly enjoy the full potential of your vinyl collection, it is essential to keep your records clean and free from dust and debris. This is where vinyl cleaning machines come into play.

What are Vinyl Cleaning Machines?

Vinyl cleaning machines are specialised devices designed to thoroughly clean vinyl records, removing dirt, dust, and static that can affect sound quality. There are a variety of options and technologies for how different manufacturers believe is the best way to clean: 

  • Ultrasonic
  • Suction 
  • Brush 
  • Fluids 

These different options are generally based on the price, with Ultrasonic being a more expensive option, but has shown extremely good results, and the feedback we have heard is exceptional. The traditional option of using fluid with a brush and using suction to clear this away is still used by most manufacturers, but they vary in quality and performance.

Why are Vinyl Cleaning Machines Important?

Proper maintenance of your vinyl records is crucial to preserving their longevity and sound quality. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the surface of your records, causing unwanted noise and distortion during playback. By regularly cleaning your vinyl records with a vinyl cleaning machine, you can ensure that your records sound their best and last for years to come.

Even if you take a new, crispy piece of vinyl out of a sealed sleeve, we woudl always advise giving it a clean. This is because in the vinyl manufacturing process they have to use a release agent when pressing the vinyl, which is left behind. Anyone who has had this stuck to their stylus knows only to well how hard this is to get off!

The other key issues is preserving your cartridge, as using your cartridge with dirty vinyl can cause premature damage and wear to your cartridge. As vinyl grooves are microscopic, vinyl can often appear to be clean, but when you place it under a microscope it is incredible how much dirt and debris is in the grooves, and the thought of your stylus hitting this makes you shiver! 


The Benefits of Using a Vinyl Cleaning Machine

Using a vinyl cleaning machine offers a range of benefits, including:

  • Improved sound quality: By removing dirt and debris from your records, a vinyl cleaning machine can enhance the clarity and fidelity of your music.
  • Extended record life: Regular cleaning can help prevent wear and tear on your records, prolonging their lifespan.
  • Enhanced listening experience: Clean records provide a more enjoyable listening experience, free from pops, crackles, and other surface noise.
  • Reducing Static: Sometimes overlooked when people discuss vinyl cleaning machines, but they help reduce the level of static exponentially. 
  • Extended Cartridge life and reduced wear: Clean Vinyl will mean you cartridge can make perfect contact with the vinyl, and thus is not being damaged by hitting dirt or debris within the grooves. 

As you can see below, on the left you have a rounded damaged stylus which you can see is not making the correct contact with the vinyl, so you are losing all that information (and therefore sound). On the right you have a perfect stylus that is contacting the groove perfectly and meaning no information is lost.

How much do they cost? 

Vinyl cleaning solutions start from £15 and go to up to £10,000 depending on the machines and quality, so there is an option out there to suit every budget. 

You can check out all the options here:

Overall, investing in a vinyl cleaning machine is a wise choice for any vinyl enthusiast looking to maintain the quality and longevity of their record collection. With proper care and maintenance, your vinyl records will continue to bring you joy for years to come.

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