It is obvious that performing maintenance regularly will help enhance the sound of your player and lengthen the needle lifespan. That means you could use longer instead of replacing the needle early. Accordingly, it would be better if you know how to clean record needle. Today, we will dive into this question and some other helpful information to get more about needles.
Let’s get the ball rolling.
Why Do We Need To Clean A Record Needle?
It is true that everyone with a turntable and listening to records regularly will pay great attention to their turntable needle. We have to say that regardless of the kind of the records you listen to, your needle will someday get dirty. This can also cause a skipping record.
Accordingly, it will be covered in dust and other substances whose names you do not want to know. Besides, the fringes led by the friction will be deposited as well. You might not know this, but all of the above can result in the irritating pops and hisses while the Vinyl plays the music.
That said, turntable novices probably do not know these phenomena are wholly preventable. There are several common causes, such as static, damaged record, dirt on the stylus, and dust on the record surface.
The first thing you need to do to avoid these issues is to wipe off the records every 3th-4th use. We are pretty sure this job will work and bring an amazing result for your needle performance.
What Are The Materials Of Turntable Needles?
Well, today, there are different materials, although a diamond is the most popular common. The needles need to be sturdy and can deal with repeated wear. Accordingly, producers also make use of osmium, sapphire, and hardened steel to create the needles.
How Long Can The Needles Last?
As mentioned above, as they are made of strong materials like diamond, sapphire, they are durable so that they can last well. If you are looking at about 500 - 800 playing time hours, you had better think about replacing the needles.
Is A Stylus A Needle?
You know, the terms are interchangeably used. That said, we have to say, “No.” The stylus is just no more than a diamond tip. Well, it does not have much resemblance to the needle except for the fact that it does have a pointed end.
How To Clean Record Needle
In fact, we have many ways to clean the needle, yet they are divided into two wide categories, including using a brush and using a clean-up product.
Using A Brush
We are pretty sure that you will think it looks like a method of the old generation. This will entail buying a specific brush and run it over the needle surface. Remember to run it in the only direction, not forth and back. Accordingly, choose the similar direction that the record plays in.
Here is a video that you can check out for a better understanding of this method.
Using A Cleaning Product
Well, this method will need you to dip the needle into a cleaning solution and then hold it there for several seconds. It probably takes more than a dip to clean it completely.
Ideally, you should seek a gel-based solution. It is better than the one in liquid form that can interfere with the bonds keeping the needle in place.
We have a small useful tip for you. Take advantage of magic erasers. You will be surprised by the effect of this product. Accordingly, you only need to dip the needle until it can touch a magic eraser. It's essential to make use of a white magic eraser and ensure it’s totally dry when using it.
To help you find the right cleaning product, we have a shortlist of several cleaning products you can take into consideration. Let’s get to know them at once.
Vinyl Buddy Cleaner Brush - Best Overall
We are highly evaluated on the performance of this product. That is the reason why it's named in our top position here. So what does it have?
Well, firstly, this needle cleaner from Vinyl Buddy will help you remove lint build up on the needle well, which creates the best sound quality for the best enjoyment. We are pretty sure that you will love it.
Plus, it will raise the lifespan of your needle as well. You know, debris build-up not only reduces the quality of your sound but also shortens the needle lifespan. With this product, you will not need to spend an amount of money on replacing the needle. All you need to do is buy a cleaning product like this to clean the stylus before using the turntable.
Another notable highlight of this option is that it is made of gentle microfiber bristles. Therefore, it will not harm your needle. Moreover, it will lower the number of static, which creates an amazing listening experience.
And if you are a kind of minimal person, you probably love it. This product comes with a simple design but works. With only several swipes, your needle will be back to the optimal condition of playing music.
What’s else? Does it have any cons? Well, we think the only small disadvantage of this product is that it comes in a quite tiny size.
- Significantly enhance sound quality
- Improve the lifespan of the needle
- Clean the needle safely
- Anti-static feature
- Tiny size
FLUX HIFI Electronic Stylus Cleaner - Easy-to-use Cleaner
The next spot belongs to the Flux Hifi Ultrasonic Electronic Stylus Cleaner. This product will provide a thorough maintenance for your needle. Accordingly, it will safely, quickly, and gently remove the dirt from this particular record’s part. You only need to put a drop of this fluid on a cleaner pad, then lay your needle gently onto the middle.
We believe this process is quite easy and can work with every cartridge and turntable. Plus, the fluid can be used whenever you want. It will keep the needle look brand-new.
Cool, right? A big advantage of this cleaning product is that you will only need to spend about 15 seconds to clean up the stylus, saving you a lot of time.
Also, its mechanics and circuitry are designed to provide a 3D vibration to act on the stylus, which removes all the dirt particles.
The only thing that undermines the product's performance is that it is quite expensive, probably costing you a small fortune. But if the budget does not matter to you, you can consider this one.
- Provide a throughout maintenance for the needle
- Remove the dirt quickly and gently within only 15 seconds
- Offer a 3D vibration to act on the needle for dirt particle removal
- Quite expensive
Audio Technica AT607a Cartridge Stylus Cleaner - Best Effect
Audio Technica Stylus cleaner made its way on our list thanks to various notable features. Initially, you will be impressed with its ability to remove dust and dirt completely from your needle tip.
Moreover, this fluid can dry quite quickly so that it will damage your records. Plus, you will get an applicator brush attached to the cap of the bottle. Therefore, you can use it easily.
One more point, you know, the brand Audio Technica is widely trusted for its quality of products. Thus, you can rest assured about this fluid performance from the brand to clean your stylus.
Also, the price of this product is acceptable. You can afford it without any hesitation due to the budget.
Yet we have to say it does not appear to be perfect at all. The Audio Technica fluid comes in almost alcohol, which can partly affect your stylus cantilever.
- High performance in removing dirt and dust from the tip of the needle
- The fluid can dry quickly, avoiding the record damage
- Reliable quality of product
- Friendly-budget price
- Contain almost alcohol
Clean Magic Eraser - Best For Power
Well, we want to say this is one of the most inexpensive yet powerful methods available now. It has become widely used on many audio forums. So what can you do with this product?
When you get a magic eraser, you will need to cut off a 2-inch square. Then, remember to put the square on the platter or the plinth or anywhere the tonearm can reach easily. Finally, you gently lower your needle onto it and repeat until it stops leaving residue.
Regarding its feature, this scrubber is two times stronger with the dura foam cleaning performance and the leading bleach spray. Plus, it features quite a powerful clean with only water, no harsh chemicals whatsoever are required. Obviously a quick and simple way to get a good-as-new record needle!
Another good point of this option is that its price tag is quite low, which will save a lot of money compared to other methods.
Nevertheless, if this scrubber can be improved in its sturdiness, it would much be better. We found that it easily loosens its shape and tears as well.
- Ease of use
- Can clean the needle completely
- Low sturdiness
- Loosen the shape and tear easily
The best way to clean a needle is by knowing how the different types of needles are made. Then find out a way to clean these record needles, according to their material.
If you're using vinyl, and it has dust on it then you should use one type of cleaner over another; if there's no visible dirt or particles but instead just an odd sound coming from your record player when playing records, then this means that something else might be wrong with your machine like worn out gears which can often times cause noise in the form of static electricity.
Also, it may be worth nothing, if there is a compromise in sound quality then consider cleaning the actual vinyls using a record cleaning machine. Feel free to get in contact with us if you need any help or advice.