A thorough cleaning can make your platters sound just like CDs. It is the particles that cause the stylus to skip. Pick the best vinyl record cleaner and there will be no more dust noise. With these tips and advice, you can help your records last for generations.
There are no rules or guidelines on how often to clean records. I suggest giving your LPs a thorough treatment once you buy them and then just brush them every time you are about to play them. How did I come up with that? Fairly simple.
Even though the platter looks super clean to you there still might be some dust in the grooves. Plus you cannot know how the records have been treated before. Most of the EPs on the market are pre-owned so you definitely need to get rid of all the old dust on them. So my main advice is simple. Once you got your hands on the new record you examine it and clean it.
Prepare The Tools
Another good advice is to buy protective inner plastic sleeves that will keep the particles away. They will cost you about $30 for a pack but they are well worth the money.
If you have sufficient funds think about buying yourself a special LP hoover. It is a type of a record cleaning machine that rotates the platter while vacuum cleaning it from the dust and other particles. You get superior results but these cleaners come at a price.
Another good option is to buy a manual cleaning kit where you have to rotate the handle by yourself. These are much cheaper and are pretty common. You might get one for like a $100. Using a proper cleaner makes the whole process so much faster and easier. Plus it will be safe and harmless for the vinyl surface.
Buy yourself some proper maintenance tools and you will not have to worry about how often should records be cleaned. I do not recommend using water and dishwasher liquid. Go for the special vinyl cleaning mild detergent if you want to. But you should know exactly what you are doing and give your platters plenty of time to dry out thoroughly.
More Tricks Up Your Sleeve
Remember to also look after the stylus and to keep it clean. The small details might also get really dusty. Even if you do not see visible particles you should still wipe the vinyl player regularly. Keep the top protective cap on at all times.
Wipe your turntable with a carbon fiber brush to make sure that there is no dust on it either. When you play your records the temperature between the tip of the stylus and the vinyl surface is so high that the dust literally melts in and gets stuck forever.
Clean the cover pocket as well as the inside plastic sleeve from the dust. These tend to get just as dusty spreading the dirt to the grooves on the platter.