How to clean and care for your Turntable & Vinyls


The answer is really simple: caring for your turntable and cartridge well and cleaning them regularly will ensure they work without a hitch and sound great – not just now, but long into the future. Protect your kit from wear and you, your turntable and your vinyl collection can look forward to a long and happy life together!

Why do turntables get dirty?

Vinyl records create static electricity, which attracts dirt, dust and other deposits to both the turntable and your records.

Even if you're not able to see the dust, the typical hissing, crackling, scratching sound you sometimes hear when listening to vinyl is a sure sign that both your record and your turntable need to be cleaned.

What is the right way to care for your turntable?

If you want to protect your delicate vinyl records and go on enjoying your turntable for many years to come, you should carry out the steps below on a regular basis to care for them. It doesn't matter whether you have a budget model or a high-end model.

Reloop Turntable Accessories will help you to extend the life of your turntable and records many times over.

Step-by-step guide

Clean the needle

The needle should be cleaned each time you use your turntable. Dampen the corner of an anti-static cloth with a special-purpose cleaner, then carefully wipe the tip of the needle from back to front. Avoid wiping from side to side, as this could bend the delicate needle.

Clean your records

Regular cleaning is essential if you want to protect your records as much as possible and get a great sound out of them too. The best way to do this is first take a brush made specifically for vinyl records and use it to remove large dust particles and deposits from your vinyl. Then use a special-purpose cleaner and an anti-static cloth to wipe any more stubborn particles off the surface. This puts a stop to that annoying scratching sound, while also protecting your needle and records as much as possible. We would also recommend always storing your records in their own sleeves to protect them from unwelcome visitors like dirt and scratches.

Clean the contact points for the tone arm and cartridge

To make sure the tone arm and cartridge make perfect contact with one another, clean the corresponding contact points regularly. You can remove smaller particles very easily with an anti-static microfibre brush. For more stubborn dirt, we recommend dampening a microfibre pad with cleaning fluid and using that to clean the contacts. And to make it as easy as possible to clean the contacts inside the common cartridge connector (SME) too, both the Reloop microfibre cleaning pad and the matching brush have been customised to the size of the connector, making them a breeze to use.

Protect needle systems during transport

We recommend you purchase a professional storage case so your needle systems will be protected and you will be ready to transport them safely any time you like. However, you've got to make sure you pick the right size case for your system. Thanks to its modular design, the Reloop Cartridge King lets you stow common Concorde and headshell systems away safely. The built-in zipped mesh pocket is also suitable for storing cleaning cloths and other general accessories.

Align your cartridge system perfectly

If you want to enjoy perfect sound while ensuring your cartridge and vinyl collection are protected from wear, then it is essential to precisely align and regularly maintain your turntable tone arm and your cartridge systems. This includes determining the needle contact force, aligning the headshell system and cleaning the contacts.
The best way of aligning the headshell system is to use an SME alignment tool. It's true there is a wide variety of different models available on the market, but a mirrored tool is best for precise alignment. This is because it makes it easy to measure the distance between the cartridge tip and the tone arm pivot point, as well as to optimise the angle of the headshell system. The result is much improved track precision, significantly less wear and crystal clear sound.

Other useful tools such as a spirit level will allow you to finely adjust turntables and headshell systems until they are in the perfect horizontal position.
We have already explained that the contact points for the tone arm and cartridge need to be cleaned regularly, plus any vinyl residue needs to be removed from the cartridge needle. The best way of accurately determining the cartridge contact force is with a tone arm balance, whose balancing weights establish the cartridge contact weight exactly.


Dos and don'ts

Unfortunately there are a few potential stumbling blocks around caring for your kit. So read on for some useful tips to finish:

Dos

Dont's

Make sure you disconnect your turntable from the mains before you clean it. The best way of cleaning the surface is with a slightly damp microfibre cloth, but make sure none of the electrical contacts get wet – this is to protect them from corrosion. Before you plug the mains plug back in, you MUST dry everything thoroughly. Do not under any circumstances lick the contacts or clean them with saliva. There is a special cleaning fluid for this purpose, which protects the contacts from corrosion.
Before getting started, find out what type of application your cartridge system is best suited to. Headshell and Concorde systems are available. Both should be used with the correct contact force and an appropriately adjusted counterweight. In addition, some needles are elliptical and some are spherical. You can find more information about cartridges here. Please do not clean your needles with your fingertips, as you will not remove all the deposits on them, plus there is a risk of damaging the needles.
Always use the plastic protective covers for your needles whenever you are transporting or not using them. Never place anything down on the turntable or use it to support yourself, as excessive force can stop the turntable from working perfectly.
Always protect the turntable with a dust cover when it is not in use. Although this will not stop every single small particle of dirt getting on to the turntable, it will significantly reduce the amount of dust that builds up and prevent any scratches. Make sure you do not leave your records uncovered, avoid all types of scratching or heat and only clean them with an anti-static cloth and a special-purpose vinyl cleaner.
To avoid damaging your turntable, always read the operating instructions prior to first use and do not modify or service it yourself. We strongly recommend against the use of chemical cleaners and encourage you to always go gently when caring for your kit.

recommended products

We are dedicated to preserving turntable and Turntablism culture by incorporating state of the art technology and also delivering a suite of cleaning and maintenance products for your turntable products.

Tone Arm & Cartridge Contact Cleaning Set

Cartridge King

Professional Vinyl & Stylus Cleaning Set

Tone Arm & Cartridge Contact Cleaning Set Cartridge King Professional Vinyl & Stylus Cleaning Set
Professional cleaning of tone arm and cartridge contacts Professional storage case for cartridges Reloop carbon record brush
D2-component system for dry and liquid cleaning Securely transport and store up to 4 cartridges, as well as spare styli and accessories Reloop anti-static cleaning cloth
Cleaning of dust and grease deposits in hard to reach contact surfaces Adjustable foam inlays for storing a combination of Concorde-style and headshell-mounted cartridges (i.e. Reloop/Ortofon Concorde, Shure M44-7 and more) Reloop vinyl cleaning fluid 20 ml & Reloop stylus cleaning fluid 20 ml
€24,99 €44,99 €19,99

Carbon Fibre Cleaner

Record Cleaner MK2

Stylus Cleaner

Carbon Fibre Cleaner Record CLeaner MK2 Stylus Cleaner
Classic cleaning brush Reloop anti-static cleaning cloth MK2 Gently removes all residue
Cleaning aid for vinyl records Reloop vinyl/CD cleaning fluid, 250 ml Enhances sound quality
Removes electrostatic charging and dust Removes dust, dirt and electrostatic charging Clean stylus = clean sound!
€9,99 €13,99 €9,99

Servicing

Even if you always keep your needle clean and clean your turntable after every use, on rare occasions you may still experience a fault. However, using our Turntable Accessories on a regular basis to care for your kit will extend the life of your turntable and records many times over. Have all repairs done by a professional service technician.
To find your nearest dealer, visit our website at:

https://www.reloop.com/dealer-area/

If you have any questions, please see our FAQs or contact our support team who will be happy to help:

FAQ Support Ticket Request

Further articles