Best vinyl record cleaners 2024: Keep your vinyl collection in prime condition

Man blowing across a vinyl record
(Image credit: Getty)

As with any hobby, listening to your collection of vinyl records requires a bit of time and effort. Not only do you have to spend the occasional Saturday afternoon scouring record fairs for those rare EPs and picture discs you’ve been dying to get your hands on, but you also have to keep your precious discs in tip-top condition by giving them a clean once in a while. Failure to do so and you’ll end up with all kinds of goo in the grooves, rendering your favourite albums and singles pretty much useless.

If choosing the right tools for this particular job sounds like a daunting task, don’t worry as I've put together a list of options that you can buy right now. I've included something for every budget – from ultrasound machines to anti-static brushes – meaning you can keep your vinyl pristine no matter what state your bank balance is in.

Looking for more inspiration? Then check out our guide to the best turntable speakers, plus our round-up of 12 cheap upgrades you can make to improve your vinyl setup.

Paul Dimery author photo
Paul Dimery

Paul has spent the past nine years testing and writing about gadgets and technology for the likes of Louder, T3 and TechRadar. He might not have the wealth or the looks of Tony Stark, but when it comes to knowing about the latest cool kit, including record players and vinyl gadgets, Paul would surely give Iron-Man a run for his money.

Best vinyl record cleaners: Product guide

Best vinyl record cleaners: Buying advice

Best vinyl record cleaners: Man cleaning his vinyl collection

(Image credit: Big Fudge)

How to choose the best vinyl record cleaner

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When it comes to vinyl records, you don’t really have a choice as to whether you clean them or not. Simply put, if you don’t bother to do it, those albums and singles you spent a small fortune on will soon start to sound muddier than a pig pen in winter. You do have a choice as to how you clean your records, though, and the option you go for will likely depend on a number of factors.

The first of these is your budget. Obviously, if you're simply looking to give your collection a quick spruce up, then you’re probably not going to spend hundreds on the latest ultrasound or suction machine. Even if you do have the money for one, you might not want something as bulky as that cluttering up your home. The other thing to bear in mind with such products is that they use up electricity. On the plus side, these units do a thorough job – and a quick one – making them an efficient solution.

Much cheaper are the non-electric machines, such as the SPINCARE vinyl record cleaner kit, and the hand-cleaning kits, which tend to include a fluid of some description, an anti-static brush and/or cloth, and a few other bits and pieces that the manufacturer deems necessary for the job (and which won’t bump up the price too much). These also do a pretty thorough job, though they’re obviously not as convenient – or indeed as cool – as one of the swankier contraptions.    

How can I stop my records getting dirty

This is easier said than done but there are ways you can limit the amount of grime that ends up clogging up the grooves on your records. For starters, handle your records with care. Never touch the grooves, instead hold the record at its edges. If you do get any finger prints or dirt on the playing surface, wipe away gently with a soft, clean cloth.

Storing your vinyl properly is another way to keep the grime at bay for longer. When I'm not playing a record I keep it in a dust cover inside its sleeve and store it in a built-for-purpose vinyl storage unit that's in a cool dry place and away from direct sunlight.

And this is a good tip generally: store your vinyl upright when it's not in use to prevent warping.

How we choose the best vinyl record cleaners

Here at Louder, we are music lovers and experts in our field, with many years of music listening and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products when selecting the recommendations for our guides. 

When choosing what we believe to be the best vinyl record cleaners available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are music fans, and we want others to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set and ease of use to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best vinyl record cleaners on the market right now.

Paul Dimery

Paul has spent the past eight years testing and writing about gadgets and technology for the likes of Louder, T3 and TechRadar. He might not have the wealth or the looks of Tony Stark, but when it comes to knowing about the latest cool kit, Paul would surely give Iron-Man a run for his money. As for his musical leanings, Paul likes everything from Weyes Blood to Nirvana. If it's got a good melody, he's on board with it.

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