How often do you clean stylus?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by wpjs, May 6, 2022.

  1. wpjs

    wpjs Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I picked up a Hudson ultrasonic cleaner.
    I must admit I am a little nervous about using it. (I hope the vibrations don’t mess up the azimuth setting)
    That said;
    How often is recommended to clean stylus?
  2. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    I clean mine daily with either an Onzow or Clean-Cote II non alcoholic lens cleaner on a stylus brush and sometimes both,

    What cart are you using? Some manufactures say to stay away from ultrasonic cleaners,,
  3. FuzzyNightmares

    FuzzyNightmares Forum Resident

    I’m about to get a stylus cleaner too, thinking I’ll use it after every listen, but I think I’m just going to get an onzow Zerodust
  4. KoopaChaloopa

    KoopaChaloopa Forum Resident

    Del Rio Texas
    I clean mine about two to three times a month. However I always clean every record I play before playing one.
    EdogawaRampo, condorsat and felizecat like this.
  5. danielkov86

    danielkov86 Forum Resident

    Northfield, NJ
    I uh never clean mine… At least not with like liquid solution, just a brush if there’s dust or something on it. Always just made sure my records I play are super clean.
    DK Pete, Shak Cohen, Brudr and 10 others like this.
  6. zombiemodernist

    zombiemodernist Forum Resident

    Northeastern USA
    Constantly, find it’s the biggest influence on clean playback many times. Usually dry brush at least every LP, wet brush every few. More wet brushing than some will do but I mostly use the fluids made by my cart manufacturer (AT). No issues with my last two styli which both lasted their allotted time, but YMMV based on stylus mourning. Used to Onzow side and wet brush weekly but I’ve ditched my Onzow after it aged and got far too tacky. I am curious about the more adorable US cleaners out right now, let me know your thoughts on the Hudson product!
    LivingForever likes this.
  7. John Moschella

    John Moschella Senior Member

    Christiansburg, VA
    Every time I put the stylus down, I clean it. Always have done it that way. I use either a dry brush or Zerodust.
    AndyCC72 and Grootna like this.
  8. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Have the Hudson UV and use it once a month. It works great. Tried to get a second for my summer place and they are now unavailable. Wonder why.
    Swann36 likes this.
  9. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    I manually brush mine before playing each side of an album. I see little need for ultrasonic cleaners.
  10. nopedals

    nopedals Forum Resident

    Columbia SC
    Probably every other record. Brush and/or magic eraser.
    Marcev, sheffandy, eirismania and 2 others like this.
  11. Slimpickens

    Slimpickens Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    Blu-tack is your friend. Quick dip for every record. Recommended by Soundsmith…. Magic Eraser once a week or so.
  12. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    I clean before each play, if it needs it or not. I still use my old method with a stylus cleaning brush, usually dry. The 45 degree/ 45 degree, criss-cross method always worked well for me. If the records are clean, I have found it's never necessary to use any liquid cleaning solution, ie: isopropyl or eye leans cleaning fluid.. but have on occasion used 70% isopropyl. But this was only after a test play of a used record, that I thought was clean but wasn't.

    Anyone who buys used records locally or at a record show, will run across a record that appears pristine, but was previously cleaned with a discwasher system (from the 70's) or similar. The vintage cleaning systems with cleaning fluid, leave a small amount of sticky residue. All of that ends up on your stylus.

    If a stylus collects a lot of fuzzy stuff, or solid crud, that record is not clean... always a good indication on how clean your records are. The stylus always tells the truth. The stylus should remain clean after play, with a clean record. But then there's everything between the extremes.
    Last edited: May 6, 2022
    McLover likes this.
  13. lsipes1965

    lsipes1965 Well-Known Member

    Took the words off my keyboard:) If it’s good enough for Peter Lederman it’s good enough for me.
  14. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    I am of the opinion, clean stylus every playing session, assuming clean records. Or every 6-8 sides. Whichever comes first, or if tracking/sonic issues noted. Good, sensible practice. Cleaner your records are, styli are, better and more careful the setup, longer the above last you, the better sound reproduction you get. I was taught this at 9 years of age, hasn't failed me yet some 48 years later on. Costs less, too.
  15. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Brookline, MA
    LAST liquid stylus cleaner on one of their stylus brushes at the beginning of every record.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  16. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Iowa, USA
    Likely overkill here but every side. Several methods alternating but no Onzow any more
    Slimpickens and lsipes1965 like this.
  17. bever70

    bever70 It's not all about The Soundstage

    Magic Eraser every few records. That might be every 2 or every 5 or...whenever I think about it (I am ocd-less ;)).
    Slimpickens likes this.
  18. Jari S.

    Jari S. Forum Resident

    Same here using a stylus brush and AT617a.
  19. Danmar

    Danmar Forum Resident

    I own a few modest cartridges, & I use the Hudson cleaner every few LP's with no harm to the Stylus. :thumbsup:
  20. dconsmack

    dconsmack Forum Resident

    Las Vegas, NV USA
    Before every side.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  21. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    I keep my records pretty clean. I use a VPI wet vac on older or dirty records

    New records can be quite dirty, but I only tend to use the RCM if there is a problem.
    I always dry brush every LP before playing each side.

    For the stylus, I give a light touch with a Magic Eraser every few albums.

    I only wet clean the stylus maybe once a year or if there is any build up that the Magic Eraser can't remove.
    Slimpickens likes this.
  22. Leroyd

    Leroyd Forum Resident

    I clean mine with a stylus brush after each side. It is an expensive piece of kit and this method Guarantees optimum performance. I inspect it regularly with a microscope and have a wet cleaner on standby, but find that I rarely ever have to use it. It you have decent kit, then this method is well worthwhile. Obviously I wet clean my vinyl with a RCM and brush clean before each play.
    The FRiNgE and Echoes Myron like this.
  23. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Every clean LP with a brush, every side with a non cleaned record.

    Once in a while using magic erasor or alcohol based fluid.
  24. John76

    John76 Forum Resident

    I’ve been using Rodico cleaning putty for the last 23 years about every three or 4 sides. I cut a piece off and place it on the end of a toothpick then flatten in between a stack of records. A slab of it will last years. I use a new piece every year or so. Just place it on the platter and lower the stylus on it for a few seconds. Keep it in a zip lock bag.

    Jeff57 and Andy Saunders like this.
  25. Upstateaudio

    Upstateaudio Senior Member

    Niskayuna, NY
    I use a Magic Eraser at least each day of play.

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