Stylus cleaning advice.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Wasabi, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Lutz, FL
    Any preference on brushes/kits?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. HDOM

    HDOM Well-Known Member

    I had heard, that the best, you clean it whit a match!

    Ps. I dont know how that old techmique is done.
  3. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    answer to 99% of questions about records is buy a RCM
    remove dirt at the source before it gets to the stylus
  4. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Yes, on the RCM, whether manual or automatic.

    As for what to the clean the stylus, depends on the cartridge. Some manufacturers say liquid cleaners are okay whereas others expressly warn against them.

    If your profile is up to date, IIRC, Ortofon does not recommend liquid cleaners, so you should probably stick to a dry brush, Zerodust, or Moongel type cleaner for that cartridge.
    ZenMango, HiFi Guy and recstar24 like this.
  5. der

    der Forum Resident

    Central Ohio
    I have always used a bit of distilled water if the stylus really gets bad. I have a pad from an old Watts cleaning kit that I just dampen from a small spray bottle then clean the the stylus. Brush from back to front very gently. Finish with a very soft stylus brush. It does help immensely to thoroughly clean your records though.
  6. I’ve been using the Onzow Zerodust gel-pad for about a year now. I’m stunned by the amount of gunk that it takes off. It’s effective but you need to be careful dropping it onto the pad. Hold the Zerodust or place it firmly, then gently drop the needle onto it. Any sideways motions could be an expensive mistake. Because of this factor, I only do it once a day at the beginning of playing—and certainly not if I’ve had a few. Overall, I’d say it’s well-worth the $40.


  7. Tropehjelm

    Tropehjelm Forum Resident

    I use the Onzow Zerodust,and thinks it works fine. I have an ultrasonic recordcleaner,so my records arent very dirty. I use the Zerodust on the stylus maybe once a week. Or if is see something on it when inspecting it with a magnifying glass.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  8. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I have a knock-off of the Onzow Zerodust for general cleaning. But I also use Stylast cleaning and preservative fluids. I personally don't think reusing cleaning fluids during a listening session is the best idea. But dipping the stylus onto the gel works well between records. I use the cleaning fluid with a brush (I haven't noticed that any brush I've used is better than another) at the beginning of each session. And I use the gel and preservative between album swaps.
  9. Dreams266

    Dreams266 Forum Resident

    The Onzow Zerodust damaged both styli i tried it on. Just a heads up because it obviously doesnt hurt most people's (as you will watch them come running to its rescue now) but it def wrecked 2 of my Goldrings
  10. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Lutz, FL
    Dang, now I'm worried about messing with my Ortofon Bronze. Yes, I'll do my best to clean my vinyl ahead of time but thought that maybe I should get something to clean the stylus once in a while. I'm new to vinyl so bear with me.

    Thanks for all of the input.
    Aftermath likes this.
  11. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Stylus manufacturer's never recommend water or solvents in and around the stylus. You don't want to disturb the adhesive that holds the stylus in place, or getting water or other liquids away from the cantilever and up in the cartridge body.

    Use one of the methods mentioned above.

    Some people use Blue-Tac and others use a magic eraser.
  12. Dreams266

    Dreams266 Forum Resident

    Use a stylus brush and maybe a safe stylus treatment solution. Be careful when you clean to only pull forward on the stylus. If you use a cleaning solution or treatment only barely touch the tip of the stylist don't get it on the cantilever if possible
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  13. MusicNBeer

    MusicNBeer Forum Resident

    Just stick with the Ortofon brush. I've run at least 100 hrs on my 2m black and it looks pristine under the microscope I have at work. Just gently brush it refularly and you're good.
  14. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Lutz, FL
    Thanks, I read elsewhere that the magic eraser is a good option too.
    Musical Maxis and SandAndGlass like this.
  15. der

    der Forum Resident

    Central Ohio
    The Watts pad I referred to in an earlier post. There is NOS available on the auction site. I'd post a picture but still haven't figured out how to do so.
  16. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I dry brush after each side, and keep a jeweler's loupe handy. At the end of a listening session, I'll dunk in Magic Eraser, now find that the BluTak does a better job than the ME (and doesn't have the potential 'snag' issues). The Oznow/Onzow never really impressed me as grabbing much more than the dry brushing.
    I avoid liquids though I used them when I had Lyra cartridges which specified a liquid stylus cleaner Lyra offered. I actually use two loupes- one, illuminated, that is 10x and another that I took apart, just for the lens, at 20x. (Hard to find image at that power and keep it there but you can see pretty clearly what's going on with the stylus if you get it aimed just right). Clean records are essential in my estimation.
  17. Dreams266

    Dreams266 Forum Resident

    I use a strong magnifying glass to look at my Stylus and see if there's any lint on it
  18. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident

    Christiansburg, VA
    You still need to clean the stylus.

    Like many, I use Zerodust, must be like 10 years now.
  19. Wasabi

    Wasabi Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Lutz, FL
    Thanks again everyone,

    I'm eyeballing a Zerodust. The ones on Amazon have some reviews that say they are fake? I'm about to place an order with The Cable Company for other stuff and they have them which I'm sure are the real deal.
  20. jacks2start

    jacks2start Active Member

    kannapolis NC
    the onzow zerodust is the answer for many people, I cant say for sure as it was on my list to pickup and try.
  21. Mugrug12

    Mugrug12 nothing gold can stay

    How so? How did you know?
    500Homeruns likes this.
  22. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    The small round Clearaudio brush works well. Small tight bristles. Lock down your tonearm, brush gently back to front a few times. Done.
    If you have a little buildup, a drop or two of Windex on the brush cleans nicely. It's ammonia, not alcohol.
  23. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Where the wind don't blow so strange.

    Pacific Beach, CA
    I'll 7th the Onzow zero dust. I ruined a couple of stylus using liquid cleaners so I don't use them now. I also use a bronze and have no need for anything besides the Onzow. Considering the cost of the stylus in question, I would not personally cheap out on the $40 onzow.
    gakerty and 500Homeruns like this.
  24. illinoisteve

    illinoisteve Forum Resident

    I use the stylus brush and cleaning solution that can WITH a Pickering cartridge I got new. (Pickering must not have gotten the memo about manufacturers not recommending a stylus cleaning solution ;) )

    timind likes this.
  25. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Formerly thoutah

    SF Bay Area
    I use the Onzow Zerodust, but I also occasionally use Audio Technica's stylus cleaning fluid. I have Audio Technica carts on both my turntables and AT says their fluid is safe to use on their styli.
    patient_ot likes this.

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