Vinyl, Record Player, and Stylus care guides

How often should you clean record stylus?

Having your stylus clean is particularly important if you want to have that amazing warm vinyl sound when playing your records. So, how often should I clean my record stylus? None of us live in a completely dust free environment. It’s hard to define the exact frequency that you clean your stylus. In this article we will give you some tips on how to know when to clean your stylus and how often.

So, how often Should you Clean your Record Stylus?

It depends on several factors, how clean your records are, how dusty is your environment, and what type of stylus you have. Typically, if your records are clean in the first place, there is hardly any need to clean your stylus too regularly. However, if you don’t often clean your vinyl regularly, there will typically be more pickup on the needle.

What methods are there for cleaning your Styli?

We have previously discussed in a previous post – What is the best way to clean a stylus?

There are several methods available including Blu Tack, Magic Eraser, using a stylus brush, tack gels and cleaning solutions.

Our favourite for everyday use is the Blu Tack method as its small, inexpensive and we have had no noticeable deterioration of our styli over many years of using this method.

Keep your records Free from Dust

As obvious as it seems, keep your records free from dust particulate. It attracts so easy to the vinyl you are playing. Get in the habit of removing surface dust from the record before playing.

If your record player has a lid, ensure it is always kept closed while the record is playing, and when the player is not in use.

Avoid Touching the Vinyl

Chief among these tips for handling vinyl records is that you should never touch the groove. Doing so will leave behind ugly oily fingerprints, which will not only look ugly, but negatively impact the quality of playback and sound when you play the record. The stylus will pick up this residue when playing as well.

In this post we discuss if a dirty record can damage your stylus – read it here – Can a dirty record damage stylus?

Store your records correctly

Another obvious one here. Always ensure you put your records back where they belong – In the sleeve. This will help to avoid the accumulation of dust on your most precious assets in your collection.

Clean your stylus after each side?

Possibly – this seems a bit too often. If you’re finding that you are cleaning your stylus after each side, your records are too dusty in the first place. We would suggest that you invest in a carbon fibre brush or a velvet one.

Carbon fibre and velvet brushes are both a great cleaning method. Carbon fibre brushes have bristles that can get deep into the grooves of a vinyl record without damaging it.

A soft velvet brush will gently remove light fingerprints and can also be used alongside some record cleaning fluid for a better clean.

Clean your stylus after a few plays?

This would sound about right for most enthusiasts. You should be using just a brush or have some blu tack on hand for removing the surface dust from the diamond of your stylus.

As before, keep your record cleaner on hand for removing surface dust form your records.


You need to clean your stylus as often as needed. If you’re finding yourself cleaning your stylus after every play, you don’t clean your records before playing them. However, if you’re cleaning your stylus after a few plays, you’re ok and you’re hitting the right balance.

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