How To Clean A Turntable


If you own a lot of electronic equipment, then you know it can be a constant challenge to keep it clean. Dust seems to love electronics for some reason. Once the dirt finds its way to it, cleaning around buttons and knobs can be a nightmare.

Stereo components can be some of the worst because oftentimes there are so many buttons, knobs, cracks and crannies it can get into. The question is, how do you clean stereo equipment when it gets dirty and how can you keep it clean from now own?

Investing in a nice stereo cabinet can be a great way to prevent so much dust from settling onto and into your equipment. If the cabinet has doors you can close when your stereo is not in use, it’s even better.

Glass doors on a cabinet is a nice feature because of a lot of people just like looking at all of that fancy or even not so fancy audio/video equipment collection.

One item in your audio equipment that is essential to keep clean is your turntable. This is because many people have vinyl record collections that are fairly old and perhaps even irreplaceable. Even if your vinyl collection is relatively new, you still want your records to stay in good shape and keeping them clean is a big deal in order to achieve the best sound.

Cleaning The Outside Of A Turntable

Cleaning a turntable and keeping it clean is really not that hard and if you have an expensive or high-quality turntable, why wouldn’t you clean and care for it properly?  If you’re new to record players or turntables, you’ll not only want to keep it clean, you may want to look up how to take care of it with simple tasks such as learning how to change the belt on your turntable.

Start with an anti-static dust cloth or lint and fuzz-free duster like a Swiffer. Don’t use an old feather type duster that will lose bits and particles as you dust. It sort of defeats the purpose. Start in the center of the turntable and work your way out. Be careful around your tuner arm and especially the needle.

You can gently wipe the needle with the lint-free cloth. A clean needle is essential to clear sounding music. It’s also essential to keep your vinyl records clean too because the needle can pick up dust particles from the record and cause that irritating crackle sound.

You can use a dab of alcohol to lightly clean the needle to remove any sticky dust residue. Clean the turntable platter with a touch of alcohol too, but be sure and dry it really well with a clean cloth.

Cleaning The Inside Of The Turntable

If your turntable has been left out in the open for a long time, then chances are it might need cleaning on the inside of the unit too. This is especially true if it is a belt-driven model. If you are not very familiar with the turntable mechanics, then getting someone that is experienced with it might be a good idea. You only want to clean the unit, not destroy it. However, it’s really not that hard and most people can do it easily.

Make sure the turntable is turned off and unplugged from any electricity. Remove the rubber mat on the platter. Next, you will need to remove the turntable platter. If you have your operating instructions this will be very helpful.

Once the platter is removed, you will be able to gently remove the belt if it’s needed. Using a clean, dry anti-static cloth, remove as much dust as you can. Wipe down the belt with the cloth and you can use a little alcohol for that too.

Clean the underside of the platter as well while you have it off. Clean the platter mat thoroughly because this is where your vinyl records sit when they are being played. Make sure every part is completely dry before you reassemble the turntable belt and platter.

A Dust Cover Is Essential

If your turntable did not come with a dust cover, and many of them don’t, it’s a great idea to get one. The dust cover does exactly what it implies, it keeps the turntable cleaner. In many cases, you can order a dust cover that will fit on your turntable if you know the turntable dimensions.

In the worst-case scenario, you can even use a cloth-like hand towel or even paper towels to lay on top of the turntable to keep the dust away.

If you do have a cabinet with doors, make sure and keep them closed as this will also help reduce exposure to dust. A little protection can go a long way, so if you reduce the dust, you should only have to clean the turntable a couple of times a year.


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