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Two Affordable Record Cleaning Solutions Every Vinyl Lover Should Own

We test out two inexpensive ways to clean vinyl records from GrooveWasher and Turntable Lab to keep your LPs sounding pristine.

Turntable Lab and GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Brushes and Solutions

It has been a really weird summer. One too many trips abroad dealing with family, the reappearance of a hernia that will require surgery soon, and a very strange week in the Gulf of Mexico that suddenly became the focus of a new Hurricane that is going to pummel Florida this week. Mother Nature is pissed off and the most popular poster in Honduras and Mexico was Trump’s mugshot from Fulton County.

Sitting in a tequila bar in Mexico (which is basically every bar) last week, I met a couple from Florida who lost their home last year during Hurricane Ian. The husband was a former NASA engineer who enjoyed collecting vintage audio and had amassed a substantial record collection over the past 63 years.

When he told me that they took only his favorite vintage pieces and 250 of his favorite records in their SUV, I felt his pain having lost 90% of his record collection and audio components that he had worked rather hard for.

We both agreed that being alive was far more important in the grand scheme of things.

People can’t be replaced — something that one should never lose sight of when it comes to the loss of things. It’s just stuff.

I’m going to lose a parent to Parkinson’s disease and that’s provided me with some sobering thoughts on this race to acquire and hoard too much stuff.

As George Carlin once said, “your home is just a place for your stuff.”

My father grew up dirt poor and realized at a very early age that he was blessed with a brain and this strange desire to never starve. With time racing against him, he’s still working. Why? Because he wants to make sure that everyone will be fine when he’s gone. I have no idea what’s coming but a recent trip to Florida where we spent some time together led to a very strange conversation about how he raised us and his expectation that we will all take care of one another and all of the stuff that we have accumulated.

“Do you know why I was so hard on all of you growing up when it came to being organized, clean, and respectful of your things?”

“Because you never had anything yourself and everything we have came from 100 hour work weeks and a genuine desire to enjoy stuff?”

“Being organized, clean, and appreciative of the things you work hard for is the only way to live. Otherwise, we would all live out of suitcases, toss everything in the trash, and wander meaninglessly through life. When I dusted every book, organized every movie, created order on desks and in our kitchen cabinets — I was reminding all of you that someone worked hard for them. That they needed to last.”

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Out of respect for my father (and this dates back many years), I have always found it important to keep the things that I worked hard for clean and organized. I don’t always succeed.

My father also hated when things were out of place; he detested when cables were loose or dangling in plain sight, and was a firm believer that records, movies, and consumer A/V equipment needed to be aligned, dusted, and free of fingerprints.

I had a huge stash of white painter’s gloves from Canadian Tire always accessible growing up. And a lot of masking tape to remove my prints from the front panel of his McIntosh gear.

My father would probably like all of this stuff that works rather well keeping everything clean and neat.

Turntable Lab Triple Operation Record Brush
Turntable Lab Triple Operation Record Brush

Turntable Lab Triple Operation Record Brush

Turntable Lab CEO and Founder, Peter Hahn, very graciously sent me a sample of their new Triple Operation Record Brush and I’ve had a chance to use it for the past few months. It is a dry cleaning solution and something that I alternate with the AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Brush on vinyl after it has gone through one of my wet record cleaning machines.

Do I think everyone should own a wet record clearing machine? Unless you don’t mind the noise and have a substantial investment in your collection — I think most people can survive with something like a manual SpinClean and TTL Triple Operation Record Brush.

Product Details:

  • highly-effective brush for everyday, dry record cleaning
  • (2) non-abrasive cleaning pads pick up dirt + larger particles, while (2) rows of carbon fiber bristles pick up dust + finer particles
  • conductive design adds charge to the carbon fiber bristles to help attract dust
  • wide 4.6″ cleaning area 
  • convenient dustcover with cleaning brush
  • contoured, no-slip moulded handle

I have very large hands so the contoured handle feels very secure as I sweep upwards without fear of ever losing control and watching the brush destroy one of my phono cartridges. A well made product for $25 that has already cleaned well over 200 records effectively.

Where to buy: $24.95 at TurntableLab.com | Amazon

GrooveWasher Vinyl Record Care System
GrooveWasher Vinyl Record Care System

GrooveWasher Vinyl Record Care System

Mitch Anderson sent me a sample of the GrooveWasher Vinyl Record Care System which includes their proprietary record cleaning solution, a removable record cleaning brush that can be used either wet or dry, and a label protector.

The oil-rubbed walnut handle completes the package and is built to last a very long time; it looks far more expensive than it is.

For those who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a record cleaning machine, the GrooveWasher kit works rather effectively; you spray each side of your record before playing it and clean it with the brush, wiping away all of the fluid from the surface of the record.

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Having recently inherited over 400 45 RPM singles from the grandfather of my best friend who passed away and knew that I would appreciate them — I’ve had a chance to clean a lot of records in my spare time.

The cleaning solution and process doesn’t provide for a deep cleaning in the grooves as one might get with a VPI HW16.5 — but that option has escalated to almost $1,000 in price (it was $650 USD less than 4 years ago).

For a quick surface cleaning, which most of my records only require because I’ve already washed them with my Record Doctor VI Cleaning Machine, the GrooveWasher kit is an excellent option.

Where to buy: $39.99 at Amazon | GrooveWasher.com


Related reading: The Best Record Cleaning Solutions: Exit to Vintage Street

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. ORT

    March 20, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    I recently bought the following turntables all from Pro-Ject.

    Pro-Ject Debut S Beatles – The Singles
    Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB Beatles ’64
    Pro-Jet X-2 (Satin Walnut) Missing the Sumiko Moonstone
    Cartridge (they were out of the Beatles Edition and I
    like the heaviness of this model plus the much thicker
    acrylic platter

    Perhaps I shall look into these Cleaning Solutions. I trust all has been well with everyone here?

    ORT

    • Ian White

      March 20, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      ORT,

      You’re back! It’s been so quiet without you.

      Best,

      Ian

      • ORT

        March 21, 2023 at 2:42 am

        Hi Ian,

        Lots of doctor appointments. “Sigh”…So I began buying turntables that appeal to me while I can. If you guys prefer “quiet”, I can oblige. 😉

        I am awaiting my replacement Moonstone cartridge so I can play some records on the X2. I only play vinyl and never “whinyl”.

        I leave that up to scum and villainy of “frAuiodumb”…the likes of Darth Fremer and his Sadawan Levorgna. Disgusting beings…

        As much as I like The Absolute Sound, I cancelled when they brought DF on board. I wrote the Editor whom I think is a great guy and told him why I was cancelling. I never expected him to reply and he did not. Not a problem and that does not take away from my esteem for him. He has always been nice to speak with either in person or via email.

        Speaking of records, I just received notice from Chris that Analog Restorations suffered a fire. I am glad that Chris is alright and they will be back. He was making some items for me before that happened so I shall do my best to be patient.

        I really like my new ‘tables. I normally prefer auto or semi-auto but I like the Beatles (“Beat-Alls”?) and so went for those instead. I am hoping to visit relatives in the mid-West in Spring/Summer and if I do I will be bringing some new HEOs speakers for my younger sister and her husband and setting up their new Denon AVR.

        This weekend I will also be setting up some HEOS speakers for a couple of friends of mine. These are presents from me as are the ones for my little sister. If it sounds like I am trying to buy my way into Heaven, well…I do not think I will make it there regardless.

        Enough raaaaaamblin’. 🙂

        ORT

        • Ian White

          March 21, 2023 at 10:57 am

          Ort,

          Wonderful to have you back.

          Chris and family did suffer a horrendous fire here in their home. Very lucky to get out.

          Boy do I have stories about one of those members of the Empire.

          I’ve been debating a major turntable purchase this summer but my father’s failing health and other things are more pressing.

          Best,

          Ian White

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