Here at Home Media, we are all about fantastic audio and top-quality hi-fi products. We’ve spent years in the industry honing our passion and expertise to become your go-to suppliers (and advisers) of turntables, speakers and much more.
But the pursuit of that perfect vinyl experience is about more than simply what kit you’re using – though of course this is a key factor. As with any prized possession it’s important that you take care of your hi-fi equipment, not just to ensure you get the years out of it you deserve to… keeping your items in tip-top condition can serve to vastly improve your sound experience, perhaps more so than you might think. That’s why we recommend that any turntable owner know how to clean vinyl records to look after their collection well into the future.
Why do I need to clean my vinyl records?
Any audiophile with a turntable and record collection will be using them regularly – and kit that is well loved should also be well looked after. Just as you maintain other elements of your life, and equipment in your home, the upkeep of your vinyl collection is integral to making sure it continues to serve you for years to come. This is true of your sleeve-fresh new vinyl and your second-hand collection alike.
Small particles or dust or dirt can easily become trapped within the grooves of your records if not kept clean, which can build up gradually, not only impacting the quality of the sound produced by the turntable – which can become buzzy or scratchy over time – but also providing ample chance for scratches to accumulate and cause more permanent damage to the record. Keeping both the vinyl itself, and the stylus tip, clear of grime helps to protect your collection from deterioration and just as importantly, ensures the best possible sound quality and detail.
Simply put – clean records produce the cleanest musical results for longer!
How do I clean my records?
Your hi-fi equipment and especially your carefully curated record collection may well be your pride and joy, so if you’re unsure where to start, we’d always recommend speaking to our friendly experts as a first step. We’re always here to advise – and are ready and willing to clean your vinyl for you; read more about our service below.
You can’t beat an experienced approach, but if you’re between visits to Home Media HQ, and are looking to maintain your records yourself, here are some of our tips for cleaning your vinyl at home:
• Little and often: we’d recommend regular maintenance over ‘few-and-far-between’ deep cleans. Certainly, if you notice any visible dust or dirt on your records, or you’re hearing any ‘popping’ or ‘buzzing’ during playback, it’s time to consider giving them bit of attention. By no means do you need to clean your records daily but getting into the habit of carefully wiping down a record before and/or after each time you play it can help prevent any build-up of debris over time without the process becoming too much of a chore.
• Gently does it: as you know, your vinyl is fragile. You are no doubt careful not to touch records directly with your hands and fingers, so it’s only right you also carefully consider any cleaning products you apply to them. Always avoid harsh chemical solutions as well as potentially scratchy or rough materials; for ‘everyday’ cleans a soft microfibre cloth with clean or, ideally, distilled water will likely do the trick, but a quality, gentle record cleaning fluid is usually best. Speak to the team about which products we recommend or that will be best for your specific equipment.
• Don’t forget your turntable: dirt particles from your vinyl records can build up on your turntable cartridge and needle over time, so these elements may also need some occasional attention. Speak to the Home Media team about how best to keep your specific turntable clean to best achieve longevity and faithful sound output.
Our Vinyl Cleaning Service
As well as our commitment to providing the best customer experience we can every time you visit, the whole team at Home Media HQ are true music lovers – so we’re delighted to offer a vinyl-cleaning service in house. Whether your most-played records need a bit of TLC, or your entire back catalogue could do with a good spruce, why not make a booking to leave them in the gentle hands of the experts? You can be guaranteed that we will treat them with as much love and care as we would our own prized records and what’s more, we’re sure you’ll be astounded to hear the difference in sound performance when you get them back on the turntable at home.
We favour the Clearaudio Smart Matrix Silent record cleaning machine – nicknamed in the industry as ‘the vinyl whisperer’! – which we utilise alongside Clearaudio cleaning solution. The multi-functional cleaning arm simultaneously handles both the application of the optimal levels of cleaning fluid and suction to remove dirt and cleaning solution once it has done its job, to leave each and every groove of your records free of dust, grime, residue from pressing chemicals and more. A key piece of kit for keeping any piece of vinyl spick and span and ensuring your records and, in turn, your hi-fi equipment, perform at optimal levels – guaranteeing the best musical experience possible every time.
The Smart Matrix Silent is a popular choice, with extended delivery times for new orders. However, fear not, we’re here to take the job off your hands, saving you precious time and effort that should be spent enjoying your vinyl! Give us a ring on 01622 676703 to talk through your numbers and for a quote – we’re always here to help.
We can’t, of course, promise that your trip won’t result in an in-depth chat about our favourite pieces in your collection!
Turntables at Home Media
No discussion about getting the very best out of your vinyl can pass without a firm nod to the importance of top-notch turntable equipment – it’s our passion, after all. We are proud to be able to use of our knowledge and love of the industry to recommend the highest quality products on the market from brands we know and trust, such as Rega, Clearaudio, Gold Note, Michell Engineering and SME.
Keep an eye out for upcoming demo events – where you can interact with these brands first hand in our showroom – or visit our online shop to check out the full specifications of the ranges. Much of our stock is also available for home demo too, allowing you to ‘try before you buy’ and experience the products in the comfort of your own room so you know exactly how they’ll perform once in situ.
Get in touch with the team today on 01622 676703 to talk about any-and-everything turntable related.