In a world where digital streaming dominates the music landscape, there’s a certain charm and nostalgia that comes with spinning vinyl records. For audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike, the warm tones and nostalgic sound of vinyl offer a unique and intimate listening experience not found on any other medium. However, maintaining these cherished platters can be a challenge, as dust, dirt, and grime often find their way onto the grooves, compromising the sound quality. That’s where the Spin-Clean Record Washer System (Buy at Amazon) comes to the rescue, promising to revolutionize the way we care for our vinyl records.
What Makes the Spin-Clean Record Washer System Special?
- One of the standout features of the Spin-Clean kit is its gentle and non-aggressive cleaning approach. It uses a special alcohol-free cleaning solution that effectively lifts and removes dirt, dust, and grime without causing any damage to the record’s surface or its delicate grooves. This formula encapsulates the dirt that comes off the record so that it sinks down to the bottom of the washer basin, so as not to be re-deposited back on to the LP or 45 being cleaned.
- The Standard Complete Kit cleans up to 700 records and includes everything you need for quick and easy setup. You get a basin, lid, a 4oz. bottle of washer fluid, two drying cloths, and a pair of brushes, eliminating the need to source additional components separately. The “Deluxe” Kit includes everything in the Standard Complete kit, plus an extra 32 ounce bottle of washer fluid, five extra drying cloths, and an extra pair of brushes — enough materials to clean up to 6,300 records.
- The Spin-Clean Record Washer System is designed to accommodate a wide range of vinyl sizes from 7 inch records to 10 inch singles and the more standard 12 inch pressings. This versatility makes it an ideal choice for collectors with diverse vinyl collections.
- Unlike other motorized or electrical record cleaning machines, the Spin-Clean Record Washer System operates without the need for any power source, which not only reduces energy consumption but also contributes to its enhanced reliability. By eliminating motorized or electrical parts, the kit’s design becomes less complex, reducing the likelihood of technical malfunctions and ensuring consistent, worry-free performance over time.
Why Should You Care About the Spin-Clean Record Washer System
First and foremost, clean records play a vital role in safeguarding the turntable stylus. A stylus, or needle, is the delicate component responsible for tracing the grooves of the vinyl record and converting the physical movements into electrical signals, which ultimately produce sound. When a record is dirty or covered in dust and debris, the stylus encounters more friction as it travels through the grooves, leading to additional wear and tear. This increased stress on the stylus not only shortens its lifespan but also compromises the sound quality, causing distortion and surface noise. By maintaining clean records, free from dust and contaminants, the turntable stylus can glide smoothly across the grooves, reducing friction and protecting it from unnecessary damage. Keeping a record clean is also essential for preserving the integrity and longevity of the vinyl itself. When a stylus runs on a dirty record, the same friction that damages the needle also can cause the stylus to dig into the vinyl, leading to wear and groove distortion over time. Moreover, debris on the record can act as abrasive particles, scratching and damaging the vinyl surface during playback. By regularly cleaning records, you can prevent such abrasive wear, maintaining the smoothness and integrity of the grooves. This, in turn, ensures a superior audio experience with reduced surface noise and pops while safeguarding the vinyl from unnecessary damage, preserving its value and quality for years to come.
Some Things You Might Not Like About the Spin-Clean Record Washer System.
- While the manual operation of the Spin-Clean kit allows for more control, some users might find it more labor-intensive compared to motorized or automated record cleaning machines. This could be a drawback for those seeking a completely hands-off cleaning process.
- As the cleaning process involves water, spills and splashes can happen, especially if you’re not careful during the cleaning process. This could be a concern for users who want to avoid any potential water damage to their vinyl collection or surrounding areas.
- For first-time users, there might be a slight learning curve to achieve the best cleaning results, as proper technique and handling are crucial to avoid potential mistakes during the cleaning process.
Using the Spin-Clean Record Washer System
I followed the steps and cleaned a few of my vinyl records with the Spin-Clean Record Washer System, and it turned out to be a straightforward and rewarding process. The first thing I did was set up the system by pre-washing the drying cloths, applying the rubber feet to the cleaning basin, and inserting the rollers into the correct position for the size of record I was cleaning. The rollers easily snapped into place and were just as easy to pop back out in case I needed to change their positions. I also slotted the brushes into place. Once the system has been set up, the next step is to fill the basin with the distilled water. The basin has a marked fill line that makes this very easy to measure. Once filled, in the instructions there is a chart for how much of the included Spin-Clean Record Washer Fluid concentrate to add. I poured the fluid directly on top of the brushes as noted in the instructions. Finally, I cleaned some records. Each bath can clean 20-50 records depending on how dirty they are, but for the purpose of time I only cleaned a few. To clean each record, you simply insert it into the washer and rotate it three times clockwise and then three times counterclockwise. Once it’s washed, you can dry it off with the included drying cloths. I did notice that it made a difference to pre-wash the cloths as instructed. After the cleaning session, you must remove the brushes, clean them out with warm water, and let them airdry. If you only cleaned a few records in the session like I did, you can save the cleaning solution for up to a week for a later session. Overall, the process took me about half an hour, although now that the system is set up, and I understand the process, the next session will take less time.
How Do Records Sound After Being Cleaned?
The transformation that records undergo after being cleaned with the Spin-Clean Record Washer System is nothing short of remarkable. This cleaning process can breathe new life into both old, weathered records and brand-new ones, unveiling an audio experience that is nothing short of pristine. Let’s consider an old, dust-laden record that has seen better days that might have been bought at the thrift shop or someplace like that. Before cleaning, this record might have exhibited noticeable crackling, pops and a general lack of sonic clarity. The stylus, struggling to navigate through the layers of dirt and debris within the grooves, would have masked the nuances of the music. This was exactly the case with a well-used pressing of one of my favorite albums, Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd (buy at Amazon). I picked up the record for a couple dollars from my local record store just for this occasion. However, after a thorough cleaning session with the Spin-Clean system, the results were astonishing. The once-muffled sound was replaced with a renewed vibrancy. The crackling and pops were significantly diminished, and the background noise reduced, allowing the true musical details to shine through. The stylus now glides effortlessly through the grooves, resulting in a warmer, clearer, and more immersive listening experience. Even brand-new records aren’t immune to contaminants acquired during production and handling. Before cleaning, a new record might exhibit subtle static, minor surface noise, or even remnants of manufacturing residue. While these imperfections might be barely noticeable, they can still impact the listening experience. After a Spin-Clean session, the difference can be striking. I tested this out on an un-opened pressing of Daft Punk’s Discovery (buy at Amazon). The static was minimized, the surface noise reduced to a whisper, and any lingering residue eliminated. The music emerged with a newfound brilliance, allowing me to enjoy the full spectrum of sound that the artists intended.
Who Else Makes a Good, Entry-level Record Cleaning Product/Kit?
- The GrooveWasher ($39 Buy at Amazon) is a manual cleaning kit that comes with a brush and cleaning fluid, allowing users to clean records by hand. It offers a simple and cost-effective solution for those looking for a basic cleaning option, but will not be able to provide the level of cleanliness provided by a soaking basin like the Spin-Clean System.
- The Vinyl Style – Deep Groove Record Washer System ($58) is another contender in the record cleaning market, offering a comprehensive solution for manual cleaning. It includes a cleaning brush, cleaning solution, and drying cloths, providing a simple yet effective approach to maintaining the cleanliness and sound quality of vinyl records. This system includes a basin like the Spin-Clean system.
- The Knosti Disco Antistat Record Cleaning Unit ($143) is another cleaning basin system that is well known for providing a solid record cleaner. In fact, the product has remained unchanged since 1978. The system is manufactured in Germany and includes one liter of cleaning solution.
Does the Spin-Clean Record Washer System have any Resale value?
I don’t think resale is relevant with this sort of accessory.
Final Thoughts on the Spin-Clean Record Washer System
The Spin-Clean Record Washer System stands as a reliable and accessible option for vinyl enthusiasts looking to elevate their listening experience. With its efficient and non-aggressive cleaning process, the kit effectively removes dirt, dust, and grime from the grooves, ensuring enhanced sound quality with reduced surface noise. While it may require manual operation, the straightforward setup and cost-effective, reusable cleaning solution make it a practical choice for both seasoned audiophiles and vinyl novices. The Spin-Clean system’s ability to protect both the vinyl records and the stylus from unnecessary wear and damage is an invaluable feature that guarantees the longevity of cherished collections. Whether you’re looking to revive vintage treasures or maintain the pristine condition of new releases, the Spin-Clean Record Washer System proves itself as a worthy investment, unlocking the full potential of your vinyl journey with every clean spin.