I was very impressed with not only with the visual appeal of the pristine shine on all of the cleaned records, but more importantly with the improved sound quality after the LP cleaning process
I was recently re-introduced to vinyl records and seeing as how it seems that records and LPs are making a strong comeback, I am looking to grow my current record collection which right now consists of about 100 LPs. In the interim, I wanted to take the best care of my records collection, so I started looking into something that would allow me to seriously deep clean them (especially for those old dusty albums that had not been played since the late 1980s) without breaking the bank. That said, most of the cleaning machines or kits that I have come across are usually far too expensive to justify for a small record collection like mine. My search for an economically and easy to use LP cleaner led me to the Spin-Clean Record Washer System Mk II.
The Spin-Clean Record Washer System has been manufactured and hand assembled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) since 1975. To my knowledge the Spin-Clean Record cleaner appears to be the least expensive thorough record cleaning and washing system out there for record and LP lovers alike. The Spin-Clean Record Washer System retails for $79.99 and includes everything you will need to start washing your records except for water which you should be able to find easily enough. Besides the low cost, there are a couple important items that make the Spin-Clean different from most other LP record cleaners. The system requires no power at all as the cleaning process is completed manually. Another feature that makes the Spin-Clean record cleaning unit unique is that each side of the record gets cleaned simultaneously - most other cleaners only clean once side at a time. One more thing to note, not only does Spin-Clean accommodate your regular 12" vinyl records but will also clean your 7" 45s and also 10" special sized albums.
Before / After Supertramp LP Cleaned with Spin-Clean
The Spin-Clean Record Washer System Mk II consists of the following:
- Washer Basin and Lid
- Washer Fluid 4 oz
- One Pair Brushes Mk II
- One Pair Rollers MK II
- Two Washable Drying Cloths
TIP - Before you get started it is best to pre-wash the drying cloths before using, to ensure better record cleaning and drying.
Washing Instructions: If washing other clothes with the drying cloths, wash only with whites, detergent and bleach. DO NOT use any fabric softener or dryer sheets. The drying cloths are re-useable so wash as required.
Using the Spin-Clean Vinyl LP Record Cleaning System
I must admit that I was anxious and somewhat excited to get started cleaning my LP record collection, some that date back to the 1970s and 1980s that I had not played in eons. I set up the Spin-Clean as per the instructions that were included in the record cleaning kit. Setup of the record cleaner is very easy. Start by inserting the 2 rollers within each side of the basin unit to match the album size you will be cleaning. Next, insert the 2 brush pads slide tightly into the midsection. With the brushes in place we next we need to fill the Spin-Clean washing basin with distilled water. It took about 650 mL (22 oz) of distilled water to fill the record cleaning basin to the level indicator line. The final step to setup the Spin-Clean is to pour 3 capfuls of the washer fluid directly over the 2 brush pads. The special record washer fluid that is supplied with the cleaning kit is a flocculant which works by encapsulating the dirt and forcing it down to the bottom of the cleaning basin thus preventing any dirt and debris from being re-deposited back onto the record being cleaned. The Spin-Clean Record Washer System is bright honey-bee yellow for a reason. The sunny bright yellow color allows you to easily see all of the dirt as it accumulates at the bottom of the basin. This will help you visually assess when it is time to replace the water and cleaning fluid.
The included instructions suggest to use distilled water rather than ordinary tap water to wash your vinyl LP records. Distilled water can usually be purchased from a local grocery store and will typically cost less than about $2 for a gallon (4 Liters). However, the Spin-Clean instructions manual also indicates that if distilled water is not available, tap water can be used as a substitute. I recommend that you only use distilled water when washing your LPs and records. The reason being that tap water will often contains salts and other dissolved minerals that may cause water spots and streaking, or a build up of tiny particles that can get trapped within the grooves of the records.
To test out the Spin-Clean LP and vinyl record washing system for the first time, I started with one-third of my 100+ album collection (about 35 LPs). The records I selected for cleaning varied in age and condition from new with very little use to very dusty and streaky LPs, some already a few decades old. The record cleaning process is very simple, gently push the LP in-between the cleaning brushes and down into the washing basin; rotate the LP 3 times clockwise then 3 times counter-clockwise; and wipe the LP dry with the drying cloths. The record cleaning system holds the LP securely and tightly in place, so in order to spin the album, press your inner palms firmly on the outside edges of the record and rotate (because you don't want to touch the surface of the record). Once the LP was cleaned in the washer, I used the 2 supplied drying cloths (which are very similar to cheese cloth) in each hand and folded in-half to carefully remove the cleaned LP from the record washing basin. The final step was to wipe the record dry in a circular motion using the drying cloths. The record dries quickly using these drying cloths. To make sure the LPs was completely dry, I let the LPs air dry for a few minutes on each side. As an optional cleaning step, I zapped the freshly cleaned LP records with a Milty Pro Zerostat 3 anti-static gun before returning it to the record record sleeve to make sure it does not pick up an dust. Voila! You now have an incredibly clean and shiny as new record (that certainly doesn't visually appear to be 30 years old). Once I got into the swing of record cleaning I found that the whole process went by fairly quickly and only took about 2 - 3 hours to thoroughly clean 35 records. Not bad IMO for accomplishing this level of cleaning. The instructions indicate that the bath water will be good to clean up to as many as 50 records. The actual amount of LPs that can be cleaned will vary somewhat, depending on how filthy or not so dirty your records really are. I found that after cleaning 35 records (some which were quite dirty), the bath water was ready to be replaced. The amount of dirt and sediment that had collected at the bottom of the basin was absolutely remarkable! Who knew that my records were so dirty? Seeing all this dirt at the bottom of the basin confirmed that the Spin-Clean does a very thorough job deep cleaning your LP records and left me with a smile on my face.
Observations - Spin-Clean Vinyl LP Record Cleaning System
I was very impressed with not only with the visual appeal of the pristine shine on all of the cleaned records, but more importantly with the improved sound quality after the LP cleaning process. My LP records, especially those that are most dear to my heart, now sounded fantastic! After cleaning the records, surface and background noise was hardly noticeable - seemingly pushed off deep into the background. All I could do was sit back and relax and enjoy my old albums all over again. The Spin-Clean record cleaning system does a very thorough job deep cleaning your LP records. Provided that you don't mind putting in a little elbow grease to clean your records, the Spin-Clean will do an excellent job cleaning your records on a budget. We strongly recommend the Spin-Clean LP record cleaner for value conscience vinyl enthusiasts with small to medium sized record collections. Questions about the Spin-Clean review should be asked in the Spin-Clean LP Record Cleaning System (Mk II) thread on the forum.