Keeping your records dust-free is one of the best ways to protect your vinyl collection for years of high fidelity listening. The best record-cleaning brushes use either delicate antistatic bristles, soft velvet pads, or plastic rollers to gently pick up accumulated dust and dirt from your records without scratch your vinyl’s delicate surface. A good brush should also be easy enough to use that you’ll clean your records consistently to stop dust build-up before it begins.
When choosing the brush for your collection, you’ll want to consider how frequently you’ll be cleaning, and what types of particles end up on your records. If your furry friends often leave pet hair on records, a brush with carbon bristles will gently pick up dust and hairs without dragging them across the record or pushing them into the grooves, thanks to the bristles' antistatic properties. If dust is the main issue for your setup, a velvet pad or plastic roller will be able to pick up those super-small particles. Velvet brushes can also be used with record cleaning solutions for a deeper clean.
Whenever you clean your records, you’ll want to avoid touching the brush's surface directly with your fingertips. The natural oils from your fingers can transfer from the brush onto the record and create smudges that catch dirt and are more difficult to clean. Some brushes come with cases or handles to keep the cleaning surfaces clean, while others may be designed for use in tandem with a wet cleaning solution that’ll deep clean any smudges away.
Ultimately, the best record-cleaning brush is one you’ll regularly use. A slim, densely packed brush that slides under your turntable may be great for someone who has limited space and always wants a brush within reach, but may be too narrow and uncomfortable to grip for someone with hand mobility issues like arthritis. With these brushes, cleaning your records should be easy enough that it becomes a part of the fun of record collecting, instead of a hassle.
1. A Carbon Fiber Brush With A Minimalist Design
This classic two-row record brush is made with carbon fiber brush bristles, making it super easy to use for regular cleaning. Whenever you place a new record on your turntable, a gentle pass across the spinning vinyl with the soft bristles will pick up dust, pet hair and more without further pushing it into the grooves or damaging the record.
When you’re done cleaning your record, the brush’s sleek aluminum housing swings closed into the plastic handle so it can stand upright and protect the bristles from dust or the oil on your fingertips. The brush has a minimalist design that allows it to slip easily underneath a raised turntable, but it also looks sleek next to your record collection. The bristles are antistatic, so dust won’t stick to the brush when not in use. And if you like the minimalist aesthetic of Boundless’ cleaning brush, they also make a cleaning solution for vinyl.
One reviewer wrote: “This brush seems to work much better than other cleaning methods I’ve tried for getting dust and dirt off the record, rather than pushing it in. I also bought it for the anti-static feature. After cleaning, there appears to be no detectable left-over static charge. The brush feels like it’s made from high quality aluminium and plastic. Also, the self cleaning feature works really well!”
2. A Record-Cleaning Kit That Comes With Two Kinds Of Brushes
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive record kit that's good for both regular maintenance and deep-cleaning sessions, this one has everything you need to keep your vinyl collection in perfect condition. It comes with an antistatic carbon fiber bristle brush that easily picks up larger particles of dust or dirt during daily listening sessions, and there’s a wet solution and velvet pad for harder to clean smudges and packed-on dust.
The kit also features extras like a silicone label protector that’ll prevent a record’s paper label from becoming wet and damaged from the cleaning solution (although reviewers recommended spraying the solution onto the velvet pad rather than directly onto the record), and a microfiber cloth. There's also a stylus cleaning brush, which has bristles in a wet solution that gently knock away built up dust and dirt picked up by your turntable’s needle.
One reviewer wrote: “I never thought I would need a record cleaner again. But my teen daughter has gone retro. This was a good gift package for her and her records. It has all she needs to keep the records and the needle clean and dusted. It comes with a large quantity of cleaning liquid and a brush that almost gets the whole record in one stroke. The package costs a little more than others but I think the quantity and quality justify the price.”
3. An Ergonomic Brush With Soft Carbon Fiber Bristles
This record-cleaning brush with a wooden handle acts as a statement accessory next to your turntable and keeps your records clean from ultra-fine dirt particles with its soft, fine carbon fiber bristles. The round shape is excellent for spot-cleaning areas that wider brushes aren’t able to focus in on. This brush is easy to hold and use due to its round shape, and the fluffy, soft bristles make it very satisfying to press it onto the surface of a record. The bristles are antistatic, too, so they won't accrue dust, even when not in use, though this brush does not come with a protective case. It does, however, come with a two-year satisfaction guarantee.
One reviewer wrote: “On my first try, I saw how well it removed dust particles from the record. It's also nice to have a bristle brush instead of a flat brush. I turned my 12" LP record on the 45rpm setting and I was able to gently push down on the brush to expand the bristles to cover all of the tracks as well as the lead in and run out areas of the record. This brush is a keeper for sure. Why did anyone take so long to come with this idea?”
4. An Easy-To-Use Roller That Tackles Dust And Dirt Without Bristles
This record cleaner from Vinyl Buddy isn’t a brush, per se, but it does just as well at picking up dirt and dust up from your records. The plastic roller has a tacky texture that will lift and roll away hard to reach dirt particles without scratching your records, and it won't leave a residue that’ll attract more dust in the future. Its unique design works like a lint roller and it's perfect for touching up super dusty or hard to clean spots that traditional brushes or microfiber cloths can’t reach. You’ll be able to actually see the results of cleaning with this option, as the dust and dirt picked up are immediately visible on the roller.
Once you’re done cleaning, you’ll want to rinse the roller with tap water to get all the specks of dust and dirt off before you use it again. Be wary of larger particles of dirt, as they can scratch the surface of records if you don’t clean them off before your next use. Reviewers noted that using this roller is incredibly easy and the handle is very ergonomic to hold, so this might be a great option for someone who has trouble holding onto smaller brushes.
One reviewer wrote: I very rarely write reviews, but this Vinyl Buddy deserves a five star review. I’ve tried different methods to remove dust from my records before spinning them and none have worked as effectively and easily as this. I 100% recommend this. See my before/after pics. Man I wish I had found this years ago.