The 4 Best Record-Cleaning Brushes

Hundreds of Amazon shoppers swear by these gentle options.

by Anne Loreto Cruz
Originally Published: 
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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 scratching 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.

What To Look For In A Record Cleaner Brush

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.

Shop The Best Vinyl Brushes

In a hurry? Here are the top brushes for cleaning your vinyl records.

  1. A Carbon Fiber Brush With A Minimalist Design: Boundless Audio Record Cleaner Brush
  2. A Record-Cleaning Kit That Comes With Two Kinds Of Brushes: KAIU 5-in-1 Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit
  3. An Ergonomic Brush With Soft Carbon Fiber Bristles: Facmogu LP Cleaning Brush
  4. An Easy-To-Use Roller That Tackles Dust And Dirt Without Bristles: Vinyl Buddy Original Record Cleaner

1. A Carbon Fiber Brush With A Minimalist Design

  • Also available on Sears, $19

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 is great. it cleans off any debris or anything on your record perfectly. I have many cats in my house so hair always gets on my records and the brush does a great job cleaning them off. After I got this brush I've had no problems with my records due to debris or hair being on the record. It is very easy to use and overall just a great brush.”

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: “Nicely packaged kit, has all of the essentials. I used it to clean up a few older records that got hit with some water damage. Cleaning kit worked well to remove some grime, dirt, dust, etc. [...] I love the brush for quick static sweeping, picks up lint and dust well for smooth listening.”

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: “This thing does the trick! The fibers spread out upon placement on the record so that it doesn't miss a single spot. Just a single stroke across the record and, walla - no more dust.”

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: “This thing will get every speck of dust off your records with a few strokes all around. The only downside is that unlike a brush, this needs to be cleaned in the sink every once in a while to clean the dust and dirt off. But it's worth it.”

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