How to Clean Your Turntable Stylus

How to Clean Your Turntable Stylus

Craig Walker |

IN THIS ARTICLE: We're going to cover how, why and when you should clean your turntable stylus…

    1. Why Clean The Stylus?
    2. How Often To Clean The Stylus
    3. How To Clean The Stylus

… we'll include pictures and links to relevant products.

Maintaining the pristine condition of your turntable stylus is essential for optimal audio performance and longevity. 

Regular cleaning of the stylus not only ensures excellent sound quality but also helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your vinyl records. 

In this blog we'll delve into the reasons why cleaning your turntable stylus is crucial and provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively.

Record Player Stylus On Vinyl Record

Why Clean Your Turntable Stylus?

  1. Improve Audio Quality: A clean stylus is essential for obtaining the best possible audio quality from your vinyl records.

    Dust, dirt and debris can accumulate on the stylus tip over time leading to distortion, muffled sound, and loss of fidelity.

    Cleaning the stylus regularly enhances the clarity and accuracy of your music, bringing out the nuances that make vinyl listening so enchanting.

  2. Preserve Your Vinyl Collection: An unclean stylus can be abrasive on your vinyl records causing wear and tear on the grooves.

    Over time, this damage can permanently affect the sound quality and diminish the value of your prized record collection.

    By keeping the stylus clean you safeguard your vinyl investment and ensure a longer lifespan for your records.

  3. Prevent Skipping & Tracking Issues: A dirty stylus is more prone to tracking errors and skipping, leading to a frustrating listening experience.

    Regular cleaning minimises these issues, allowing your turntable to play records smoothly and consistently.

How Often Should You Clean The Stylus?

The short answer is that it’s best to clean the stylus every time you change your record.

It only takes a few seconds to brush the stylus with a stylus brush then every few records you can do a deeper clean using the cleaning fluid.

If the stylus is getting excessively dirty then it’s a sign that you need to clean your records.

Cleaning the stylus regularly is all part of being a record collector and ensures longevity and optimal enjoyment of your records. 

We’d recommend making it part of your routine from the start for best results.

PRO TIP: Don't forget that you should also be cleaning your vinyl records regularly as well as the stylus.

Check out our vinyl record cleaning kits and our guide on how to clean vinyl records.

How to Clean Your Turntable Stylus

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before starting make sure that you have the following tools for an effective stylus cleaning process:

  1. Stylus Brush
  2. Stylus Cleaning Fluid

We would recommend only using proper stylus cleaning brushes and fluids from reputable manufacturers such as Legend Vinyl, Audio Anatomy etc.

Don’t use any old rag to clean your stylus!

Note: You can get proper stylus cleaning kits here.

Legend Vinyl Stylus Cleaning Kit On Turntable Platter

Step 2: Power Off Your Turntable

Ensure your turntable is powered off and disconnected from the power source to avoid any accidents during the cleaning process.

The last thing you want is to accidentally start the turntable whilst trying to clean the stylus, especially if you have an automatic turntable.


Step 3: Gently Brush The Stylus

Using a soft stylus brush, lightly and carefully brush the stylus from back to front - the same way it would track along a vinyl record.

This motion is crucial to prevent damage to the delicate stylus assembly, don’t put too much pressure and don’t brush sideways.

The brush should remove loose particles and dust effectively.

Cleaning Record Player Stylus With Stylus Cleaning Brush 

Step 4: Power On and Enjoy

Once you're satisfied with the cleaning, power on your turntable, and enjoy your favourite records with enhanced audio quality and peace of mind knowing your stylus and vinyl are well taken care of.


Cleaning your turntable stylus is a simple yet crucial task for any vinyl enthusiast.

I know we’d all rather be listening to the music instead of cleaning things, but it’s an essential step and all part of the experience.

Regular maintenance not only guarantees exceptional sound quality but also preserves the integrity of your cherished vinyl collection. 

By following the step-by-step guide above and incorporating this cleaning routine into your audio ritual, you can revel in the captivating world of vinyl music for years to come. Happy listening!