It's well worth keeping your vinyl in pristine condition, since even tiny bit of dirt can seriously kill your groove. That's why it's worth resisting the bucket-and-sponge method, and investing in a record cleaning machine instead.
And the Austrian company Pro-Ject has just unveiled two new wet-clean options, which it claims are its fastest yet.
Let's start with the premium model, the VC-S2 ALU (£399). It features a vacuum motor to remove dirt from the grooves, leaving your vinyl residue-free in as little as one or two rotations. Each rotation takes less than two seconds. According to Pro-Ject, that's "three times faster than comparable products".
In terms of design, the VC-S2 ALUs sleek aluminium box totes a few interesting upgrades. There's a new aluminium screw-on clamp, lined with a rubber pad plus a 2.5 litre tank to collect the cleaning fluid. Pro-Ject supplies its proprietary 'Wash-IT' non-alcoholic cleaning concentrate (£15 per 100ml), which promises to reduce static charge and stylus wear.
If £399 is a bit steep, the more compact and affordable VC-E (£299) could be just the ticket. The vacuum technology remains the same – a record can be dried in two rotations. The major difference is that this smaller sibling has a 0.5 litre fluid tank, meaning it's more suited to casual collectors than vinyl buffs.
To clean records using the machines, the record needs to be spun on the support clamp, which keeps it away from the main platter of the machine. When spinning, cleaning fluid can be applied to the surface with the supplied brush. The attached vacuum arm then sucks up the cleaning fluid and impurities, leaving you with a clean record.
Pro-Ject announces two new record cleaning machines
10 of the best-sounding vinyl records