Though vinyl has made something of a niche comeback in the recent years, this means that a whole line of products that most thought dead are suddenly vital one again. Special amps that are made specifically to play vinyl records, innovations on the turntable, and even improved maintenance.
Of the three, it is likely the last that is most certainly overlooked, as new listeners may not be as familiar with the care of vinyl as those who grew up with it. As such, it is important for any budding collector to also invest in a product that will ensure their records are kept in top shape and play at the highest audio quality. We are of course talking about the best record cleaning machine.
- Best Record Cleaning Machine 2018
- 1. Spin Clean MKII Deluxe – Best Record Cleaning Machine (Editor’s Choice)
- 2. Record doctor V (Vacuum) – Best Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine
- 3. Okki Nokii (Vacuum) – Best Record Cleaning Machines
- 4. Music Hall WCS-3 Vacuum – The Best Record Cleaning Machine (Editor’s Choice)
- 5. Spin Clean Starter Kit Mk II – Best Record Cleaning Machine For The Money
- Best Record Cleaning Machine – Buyer’s Guide
Best Record Cleaning Machine 2018
Of course, there are a number of different options and figuring out, which record cleaning machine is the best one for you can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best record cleaning machines, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best record cleaning machine to suit your needs.
|Spin Clean Deluxe|
|Manual||LPs, 45s, & 78s||No|
|Record doctor V||Hybrid||33 1/3s, 45s, & 78s||Yes|
|Okki Nokii||Turntable||45s & 78s||Yes|
|Music Hall WCS-3|
|Turntable||45s & 78s||Yes|
|Manual||LPs, 45s, & 78s||No|
The data collected in the article are relevant for 2018. The article will be supplemented and corrected as soon as the new information appears.
1. Spin Clean MKII Deluxe – Best Record Cleaning Machine (Editor’s Choice)
Unless you are a vinyl aficionado, it is unlikely that you have heard of Spin-Clean, but that does not mean that they have not been a major force within their market. In fact, Spin-Clean is surprisingly storied with a history that stretches back to 1978 right around the time of digitization.
While the company may have been a bit late to the party initially, they have had plenty of time to refine their design and provide perhaps the best record cleaning machine that we saw. Keep in mind, this statement is made primarily based on the effectiveness of the product as opposed to various features.
All Sizes Welcome
Whole Kit and Kaboodle
Another great quality about the Spin Clean Deluxe is the part that gives it the “Deluxe” aspect. This product comes with a high-end kit to make sure that your records receive the best treatment from start to finish. This is primarily noted by the inclusion of soft, lint-free towels that are specifically designed to soak up any remaining cleaning solution, buff out any fingerprints, and leave the vinyl otherwise untouched. This best record cleaning machine also comes with a large, 36 oz cleaning solution split amongst 2 different bottles. The cleaning solution does not use alcohol. The kit also comes with felt brushes as well as additional rollers to extend the lifespan.
2. Record doctor V (Vacuum) – Best Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine
Record Doctor is one of a couple companies on our list that is not actually its own company but is instead a dedicated brand of a larger conglomerate. The benefit of this is that it provides the brand with substantial resources to manufacture a high-quality product. On the other hand, this can lead to the company trying to influence the brand in ways that do not benefit either the product or the consumer.
On top of that, the conglomerate does not usually specialize in the narrow product range either. That said, Audio Advisor, a company with nearly a 3 ½-decade history that does at least specialize in audio electronics and their accessories, owns Record Doctor. That said, the Record Doctor V surprises in a number of ways by providing essentially the same performance as a turntable record cleaner at a much lower price. This product made our pick for the best vinyl record cleaning machine.
Best of Both Worlds
Up and Down Design
For the most part, the Record Doctor V is comparable to its significantly more expensive counterparts in every way except for the automatic spinning. There are other corners that this record cleaning machine cut to lower construction costs that also serve as a potential issue. Specifically, the body of the Record Doctor V is made of MDF, not metal. It is, therefore, more prone to develop mold or some type of warping from the cleaning fluid. Even if you immediately drain the fluid after using and keep the valves open to dry the interior, the MDF will eventually swell and warp over time.
3. Okki Nokii (Vacuum) – Best Record Cleaning Machines
Okki Nokii is another company that turns out to simply be a specialized brand of a larger conglomerate, but you could hardly ask for a better conglomerate than VANA Ltd. This is not to suggest that the other conglomerates are of poor quality. Every single brand in VANA Ltd’s portfolio is focused in some way around the production of audio from vinyl records.
Okki Nokii simply happens to be the record cleaning and maintenance product lineup which in no way detracts from the focus and attention paid to this record cleaning machine which performs exceptionally well. It can work for virtually any vinyl cleaning purpose assuming you are not turned off by additional expenses.
A Solid Automatic
A Great Build
The Okki Nokki Mk II definitely sets a high standard with a body made of aluminum. It ensures that you do not have to worry about rust, mold, or corrosion. On top of that, the Okki Nokki Mk II also features an incredibly strong clamp. It ensures that the record does not wobble during the cleaning process, protecting it from damage. Included with the Okki Nokki Mk II is a 12” vacuum designed for 78s, but the Okki Nokki lineup does have 10” and 7” vacuum tubes available for the 45s and 33 ⅓s. Finally, the Okki Nokki Mk II does come with a goat hairbrush to ensure the bristles to do not damage the record though those bristles have a tendency to fall out.
4. Music Hall WCS-3 Vacuum – The Best Record Cleaning Machine (Editor’s Choice)
Music Hall could arguably be described as an “eccentric” company, founded on the principle of providing the best 2-channel stereo equipment around even amidst the development of surround sound and other soundscape arrangements that have made 2-channel little more than an anachronistic niche.
That said, this works out perfectly for our list as most of the music pressed on to vinyl is designed to be listened to with just such an arrangement. It should not be much of a surprise that Music Hall offers a fair number of record focused products. In addition, with over 30 years dedicated to this niche, Music Hall has definitely managed to make the best record cleaning machine.
The Turnest of Tables
Beyond the quality of the motors used by the Music Hall WCS-3, the rest of the build is just as impressive as both the body and the vacuum arm are made of durable, yet lightweight, aluminum. This means that the Music Hall WCS-3 will not rust or corrode from the cleaning solution, nor do you have to worry about mold growing inside of the reservoir. The Music Hall WCS-3 also features controls to adjust the strength of the vacuum’s suction. In terms of the record’s seating, the Music Hall WCS-3 features the largest plate that we saw which would help prevent the record from wobbling during the cleaning process. The clamp is made of rubber to not only prevent the record from moving vertically but from sticking in place too.
5. Spin Clean Starter Kit Mk II – Best Record Cleaning Machine For The Money
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you as the Spin-Clean makes another appearance on our list, except this time it is absent the deluxe packaging. Before you ask, we are so confident in the effectiveness and versatility of the Spin Clean, that we are willing to recommend the base model over some knock-off turntable record cleaner.
The best part is that the deluxe package of the Spin Clean is not too terribly extravagant. It means that you still get pretty much all of the great qualities that made the Spin Clean Deluxe so effective in the first place. As such, we think this is by far the best record cleaning machine for the money that you can find.
Still a Good Kit
This product may not have all of the same accessories as some of the other products in the lineup. It does still come with pretty much all the basics that you need to clean your records. That said, the initial kit provided with the Spin Clean Mk II is definitely not meant for a higher volume like finding an old, discarded record collection in the attic. Still, if you have a couple records or only need to clean a record from time to time due to regular maintenance, the including accessories are more than enough for your needs. Even still, the cost of this record cleaning machine is so low that even purchasing some decent accessories would still leave it below most, if not all, of the other record cleaners that we saw.
Best Record Cleaning Machine – Buyer’s Guide
This is likely the most important factor to consider though within the given type there may be one or two words of caution. Regardless, the type of the best record cleaning machine will ultimately determine how the record cleaner accomplishes its task. It should be noted that this does not mean that the type will actually affect the record cleaner’s ability to perform its task.
Instead, the type is better understood as an issue of taste and convenience since most record cleaner manufacturers have been able to produce at least a solid product for records that are in decent condition. Still, the type and convenience come at a literal cost. The difference between minor functions can increase the cost significantly.
This is by far the least expensive type of best record cleaning machine. Though as the name suggests, it does not have kind of motor. In fact, a manual record cleaner will rarely have many moving parts at all with some form of rolling, spinning, or pivoting action being preferred. This allows a manual record cleaning machine to significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing their products. It will come with complete kits to make up for the inconvenience of having to manually work the record cleaner. This type of record cleaning machine could potentially have the best results as it relies on you to do most of the work.
Whereas the manual record cleaner is the least expensive type of record cleaning machine. The turntable record cleaner is the most expensive type. When you consider the various components and technologies included with most record cleaners, it is not difficult to see why. A turntable record cleaner will generally have 2 motors, one to spin the record and one to work a vacuum. You brush one side of the record with a cleaning solution while the vacuum cleans the dirt and solution off the other side. This generally produces solid results, though it is often not quite as good as cleaning records manually.
This is a manual record cleaner that uses a turntable’s design. This has some unique advantages specifically that you only have to pay for the inclusion of one motor. As such, hybrid record cleaners are not only less expensive than turntable record cleaners are, but they are closer to manual record cleaners in price.
Of course, this is largely because though hybrid record cleaners may have a vacuum to clean off the dust and excess cleaning solution. You must spin the record by hand. This is already on top of having to brush the top side of the record by hand as well, making the use of a hybrid record cleaner a potentially complex task.
As we can see, different people will be more or less invested in their vinyl hobby, and as such, not everyone is actually going to want to spend the money for the best record cleaning machine and will instead prefer a cheaper version that still does a great job. As such, your job is to figure out how important your vinyl hobby is and how much you are willing to spend on it.
If you were somewhat new to the vinyl hobby, you likely would prefer not to spend hundreds of dollars on something that may only be a fad. As such, we recommend the Spin Clean Deluxe. It provides a surprisingly effective performance but comes at a significantly smaller price than some of the other record cleaners. It also comes with a complete kit for larger record cleaning projects.
Of course, if you are already fairly committed to your vinyl hobby, then we recommend the Music Hall WCS-3. It provides by far the best performance that we saw. This only makes sense as the vacuum of the Music Hall WCS-3 uses an impressive 800 W giving the best suction power. The only real downside is that on top of the substantial cost. You also have to purchase pretty much any and every accessory you would personally need.