Stylus Cleaning with a Q-Tip and Isopropyl Alcohol -- Terrible Idea?
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M0T0XGUY

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Long story short: I just bought a new stylus, and want to make it last as long as it possibly can. I've read of some people using Q-Tips dropped with isopropyl alcohol to carefully remove grime every so often -- but is this really an acceptable way of cleaning? Or are cotton-swabs too abrasive for the delicate stylus tip?
 
Thanks,
Nick
 
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wasp131

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Use a small brush.
i.d say a cotton swab is a definite no-no,if it snags the stylus (needle)
,it wont be pretty.
 
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james93

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Quote:
Use a small brush.
i.d say a cotton swab is a definite no-no,if it snags the stylus (needle)
,it wont be pretty.

I have to agree, plus you still might leave fibers behind.  And always use a back to front motion when cleaning.
 
For a small brush, think of a jewelry cleaning brush.  I received my brush with my new cart.
 
James
 
 
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nikongod

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+1 on bad idea.
 
If you want your stylus to last longer, get a record cleaner. Or find a friend with a record cleaner and spend an afternoon at his house washing your fuzzy warbles. 
 
After that:
Carbon fiber record brush before and after every side.
 
Use a stylus brush between sides.
 
Every now and then use Mr.Clean's magic eraser if your stylus gets really filthy. I do this about every 6 or 10 sides, and always follow it up with the stylus brush!
 
I very rarely use the "groovy" stylus cleaner, but Id bet that the cleaning solution will evaporate out of the bottle before I use it up.
 
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chadbang

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Yes, bad idea, because you can't control the flow of the alcohol that way. Some of it will leech up onto the rubber bit holding the diamond in place and dry it out or loosen the glue. Nikongod has the right answer. Those Mr. Clean magic erasers are the best tweak of the century when it comes to cleaning styli. Cheap, easy and you can see the gunk come off visually. A brilliant idea by the person who discovered it.
 
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betweentheears

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x2 on the Magic eraser!!
 
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M0T0XGUY

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Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll be sure to buy a Magic Eraser this weekend. As for my records: I've bought all of them new, and have been using a carbon fiber brush to keep them dust free. I shouldn't really need to clean them, no?
 
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nikongod

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Im 50/50 on the importance of cleaning new records. Some people argue that there is residue from pressing them in the groves, Im not totally sure I buy it but I clean them anyways.
 
The vast majority of my collection are second hand records that have been stored in some of the most horrific places you can imagine.
 
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M0T0XGUY

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M0T0XGUY

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Question on actually using the eraser: any scrubbing motion necessary? Or it is a dip in gently and then remove kind of thing?
 
EDIT: Found this link: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1079733653&read&keyw&zzmagic=eraser Any comments on the effectiveness of the procedure described here?
 
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nikongod

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I normally go for a simple "dip and lift" without any forwards motion as one would do with a stylus brush. A couple dips in and out will clean all but the worlds nastiest baked on gunk from the stylus. Ooh, yea, then go over everything with the stylus brush :)
 
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Never use fluids of any kind. There's only one effective way to clean a stylus and I'm surprised that no vinyl buff has mentioned it - the Audio-Technica AT637 ultrasonic stylus cleaner. It is battery operated and has a pad onto which you lower the sylus, switch on and it ultrasonically removes all crud.
 
I remember loaning it to a friend and when I went round to pick it up he was raving about how effective it was. The crud that a stylus picks up, including dust and dead skin (we shed loads every day) and bits of vinyl even from properly cleaned records becomes very hard and will not be romoved by liquid cleaners. In fact some of these can actually work upon the adhesive holding the diamond to the tube. Very sensibly there is a small light behind the cleaning pad that allows you to see that you are seating the stylus properly on the pad.
 
They stopped making these years ago when so many fools sold there LPs and TT sales plummeted in favour of the distortion free (LOL) CDs took over but sometimes they come up on eEbay.
 
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