washing up liquid

Cleaning Your Dust Cover (DON’T Make This 1 Mistake)

It might seem odd to have to clean dust from your dust cover but it’s an important part of having a record player you can be proud of.

With the right routine and products, cleaning doesn’t need to be a chore. In fact, it doesn’t need to take anymore than 5 minutes every few months!

With the wrong routine and products however, you risk making 1 surprising mistake that could cost you thousands.

Read our easy 5 Steps In 5 Minutes Cleaning Guide below and find out everything you need to know about cleaning your dust cover to save time, money and hassle.

So important questions first…

 

Do You Need To Clean Your Dust Cover?

One reason dust covers are so good at protecting your record player, is because they actually attract dust. This is the case with most record players which have plastic or acrylic covers. Their negative electrical charge attracts the positive charge of dust particles.

This means that your dust cover will get dusty over time and need cleaning but the good news is, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce how often you need to clean your cover.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dust Cover?

Most people can get away with cleaning their record player, and it’s dust cover, every few months. Some of the vinyl-obsessed among us clean their record player every week but this usually, is not necessary.

The exception is if it is placed in a particularly dusty room, or you have pets who brush by it on a regular basis, as this will get it dirty with pet hair, dander and dust quickly.

If you have pets, especially cats, at home, I would recommend giving it a quick 5 minute clean every month to prevent pet hair damaging your record player.

What Happens If You DON’T Clean Your Dust Cover?

The simple answer, is that your cover will get covered in dust, making it look unhygienic and unloved.

The more concerning answer, is that excessive dust build up could not only cause damage to your record player, but cause damage to you as well:

  • Record Player Damage: Excessive dust build up could seep into your record player via any gaps and cracks, especially around the joints. If this gets into the mechanical and electrical circuits, it could damage your record player.
  • Damage To Your Health: Dusts can also damage your lungs and respiratory system. This can be especially bad if you suffer from asthma or other conditions. Certain dusts can also cause cancer.

While we don’t mean to scare anyone into grabbing their microfibre cloths immediately, it is important you know how to care for your health, and the ‘health’ of your record player.

Do You Need To Clean The Inside Of Your Dust Cover Too?

While the inside of your dust cover is less likely to accrue dust (if you mostly keep your cover closed), it is arguably more important to clean the inside than the outside.

Any dust on the inside cover risks falling onto your record player and causing damage which may be hard to diagnose and fix. This is especially true when you close the cover, because you will move the dust particles and they can only travel one way – down onto your record player!

Cleaning the outside of your dust cover is still very important but you can get by with moderate dust build up with only cosmetic concerns.

What Products Should You Use To Clean Your Record Player’s Dust Cover?

There are lot’s of products available to buy online but the truth is, you can just use everyday washing up liquid to do the job!

The exception is if you have a dust cover made from an unusual material but it should tell you on the box not to use certain products if that is the case.

Polishing your dust cover is slightly different as using the wrong product can leave streaks and marks and make dust more likely to stick. This is especially true if you have a glass cover and use polish not designed for glass.

You should always use the right polish for the material of your dust cover but for most record players, you can clean the cover with everyday washing up liquid.

Dust cover washing up liquids

 

How To Clean Your Record Player’s Dust Cover: 5 Steps in 5 Minutes – Easy!

1. Unplug From The Wall and Remove Your Record

This might sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen people begin cleaning their record players whilst it is still plugged into the mains socket. As you are using liquids, you should always make sure that all electrics are disconnected and unplugged.

Removing your records from the platter also ensures it will not be damaged by any dripping water or an accidental knock.

2. Remove The Cover (optional but highly recommended)

Removing your dust cover not only makes it easier to clean, it also ensures liquid doesn’t spill onto your record player too.

If you are unable or unsure about doing this, I highly recommend laying a thick towel over the top of your record player instead. That way if any liquid does drip down, there will be very minimal risk.

3. Use Washing Up Liquid, Water And A Microfibre Cloth In Circular Motions

Using a microfibre cloth, submerge it into a bowl of warm (not hot) water. Make sure it is completely covered in water.

Next, grab your everyday washing up liquid and apply just a small amount to your cloth. 1/2 a teaspoon size should be more than enough as you don’t want to create a mess of sticky gel and bubbles!

Mix the washing up liquid into the cloth so it’s covered like you would when using a wash cloth in the shower, and squeeze it so it’s still wet but not dripping. This will limit excess water getting into your record player.

Lastly, begin cleaning your cover by rubbing the moist cloth on it in circular motions. You might find it easier to start from one corner and work your way around so you don’t miss a spot. Don’t forget to the clean the inside of your cover too.

4. Pat Dry And Leave To Dry (DON’T Make This 1 Mistake!)

This part is incredibly important but often, people get impatient with the chore of cleaning and skip it. Don’t skip this step!

Pat your dust cover dry using a clean towel on all sides and leave it to fully dry for at least an hour. You might want to leave your cover half up for this to make it easier for any excess moisture to fall to the floor.

Leaving your freshly cleaned dust cover to dry naturally is incredibly important, especially if you cleaned the inside, because it may still be damp enough for water to pool and drip onto your record players electrical parts.

If you clean your cover and immediately close the lid and leave it, you risk condensation building too. This excess moisture, or risk of dripping water, around your record player with all of it’s electrical wirings, could cause water damage which may not be possible to fix without a replacement.

5. Polish (optional)

Lastly, once you are sure the cover is completely dry, select the appropriate polish for your cover’s material and spray a small but even amount across each section.

Using a dry microfibre cloth now, wipe away the polish in a circular motion to ensure you don’t leave any streaks or marks.

It is important your cover is dry before polishing because polishing wet surfaces is likely to cause streaks and marks too.

It is also important to remember not to spray polish onto your record player itself. Always spray from the instructed distance.

Victrola record player

 

Conclusion

So there you have it, the 5 steps to cleaning your dust cover in 5 minutes – easy!

A common but costly mistake people make when cleaning their dust covers, is closing the lid immediately after cleaning it, instead of leaving it to dry naturally for at least an hour. This can lead to excess moisture or water droplets falling onto the electrical parts of your record player and cause water damage.