If you want to get the best sound and long-term quality out of your vinyl collection, it’ll require proper care, which entails more than you might think. Most people assume you just need to keep them covered in a sleeve, so they remain dust-free, but there are other factors that can affect them as well.
Thankfully, there are quite a few methods to keep your records in the best shape possible, and they don’t take too much effort. Keep reading through this article for 8 great ways to remove static from records.
1. Antistatic Brush
Offering multiple benefits for your vinyl records, antistatic brushes are one of the simplest tools you can use to remove static. Over time, a record can build up static due to its vinyl material. You may not hear it in the beginning, but this will eventually make the record crackle a little too much and could cause damage in the long term.
Not only does an antistatic brush remove static, but it’ll also help clean off any dust or dirt that has settled on the record’s playing surface. These brushes are electrically conductive and come with a high-quality, durable design that should last for years. The brush comes with a self-cleaning feature to remove any contaminants that it collected, so you won’t end up reapplying any dust the next time you use it.
2. Antistatic Record Sleeve
As mentioned above, record sleeves can also generate a static charge on your record collection. These are anti-static record sleeves, and they’re acid-free to help ward off deterioration or discoloration over time as well as also help guard against dust, scratches, and any potential external damage while they sit on the shelf.
The rice paper lining is what helps them to avoid static electricity, and the sleeves offer a premium construction that’s thicker and more durable than standard sleeves. It’s one of the best storage options out there, and it’s an extra step you can take to ensure every record surface stays in pristine condition.
3. Acrylic Turntable Platter Mat
Using an acrylic turntable platter mat comes with quite a few beneficial features. It’ll help to optimize soundstage and clarity and ensures you’re achieving the highest fidelity audio possible from your records. Better yet, this particular material does a great job of controlling resonance, which in turn, helps reduce overall static build-up and noise when your records are in use.
This is an easy and relatively affordable addition that can improve a turntable’s quality of sound, and I can’t deny that the acrylic mats are pretty stylish too. While these suggestions might offer a minor effect, you’re bound to have a healthier record collection on your hands in the long run.
4. Antistatic Record Cleaning Solution
Even if you use various accessories that help reduce static noise on your vinyl records, it’s still a good idea to have a cleaning session every once in a while. With an antistatic record cleaning solution, you can easily guarantee your vinyl records deliver a flawless shine by removing contaminants.
Moreover, its antistatic treatment properties will work to mitigate static electricity, which will benefit the overall audio quality as well. Many kits include a microfiber cloth or velvet brush that’s very perfect for easy application, and the solution is alcohol-free.
It’s also made to deliver a silicone mask to help protect labels, so it’s a great all-in-one solution for keeping your collection clean and its audio quality intact. The record cleaning solution isn’t expensive by any means, and a little bit goes a long way, so it should last you quite a while. This is a step up from keeping your vinyl dust-free, and you’ll be happy to see that your collection withstands the test of time.
5. Antistatic Cleaning Arm
Another item you can add to your cleaning kit is an antistatic cleaning arm. It allows you to clean records while they play, and its carbon fiber center bristles won’t affect the sound quality either. The brush does a great job of reducing static build-up, which will mitigate the pops you hear during playback. Whether your collection is brand new or old, this brush will help to improve the overall audio quality.
If you’re looking for a high-fidelity sound with every song, this is a great way to keep vinyl records clean while requiring minimal effort on your part. Overall, it’ll help your collection stay in the best shape possible throughout the years, and it’s a setup that works with all kinds of platter heights and turntable designs.
6. Room Humidifier
Outside of the various tools you can use for your vinyl records and turntable equipment, a lot of the contaminants and static electricity that affects them comes from their environment. You can use a room humidifier to help manage a lot of this, and they generally come with numerous settings to ensure the best quality air. A humidifier does bring a lot to the table, but its most beneficial feature for your record collection is its ability to remove static electricity from the environment.
A humidifier is small enough to fit anywhere in your home, and it won’t generate a lot of noise when in use. Its overall improvement of the air quality in your home will benefit your record collection as well. Although air contaminants are also an issue, static electricity can get worse over time if it isn’t managed. Using a humidifier on top of some other tools in this list will be more than enough to ensure your records deliver optimal performance.
7. Ionizing Air Blower
Hailed by many vinyl enthusiasts as one of the best solutions to eliminate static noise from your vinyl and the surrounding environment, an ionizing air blower will definitely do the trick. It’s built for rapid neutralization of static electricity, and it has an ion indicator light that helps keep you updated on the current status of the area it’s being used for. Most are very portable and only weigh a couple of pounds, so you won’t have trouble placing them where you need them most.
Many people seem to agree that it works pretty well and has no trouble reducing a static charge from vinyl records. It also doesn’t take much time to have a positive effect, as many reviews claim that it only takes seconds to remove any static from your vinyl records and even the sleeves you keep them in. Out of all the featured items on this list, this is likely to be the most effective with the fastest solution.
8. Antistatic Gun
In a similar fashion to the ionizing air blower above, an anti-static gun such as a Zerostat gun uses ions to remove the static charge from all of your records. It’s easy to use, and when you pull the trigger, the gun releases a consistent stream of ions, instantly reducing static electricity on the target. Considering its mobile design, this tool can also be used on your record sleeves. You’ll benefit from around 1,000 individual uses, so it should last quite a while before you need a replacement.
Some can be a little pricey, sitting around $100, but many people think it’s entirely worth it for how long it lasts. Another aspect that buyers love is that it’s a no-contact solution, which means you won’t need to come in contact with the vinyl to get the job done.
It’s so effective that you won’t need to use it on a daily basis, but keep in mind that this won’t really help much to clean off contaminants. That’s why it’s best to use a blend of tools to get the best possible results when cleaning and to eliminate static electricity.
What Causes Static On Vinyl Records?
There are two main catalysts pertaining to a static charge on a vinyl record. One is the friction of the record player stylus during playback, and the other primary culprit comes from the inner sleeves that you remove the records from.
Considering both are repeated processes on a frequent basis, this will undoubtedly generate static electricity on your vinyl, which in turn will also collect various debris quickly. This static can definitely affect the quality of your records, and it can primarily be found when you hear consistent pops and audio discrepancies as it rotates. Some of this is normal, but it can become bad enough to ruin the fidelity of the audio if it isn’t managed.
What Does Static On Records Sound Like?
Outside of the popping sounds, which are more noticeable than anything, you’ll also find that static will eventually make your records sound a bit scratchy. This can be somewhat of a slow burn over time, but eventually, you’ll start to notice that the music doesn’t sound as crisp as it did before. Also, keep in mind that static electricity is only one factor here, as the dust and various debris will also add to this scratchy, somewhat low-quality sound.
Can Static Damage Vinyl Records?
Any damage wouldn’t come from the static itself, but the debris it collects on the surface will if left untreated. This can also be detrimental to your stylus as it collects contaminants as the vinyl rotates.
Overall, if you don’t keep your records clean and static-free, you’ll never get the most out of what they have to offer, and it’ll only get harder to clean the longer it’s ignored. It requires consistency more than anything, as vinyl doesn’t take long to collect contaminants and a static charge, even a single day after you’ve cleaned them.
Senior Reviews Editor
Lucas is the Senior Reviews Editor at HiFi Hippo covering a range of topics relating to turntables, preamps, speakers, and everything vinyl. With 15+ years of music experience, Lucas uses his unbiased ear to guide readers in the right direction for all their viny land home audio needs.