How To Clean A Turntable Platter – A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you a vinyl enthusiast who loves the warm sound of records spinning on a turntable?

If so, you know that keeping your turntable in top condition is crucial for maintaining the quality of your music.

One essential component of your turntable is the platter, which can accumulate dirt and grime over time.

But fear not! In this article, we’ll guide you through the best methods for cleaning your turntable platter, including tips for cleaning rubber mats and metal platters.

So grab your cleaning supplies and let’s get started!

How To Clean Turntable Platter

Before you begin cleaning your turntable platter, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need a clean, lint-free cloth, warm water, mild soap, and sandpaper (if cleaning a metal platter).

Start by removing the platter from your turntable and cleaning it with a rag dampened in warm water or window cleaner. For metal platters, use sandpaper in various grits to remove tarnish and achieve a smooth finish. Start with 200-220 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 400 or even 600 grit for a polished look.

For rubber mats, use warm water and mild soap to gently clean the surface. Avoid using soaps with chemical additives like perfumes or moisturizers that could leave a residue on the mat.

When cleaning any part of your turntable, always use a clean, lint-free cloth and wipe in a circular motion from the center outwards. Avoid using your bare fingers to clean or touch the needle.

Why Clean Your Turntable Platter?

Cleaning your turntable platter is essential for maintaining the quality of your vinyl records. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate on the platter, causing unwanted noise and distortion. Additionally, if you have a metal platter, tarnish can build up and affect the overall appearance of your turntable.

By regularly cleaning your turntable platter, you can ensure that your records sound their best and last longer. A clean platter will also help prevent dust and debris from getting into the grooves of your records, which can cause permanent damage.

Furthermore, a clean turntable platter can improve the performance of your turntable. Dust and dirt can cause the platter to spin unevenly, affecting the accuracy of the speed and timing of your records. By keeping your platter clean, you can ensure that it spins smoothly and accurately, providing you with the best possible listening experience.

Tools And Supplies You’ll Need

To properly clean your turntable platter, you’ll need a few tools and supplies. These include:

1. Clean, lint-free cloth: A soft cloth is essential for wiping down the platter and removing any dirt or debris.

2. Warm water: This is necessary for cleaning rubber mats and can also be used to dampen your cloth.

3. Mild soap: If you’re cleaning a rubber mat, a mild soap can help remove any stubborn dirt or stains.

4. Sandpaper: If your platter is made of metal and has tarnish or scratches, you’ll need sandpaper in various grits to achieve a smooth finish.

Make sure to have all of these supplies on hand before you begin cleaning your turntable platter. With the right tools and a little bit of elbow grease, you can keep your turntable in top condition and enjoy high-quality sound for years to come.

Cleaning A Rubber Turntable Platter

Cleaning a rubber turntable platter is a simple process that can be accomplished with just warm water and mild soap. Start by removing the rubber mat from the platter and placing it in a sink or basin. Run warm water over the mat while gently brushing it with a clean microfiber cloth. If the water runs off clean, then you’re done. If not, rinse again with distilled water and air dry.

It’s important to avoid using dishwashing soap, as it contains degreasing agents that can remove the substances which make the rubber pliable. Instead, use a car wash soap that is very diluted, and be sure to rinse all residue off after cleaning. Avoid car wash soaps that contain finish protectants or silicones that can leave undesirable residues behind.

If you don’t have mild soap, warm water alone can also be used to clean the rubber mat. Simply pat the mat down after cleaning, and it should look a lot cleaner. It’s important to note that some rubber mats may develop grey areas in old age, but this can be taken care of with a product like Turtle Black Chrome.

Cleaning A Metal Turntable Platter

If you have a metal turntable platter that looks tarnished, there are a few steps you can take to restore its shine. First, clean the platter with a rag dampened in warm water or window cleaner to remove any surface dirt or grime. Then, use sandpaper in various grits to remove any tarnish and achieve a smooth finish. Begin with 200-220 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 400 or even 600 grit for a polished look.

Make sure to clean in between sanding steps with a rag and window cleaner or similar cleaner to get a better look at the finish. It’s important to note that the silver part of the platter is actually the metal of the platter that has been machined away to produce that silver look, so don’t worry about ruining it with sandpaper.

Once you’re happy with the way the silver part looks, you can paint the center part to improve the overall appearance. Tape off the entire silver area using masking tape or painters tape, then sand the black paint with some 400 grit sandpaper and wipe it clean with a damp rag. Apply two even coats of either matte finish or satin finish black paint and allow them to dry completely.

Remember to be gentle when cleaning any part of your turntable and continually reassess as you go. With a little elbow grease and some time, your turntable platter can look as good as new.

Maintaining Your Turntable Platter For Longevity

Maintaining your turntable platter is crucial for ensuring its longevity and preventing any damage to your records. Here are some tips on how to do it:

1. Regular Cleaning: Wipe down the external surfaces of the turntable with a microfiber cloth two to three times a month to remove dust and debris. This will prevent any buildup that could damage the platter or affect the sound quality.

2. Deep Cleaning: If your turntable platter has accumulated a lot of dirt, you can use a little bit of rubbing alcohol for a more in-depth cleansing – but be sure to dry it with a clean cloth afterwards. For metal platters, you can also use sandpaper in various grits to remove tarnish and achieve a smooth finish.

3. Avoid Polishing: Resist the temptation to polish the rim of your platter, as this removes the protective lacquer and results in rapid degradation of the finish. Newer platters have a different type of lacquer which seals the alloy, making them less prone to tarnishing.

4. Store Properly: When not in use, always store your turntable platter properly. Keep it covered with a dust cover or store it in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your turntable platter remains in excellent condition for years to come, providing you with high-quality sound and an enjoyable listening experience.