Every so often you come across a product and company that just seems to get it. GrooveWasher is one of those companies. They saw a need in the market that was not being properly filled at a time when vinyl records were making a big comeback. That need you may ask, a cleaner to use before playing your records that eliminates fingerprints, gunk, and static.
You can explore all of their awesome products including their GrooveWasher record cleaning kits on their amazon storefront. If you head over to groovewasher.com you can get 10% off of your order using the promo code VINYLBRO10 (only for their store).
First A Little Vinyl Record Cleaning History
You see back in the 1970s to the 1980s there was an awesome product on the market called the Discwasher. The Discwasher was much more than a cleaner but a cleaning system unlike anything else on the market. The brush they supplied had a walnut handle with a type of felt material where the material hooked in one direction.
The one-directional material was great for scraping contaminants out of grooves and then you just brushed the brush in the opposite direction away from your records to clean the brush off. In this Discwasher cleaning kit, they supplied a cleaning solution that quickly became the industry standard. We are lucky enough to have a brush and a small amount of the fluid in the Vinyl Bro collection!
GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Kit The Product History
Now, this is all-important because the team over at GrooveWasher was close to a certain professor of microbiology at the University of Missouri, you know the one. Yes, the same professor that created the original Discwasher cleaning system. According to GrooveWasher, their family was heavily involved in the Discwasher brand before it was sold off.
So fast forward to current times and we can learn a little bit about why and how GrooveWasher came to be.
“Fast forward to 2010. My younger son became a sound/recording engineer and musician. He alerted me that the bands he was recording were releasing their music on vinyl. And records were selling again!
My passion for vinyl returned, along with the need to keep my records clean for better sound and record life. I created my own record cleaning fluid, guided by the research my old friend had used. A few years later, it occurred to me that other vinyl lovers might appreciate a new record cleaning product that is an update and enhancement of the most popular record cleaner of the 1970s.
In 2015 we founded the GrooveWasher company. Our goal, our passion, is to help people experience the highest fidelity sound a record can produce. We want the listener to enjoy their records without noise caused by dirt, dust, fingerprints and static electricity.” – Source GrooveWasher
GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Kit Review
So the GrooveWasher record cleaning kit comes in quite a few different versions and depending on where you plan to purchase them your options may be limited on inventory. For example, Amazon only has a few kits in stock while GrooveWasher has everything you need and VinylBro has a great coupon for our readers directly on GrooveWasher’s website.
If you head over to groovewasher.com you can get 10% off of your order using the promo code VINYLBRO10. If you combine this with their generous free shipping on orders over $49 offer, you could really end up with great savings.
Most of the kits that GrooveWasher offer come with a cleaning solution, a pad for cleaning, and a label protector. Some of the more robust cleaning kits can come with a stylus brush, stylus cleaning solution, drying towel, and even a display stand.
How To Use The GrooveWasher Cleaning Kit
The folks over at GrooveWasher have steps outlined over on their website and this is what we followed while testing. If you want to read it for yourself if you would like. At VinylBro We recommend using their g2 cleaner before every single play on both sides of the vinyl record so they stay in the best possible condition.
How We Tested The GrooveWasher Cleaning Kit
We started by selecting some records from our collections that had static build-up and dust build-up. We even cleaned some moldy thrift store records and some new records to help with testing if it would leave anything behind. We cleaned 20 records in total, 10 new records, 5 static build-up records, and 5 with mold or dust. We cleaned the front and back then played each one after cleaning for this test. After we played each record we cleaned the stylus.
We followed the directions provided to us in the kit and on their website but experimented with a few elements and variables to see if we could replicate some issues we see online to address them the best we can.
- Placed the record on our cleaning station
- Place supplied label protector over your label
- Sprayed 5 times exactly roughly 4-6 inches from the record (needed consistency for the review)
- Let sit for 20 seconds
- Applied gentle pressure using the supplied microfiber brushes following the grooves in a circular motion. We used 3 full rotations.
- Rotated the brush in the kit with a brush and flipped the pad over for the kit that supplied a pad to expose a dry area and applied gentle pressure again to dry. We did three rotations in each direction to ensure we removed all the G2 cleaner and dried the records properly.
- Allow for 1 full minute to air dry before playing
We did this for every record and every side to ensure as much consistency as we could for the review.
What We Were Looking For In GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Kit
When we approach reviewing a cleaning solution there are a few things we always look for in cleaners.
- Does the solution lift contaminants effectively?
- Does it remove static?
- Does it dry easily?
- Does it leave behind a film once dry?
- What is the user experience like? (is it easy to use)
Now we know everyone’s definition of a dirty record is different but what we mean is if you have dusty or staticky records these we classify as light-duty and if you have some more caked in contaminants like mold this is a medium-duty cleaning job that will sometimes need a deep clean.
This was no different for us when we tested the GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Kit. We used the solution provided in this kit. They do, however, sell a much larger bottle to refill your small bottle.
GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Kit Results
Now that you know how we tested, let’s go over the results, our recommendations, rating, and answer some of the questions other reviews like amazon bring to the table.
The solution that GrooveWasher has developed is extremely great at its job. This is a cleaner that we use and recommend using before every play as there is no real learning curve to it and it is simple and effective. To put it simply, the G2 solution with the Groovewasher brush just works.
On new records, the cleaning removed the press release agent that was present on the records before our first play. We tested this by playing and cleaning them a couple of times per side until there was no more residue and then cleaning the stylus between plays.
So back to the 5 things we look for in cleaning products.
1. Does the solution lift contaminants effectively?
Yes, this solution really excels at lifting the contaminants. We will give it a slight ding because the one place it falls short is where all spray cleaners fall short, the removal. Since the removal of the contaminants relies on the end-user to use the right amount of pressure, the right type of microfiber cloths, or brushes, etc there is room for error. However, since this cleaner lifts really well it actually makes up for some of the end-user-caused errors.
4.75 out 5 on lifting contaminants
2. Does it remove static?
Yes, this cleaner instantly removed the static if you cleaned both sides of the vinyl record before playing.
5 out of 5 for static removal
3. Does it dry easily?
This product dries much like the old D3/4 supplied with the old Discwashers. It is easy to apply and easy to dry. Most of our records were dry way before the suggested 1-minute dry time.
5 out of 5
4. Does it leave behind a film once dry?
No, the cleaner and its supplied brush or pad do not leave anything behind, especially any residue that we found. The only time there was stuff left behind it was the release agent from the factory deep in the groove that the cleaner lifted and the stylus just pulled it out. This is not a cleaner residue as this only happened on a couple of new records.
5 out of 5
5. What is the user experience like? (is it easy to use)
User experience is always a difficult one but what we are looking for is, is this product easy to use and does it lend itself to a pleasant experience? This product is very easy to use like most cleaning sprays and since it’s so easy to dry it makes it one of the best spray cleaners on the market.
5 out of 5
This gives this cleaning kit an overall score of 5 stars from Vinyl Bro. We think that as far as spray cleaners go there is not a better one on the market that we have found. This is the cleaner we use and recommend using before every play.
Some Common Issues Or Questions Found Online
There were two things we saw come up online but it’s important to note here that we ran into neither problem and the number of users bringing these up is very small. We reached out directly to GrooveWasher about them to get their take on it and Steve was glad to help everyone out.
Some were saying that after using the cleaner there is gunk left behind. We did not experience this but do you know what the problem could be?
“If the stylus is plowing out the gunk, the record isn’t clean yet. We instruct on our website that G2 Fluid is a light hard-surface cleaning solution and that 2 or 3 quick cleanings may be necessary. The reason G2 is light is to eliminate the hassle of a distilled water rinsing step. After wiping, G2 leaves zero residue on the record surface.”
Steve also said we could test this with a kitchen glass. We did and there was nothing left behind and the glass was sparkling clean. (Kind of difficult to photograph as its glass)
Some people are saying that the brush is leaving lint behind. Again we could not replicate this. We tested two pads on 20 records and nothing.
“We wash our terry style and suede style microfiber fabric before making a cleaning pad from it, to reduce lint release. Lint on the record or the stylus only happens if the user doesn’t wet the record thoroughly and the record isn’t clean yet. We suggest 5 or 6 mist sprays to completely wet the record. Let it soak for 30 seconds then wipe. Put the record on the turntable and let rotate for 30 to 60 seconds to dry. Cue the stylus. If there’s lint buildup on the stylus or there’s noise, clean the record again, or spot clean where there’s visual grime (old fingerprint, for example).”
GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Kit Conclusion
This is a company that stands behind its product. GooveWasher has a 100% money-back guarantee because the thing is they only want happy customers. See here is the thing if you are doing business with a company that wants your business and wants your repeat business and their product truly works they will stand behind it just like that.
That speaks volumes about who the company is and what they stand for. At the end of the day, they are confident that you will love their product and will not even need to return it. We are also confident that you will not need to return their product.
This is a great product that we will be using before every play. While we know everyones cleaning looks different we also know that you will be happy with this product for your day to day cleaning also.