Whether they’re a good old thrift store purchase or a passed-down family inheritance, vinyl records are valuable and require a lot of care.
If you’re a big vinyl collector, you probably know that even brand-new records don’t come 100% clean. Sure, a damp microfiber towel has been doing the trick for generations, but it’s definitely time-consuming when you need to clean dozens of records at a time.
This is why Spin-Clean and Knox Gear have developed record-washing kits that’ll help you clean your vinyl in no time.
In this article, we’re going to get down to the nitty-gritty of both products to help you decide which one is right for you!
Spin-Clean kits are built with more durable components and can safely clean up to 50 records in a single wash cycle.
The Knox Gear does the job well enough for its low price point, but it may not be as durable or long-lasting as more expensive options.
Therefore, the Spin-Clean washer is better suited for people with larger vinyl collections.
Knox Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit
What Is the Spin-Clean Vinyl Record Washer?
Founded in the USA by Paul C. Mawhinney, the Spin Clean Record Washer has been around since the mid-1970s and has been a mainstay for vinyl collectors ever since.
This record washer features a bright yellow plastic basin with a lid. It also comes with two rollers, one 4-ounce container of washing fluid, two cleaning brushes, and two drying towels.
The Spin-Clean record washer is easy to operate and even easier to clean up after usage. Its two rollers may be set to three different positions, making it suitable for cleaning 7”, 10”, and 12” records.
What Is the Knox Gear Record Cleaner Kit?
Manufactured in China, this Knox Gear record cleaning kit is designed to wash up to 40 records in a single wash cycle. It promises to remove grit, dust, fingerprints, and static from your vinyl so you can enjoy a crisp, high-quality sound.
This set comes with a washing basin with a lid, an air drying rack, two vinyl brushes, two bottles of record cleaning solution, a microfiber cloth, and a drying cloth.
The Knox Gear kit is simple to set up and won’t break the bank. Additionally, you can adjust the rollers to clean records of varying sizes, such as 7″, 10″, and 12″.
Even though both the Spin-Clean and the Knox Gear kit essentially serve the same purpose, these two items are distinct in a few aspects.
Let’s start with the most obvious difference, the color! The Spin-Clean basin is bright yellow so you can easily tell how much grime it has removed from your record.
In contrast, the Knox Gear basin is solid black, so you can’t really see how much dirt it removed from your record.
Additionally, the Knox Gear washer kit weighs one pound, while the Spin-Clean kit weighs almost three pounds. This means the Spin-Clean washer won’t be able to topple over as easily, protecting your record from any harm.
Read more about record cleaners: Spin-Clean Vs Disco-Antistat
Finally, the Knox Gear washer includes a drying rack and a microfiber cloth, both of which aren’t included in the Spin-Clean kit.
The Knox Gear kit also comes with two cleaning solution bottles, while the standard Spin-Clean kit only includes one.
These two sets are quite similar since they both aim to accomplish the same goal. However, that’s not the only thing they have in common.
The two kits work essentially as a bathtub for your records. However, both of these products have to be assembled prior to usage.
Step one is to arrange the rollers within the basin, step two is to position the brushes within the vertical slots, and step three is to fill the basin with water and the cleaning solution. Then, it’s cleaning time!
Another similarity between the Spin-Clean and the Knox Gear kits is that they’re both entirely manual and need neither batteries nor electricity to operate.
First of all, we like that this washer is heavier. Now, we know a heavy product is typically considered as a negative quality, but in this case, it’s actually a plus!
This is because records are valuable and fragile, and you wouldn’t want a lightweight device to topple over and damage them in any way while washing them.
Secondly, the Spin-Clean generally has better performance. When compared to the Knox Gear, which can only wash up to 40 records at a time, the Spin-Clean can wash up to 50 records in a single cycle.
Not to mention, the product’s components are sturdy enough that they won’t break when you wash your records. This means Spin-Clean offers superior quality in every way, particularly in the long run.
Related: best ultrasonic record cleaners on the market
Firstly, the Knox Gear kit is roughly half the price of the Spin-Clean package, which was the first thing we noticed. Considering both kits are plastic, we think the Knox Gear set is more reasonably priced.
Also, most of the Spin-Clean kit users complained about not having a place to dry their records. Knox Gear one-upped its competitor by including a 10-disc record drying rack in its package, which is considered a huge plus.
This kit works out well for people who are willing to spend money on a high-quality product that’ll last them a long time.
It’s also a good choice for those who need to clean a large number of records at once. So, it’ll make a perfect fit for record store owners or vinyl collectors.
Because of its lower price tag, this product is ideal for those who would rather not spend a fortune on a cleaning product. This kit isn’t exactly built to last through a lot of records, either.
For this reason, it’s not something we would recommend to professionals or those with a large vinyl collection. But if you’re just getting into record collecting or have a small collection, this can be a great product for you!