Vinyl records are delicate things. If you don’t clean them with the right tools and cleaning solution, you’ll cause irreparable damage to their surface. Records need a good bath every now and then to perform optimally.
When it comes to cleaning kits, two brands often come to mind: Spin-Clean and Studebaker. But which brand should you go for?
In this Studebaker Record Cleaner vs Spin Clean comparison guide, I’ll discuss which cleaning kit is worth your money.
The Studebaker Record Cleaner and Spin Clean Washer are cleaning kits that more or less provide the same result.
However, the materials included in the Spin Clean Washer are of higher quality than the Studebaker Record Cleaner.
The cleaning solution also cleans a lot more than the Studebaker’s, up to 700 records per 4-ounce bottle. If you’re on a rather tight budget then I would recommend opting for the Studebaker record cleaner.
Studebaker Record Cleaner
The Spin-Clean Record Washer is an easy-to-use, deep-cleaning vinyl solution that cleans 33, 45, and 78 RPM records.
The cleaner is usually accompanied by a dedicated washer basin, a pair of rollers to accommodate LPs, a record-cleaning brush, and drying cloths to prevent record scratches.
The kit has enough cleaning solution to wash up to 700 records with a 4-ounce bottle.
The Studebaker Cleaning System is much like the Spin-Clean Record Washer.
It comes with a dedicated CleanIt solution, brushes, rollers, and drying clothes. It also has an adjustable roller system for 33, 45, and 78 RPM records.
However, unlike the alternative, it can only clean around 100 records.
The Studebaker and Spin Clean Washer are the same in almost every aspect, except:
The Studebaker Record Cleaner basin is made of sturdy MDF that’s wrapped in black Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic. The MDF is heavy enough to prevent the basin from tipping over during use.
The cleaning solution’s reservoir is completely sealed and doesn’t have any seams, so the only way the MDF would get wet is if it were to develop a crack in the PVC covering.
Luckily, the PVC coating is fairly thick and durable, so it isn’t easily damaged. It’s both water and flame-resistant, so it can handle whatever temperature you throw at it.
On the other hand, the Spin Clean Record Washer is made entirely of polypropylene.
Polypropylene plastic is extremely durable, with good chemical resistance. It’s water- and fire-resistant, though it may burn at high temperatures.
Since you’ll be using it to clean records, high temperature isn’t a concern. The important thing is that it’s resistant to moisture absorption, so it won’t get damaged with constant use.
The cleaning fluid that comes in the Studebaker Cleaner is around 4 oz, while the Spin-Clean comes in 4, 8, 10, and 32-oz options.
Studebaker’s cleaner 4 oz cleans up to 500 records, while Spin-Clean 4 oz cleans up to 700.
The Spin-Clean Record Washer MKII Deluxe Kit comes with 32 oz of extra fluid, which can clean up to 6300 records.
The Studebaker costs roughly $30 to $40, while the Spin Clean costs almost double the price at $70 to $80.
The two cleaners are the same in two major aspects:
The Studebaker Vinyl Record Cleaner uses a Studebaker CleanIt solution, while the Spin-Clean uses a Spin-Clean Record Washer Fluid. Both are alcohol-free and formulated to encapsulate and remove dirt from records.
The Studebaker Vinyl Record Cleaner and the Spin Clean Record Washer use the same method of cleaning.
The cleaning instructions of the Studebaker Vinyl Record Cleaner are a bit confusing, as it doesn’t state whether or not distilled water should be added to the basin. This has led people to believe that it’s a dry cleaner.
But don’t be fooled—the Studebaker needs to be used with distilled water when cleaning records.
To start cleaning, you’ll first need to fill the basin with water up to the line indicator. Then, wet the brushes with the cleaning solution and slide them into the center of the unit. You’ll have to push the brushes in with a bit of force; it’s a tight fit.
Put the record in place and rotate it six times in one direction, followed by six rotations in the other direction. Remove the record carefully and dry it with the provided microfiber towel.
As for the Spin Clean Record Washer, the method is much the same. Insert the rollers into position, depending on the size of the record.
Fill the unit with distilled water up until the line indicator and pour about three cups of cleaning solution. Then, insert the brushes until the edges sit on the center of the rollers.
Place your vinyl into the slot and rotate it clockwise three times. Then, do the same thing again but counter-clockwise.
The Studebaker Vinyl Cleaner costs half the price of the Spin Clean Record Washer. It doesn’t clean quite as deep as the Spin Clean, but it provides great results. Plus, it isn’t made of lightweight plastic like other vinyl cleaning kits.
The Spin-Clean Record Washer is best suited for vinyl aficionados with a lot of vinyl to clean. A 4-oz bottle cleans up to 700 records—enough for even the most dedicated collectors!
And if you need more, Spin Clean offers cleaners in bottles of 8, 10, and 32 oz.
It’s costlier than the Studebaker, but it’s the fullest, deepest vinyl cleaner you can get your hands on.
The Studebaker Vinyl Record Cleaning System is best suited for casual listeners and the budget-conscious. It gets the job done without much compromise. The cleaner itself offers nearly the same result as the Spin Clean.
If I had to nitpick, my only complaint is that the roller and cloth aren’t as high quality as the Spin Clean.
If you don’t mind spending several extra dollars for a premium vinyl cleaner, Spin Clean is for you.
The materials—the basin, the roller, the cloth, etc.—are of higher quality than the Studebaker.
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Plus, the cleaning fluid cleans way more than its competitor. For this reason, best for individuals with a massive collection of vinyl.