Vinyl Bro Review

Spin-Clean record washer review | Spin-clean record cleaner review | Vinyl Bro



Spin-Clean Record Washer Review

So you went out and bought a bunch of used records and you realized maybe they need to be cleaned because they sound, well, rough. You already tried a little water or some cheap spray you found at the store but they just do not seem to be able to cut through all the popping, crackling, and fingerprint smudged. We get it, a good bargain is hard to pass up when it comes to vinyl records. 

Now and then we get a cheap record at a thrift store, second-hand store, or garage sale that are visually trashed. Here is the key though we know outside of the scratches and warped records that our Spin-Clean record washer has the rest handled.

Spin-Clean record washer review | Spin-clean record cleaner review | Vinyl Bro

Mold? Dirt? Fingerprints? We do not doubt that they will not be a problem for us. The greatest part about this is usually you can get records very cheap when they are visually unappealing. So let’s talk a little bit about what the Spin-Clean Record Washer is, how to use it, where to get it, and if it’s worth it.

History Of The Spin-Clean Record Washer

At Vinyl Bro we enjoy learning about the story of a product and especially if it has a long steeped history like the Spin-Clean. So let’s get into it.

The origins of the Spin-Clean start in the year 1974 when a manufacturer, Fidelitone Inc., created a record cleaning device called a Spin ‘n Clean. Fidelitone was a manufacturer of stylus’ and accessories and based out of Ireland. They offered their Spin ‘N Clean in record stores and big box stores all over.

One of the most successful places for Fidelitone was a record shop called Record-Rama Sound Archives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Record-Rama had really great success selling the Spin N’ Clean because they left a unit on the counter and demonstrated it to customers.

Shortly after its release, in 1975 to be exact, Fidelitone alerted the stores that they would no longer be manufacturing or selling the Spin ‘N Clean. That’s where Record-Rama, or more specifically the owner of Record-Rama, Paul Mawhinney, comes into the picture. Paul was not happy with the discontinuation of the product. He had one on the front desk and regularly used it to freshen up used records in front of customers. This demonstration was what sold the product. Fidelitone was hoping for a box and display product which the Spin N’ Clean was not. 

Paul reached out to Fideliton and purchased the Spin N’ Clean outright with existing inventory. Then began to build it as a secondary business with a new name, Spin-Clean. The product was hand-assembled and packaged by the family who sold around 1,000 units a year until 2009.

In 2009 Paul Mawhinney retired from Record-Rama and Spin-Clean and his son, Mark Mawhinney, took over Spin-Clean. Mark came in intending to grow the business as it was not a well-known name or product yet. Mark did exactly that.

Mark built out the Spin-Clean business so much that he had to use a manufacturer and stop assembling them with the family. From 1,000 units annually to around 35,000 units annually is no small jump. The Spin-Clean is now sold globally through a whole list of distributors and even on Amazon.

Spin-Clean record washer review | Spin-clean record cleaner review | Vinyl Bro

Spin-Clean Record Washer Review

The Spin-Clean Record Washer comes in 3 different package bundles all of which give you everything you need to get your records truly cleaned.

There is a budget-friendly introduction bundle called the Record Washer System. This bundle comes with the Spin Clean, brushes, rollers, a 4-ounce bottle of their alcohol-free cleaner, and two drying towels. What you would likely need in addition to what is provided would depend on how many records you are cleaning at a time. If you plan to batch clean a lot of records, which we recommend, you are going to need more towels and likely a drying method. We recommend partnering this with the Vinyl Vac to completely dry the records.

There is a bundle that is called the Deluxe Kit that comes with everything in the previous bundle but also includes extra towels and a large 32-ounce bottle of cleaner. Since you only use a cap full of cleaner at a time this is essentially a lifetime’s worth of cleaner which is something we love about this product. We still highly recommend partnering this with the Vinyl Vac to dry your records but you could use a drying rack.

The last bundle is the super cool limited edition 45th Anniversary Kit. You get everything that’s included in the Deluxe Kit but the Spin-Clean itself is clear and you get their anti-static brush.

How To Use Spin-Clean Record Washer

We of course recommend following the directions provided with the Spin-Clean. If you have lost your copy of them you can find them on Spin-Cleans website. There are a few recommendations we have before we break down how Spin-Clean wants you to use their product.

We recommend planning to clean between 10-30 records to make it worth your effort, time, and the solution. Spin-Clean says the solution is good for between 20-50 records depending on how dirty they are but we think 35 is probably the most you should do. We tested the 50 record claim and will have more on that in a bit.

We also recommend a drying station or a cleaning station to allow full drying. We prefer the cleaning station and a Vinyl Vac system to really get your records dry with minimal wait time.

How We Tested The Spin-Clean

We started by selecting some records from our collections that had static build-up, dust build-up, mold, and even brand new records. We cleaned over a hundred and fifty records before writing this post because we wanted to test general cleaning and the number of records we could clean with the solution. We cleaned and manually dried with the supplied cloth for around thirty records then played each one after cleaning for this test. We cleaned and vinyl vac’d the rest of the records then played each one after cleaning for this test. After we played each record we cleaned the stylus.

Yeah we know it is a lot of work but, we want to be very thorough for this post as it is a deep cleaning method.

Spin-Clean record washer review | Spin-clean record cleaner review | Vinyl Bro

We followed the directions provided to us in the kit and on their website. In case you wanted to know our process this was the workflow.

  1. Removed all the parts from inside the Spin-Clean
  2. Add rollers to the appropriate channels. We cleaned all 12 inch records so they were added to the 12 inch channels.
  3. Fill the Spin-Clean with distilled water to the fill line (please only use distilled water. It’s cheap and will keep tap water mineral deposits off your collection.)
  4. We then wet our brushes before inserting them with distilled water.
  5. Insert brushes.
  6. Pour cleaning concentrate over the already inserted brushes.
  7. We then gave the device a little stir to make sure the cleaner was mixed well.
  8. Insert the record between the two brushes slowly until it contacts the rollers.
  9. Rotated in both directions 3 times (we used this exact amount to have repeatable measurements but you can rotate it as many times as you want to make sure the record is cleaned.)
  10. Slowly remove the cleaned record from the Spin-Clean.
  11. Placed the record on our cleaning station
  12. Attach your Vinyl Vac to your wet/dry vacuum using the supplied washer and adapters.
  13. Place the vacuum spindle hole over the spindle of the cleaning station or turntable. You can do this with the label protector or the supplied felt pad.
  14. Turn on your vacuum and slowly turn your cleaning station or turntable to vacuum up the water/solution on the vinyl. We recommend slow turns and 2-3 full rotations in both directions.
  15. Repeat for your next side.
  16. Then start the next record in the Spin-Clean record washer

We did this for every record and every side to ensure as much consistency as we could for the review.

Spin-Clean record cleaner | Spin-clean record washer | Vinyl Bro

What We Were Looking For In The Spin-Clean Record Washer

When we approach reviewing a cleaning solution or cleaning system, there are a few things we always look for.


  1. Does the solution lift contaminants effectively?
  2. Does it remove static?
  3. Does it dry easily?
  4. Does it leave behind a film once dry?
  5. 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 Spin-Clean Record Washer. We used the solution provided in this kit. They do, however, sell a much larger bottle to refill your small bottle.

Spin-Clean Record Washer 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.

Spin-Clean Record Washer Results | Vinyl Bro


This is a little different then the other cleaning solutions and products we have reviewed here before. This is a complete cleaning system and there are several parts to go over here. If we had to summarize we would easily tell you that the Spin-Clean record washer represents a tremendous value that yields absolutely amazing results.

The cleaning process is very straightforward, the build quality is great, and the solution lifts contaminants while pulling them down into the water. The whole system just works and works well.

Let’s talk a little bit about how many records you can clean with the solution. Spin-Clean cleans you can clean between 20-50 records per batch of cleaning solution. We of course had to test this claim that way you don’t have to and because we were just generally curious.

We ran the test very systematically. Our setup was distilled water with Spin-Clean solution per the instructions. We turned the records clockwise then counterclockwise 3 times in each direction. We will let the images speak then summarize the results.

Spin-Clean Solution After 5 Records

Spin-Clean Record Washer Solution after 5 records | Vinyl Bro

Spin-Clean Solution After 10 Records

Spin-Clean Record Washer Solution after 10 records | Vinyl Bro

Spin-Clean Solution After 20 Records

Spin-Clean Record Washer Solution after 20 records | Vinyl Bro

Spin-Clean Solution After 35 Records

Spin-Clean Record Washer Solution after 35 records | Vinyl Bro

Spin-Clean Solution After 50 Records

Spin-Clean Record Washer Solution after 50 records | Vinyl Bro

Spin-Clean Solution After 50 Records

Spin-Clean Record Washer Solution after 50 records | Vinyl Bro

On the last image we removed the top layer of water that had nothing in it to show the dirt on the bottom. The solution carries all the dirt and contaminants to the bottom of the basin.

As you can see in the pictures things are great until around 35 the water becomes very dirty. To the point that we wouldn’t likely recommend going past this. There are varying differences in the dirty level of all records which may change this number but we tried to use a balance of new, dusty, and really dirty records. What we plan to do is use our Spin Clean for 20 records at a time to make sure we get good usage from the cleaner as well as still maintain the integrity of the cleaning mixture.

Our Rating

So back to the 5 things we look for in cleaning products.

  1. Does the solution lift contaminants effectively?
    This cleaning method lifts and removes contaminants from the record extremely well. The solution pulls those contaminants out with the brushes and suspends them in the bottom of the water so they can’t move to another part of your record. The concept just works and is super effective. Once combined with the Vinyl Vac for drying there is basically no chance anything is on your records.
    5 out 5 on lifting contaminants
  2. Does it remove static?
    Yes, this cleaner instantly removed the static because of the distilled water bath.
    5 out of 5 for static removal
  3. Does it dry easily?
    This is the only thing we can find wrong with the Spin-Clean. The supplied towels work ok. We followed their directions and washed the towels by themselves and allowed them to dry before testing. While they did become more fluffy and more absorbent after the wash they were just not enough to dry the multiple records completely. This becomes especially true when you do 20-35 records at once. We highly recommend the Vinyl Vac to assist with drying or a dish rack to let them dry overnight. The towels are probably fine if you plan to do only a handful of records then let them finish air-drying.
    4.5 out of 5
  4. Does it leave behind a film once dry?
    No, this truly leaves nothing behind.
    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 even for a manual deep cleaning method. It is very straightforward and after 2 or 3 you are a pro.
    5 out of 5

This gives the Spin Clean an overall score of 5 stars from Vinyl Bro. This system is now the first thing we do with any record. As we purchase new and used records we wait until there is about 20-30 total in a separate spot. Then we clean them all with the Spin-Clean and it’s been hands down the best and most pleasant experience.

Spin-Clean Record Washer Review Conclusion

The Spin-Clean is a Made in the USA product that just excels at what it does. We could not be happier with the results from a budget-friendly manual RCM. We think the real magic is in the solution. Their solution cleans well, dries well, and through some type of sorcery never gets on the label even without a label protector. We highly recommend this product and it will become a go-to cleaning system for all records before playing, used or new.

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