Best record washer/cleaner, at an entry price

I have some old records from my dad that are in so so shape, I am nervous to use them on my new turntable and with my new cartridge. At what condition should you avoid records, if you do not mind a crackle or pop here and there. I just do not want to damage any aspect of my system.

I figure at least cleaning them will help. Do any of the basic entry level vinyl cleaning systems make a difference.

I see the new GrooveWasher coming out ( ), does anyone have an opinion on it? It looks really great, and I am interested in finding one.

I also have looked at the basic ones on other websites like spin clean ( )

Look for obvious scratches, divots, inclusions or other notable surface imperfections. Those can't be cleaned away and can damage things if they are bad enough.

On cleaning, you can find all kinds of detailed information here if you search the forums. For basics though, the Spin Clean is well regarded and works well for most kinds of gunk. You'll want to use a cleaning solution you feel comfortable with, but the bundled stuff with most of the comprehensive kits is usually adequate. Just be careful with any alcohol-based fluids - they are a no-no with 78 RPM records.

Usually, a wet clean followed by a dry brush and final air drying is the favored process. You might also consider an anti-static treatment like Zerostat or a carbon-fiber brush. Just be sure to follow the directions precisely to achieve desired results.

Good luck & happy listening!
I tried the Spin Clean system that you referred to. Worked fine with getting gunk off; however, I found it a pain to dry the record properly without introducing some other type of contamination leading to noise. If you are willing to spend a little more and have a suitable home vacuum cleaner on hand, I find that the KAB EV-1 ($169) works extremely well. It is similar to the Nitty Gritty cleaning systems. When you are finished cleaning with this system, record is ready for playing or storing away.
Try the GEM Dandy Hydraulic Record Cleaning Apparatus, available at various outlets including direct from the manufacturer. (Their mat is great as well). It's relatively inexpensive and a number of steps above the Spin Clean. I actually sold my expensive Nitty Gritty machine because IMHO this does a lot better job of cleaning and quieting. It is more labor intensive, but, again IMHO, it is well worth the extra time.
I am not in any way associated with this manufacturer, just love and use their products.
If you're just worried about damaging your stylus and not the ultimate sound, you can probably just wash them in the sink with some Dawn detergent and then rinse them off with tap water followed by a little distilled water rinse. It's not going to get everything out of the grooves, but it will take off any bad surface dirt, pebbles, pot seeds... Dry with a microfiber cloth and put in a dish drainer until dry. No, it's not perfect, but I think it fulfills your goal.
If you get creative, you can build super nice ultrasonic cleaner on your own using conventional ultrasonic baths designed for surgical equipment.
All you need is lo-rpm motor with reductive gear that will spin the record inside your ultrasonic bath.
Drying out you can do by simply blowing the fan onto the surface.
Get a Spinclean, this machine has stood the test of time...enough said.
Rethinking my previous post about washing records in the sink, yes, it will work, but if you are going to commit to listening to vinyl, whether new or old records, you are going to have to invest in a good record-cleaning machine. That's just a fact of life, IMO. So save up, bite the bullet and get a used VPI or Nitty Gritty or something and get it over with. I guess if you're really stretched you can get a Spinclean, but make sure to buy some plush microfiber cloths from an auto detailing site like Chemical Guys for better drying.