Stylus cleaner

Which have you found to be very effective...?
Funny, I just researched this yesterday on these forums and beyond.  I needed a solution other than dry brushing, so after the research, which included talking to the people at Music Direct, reading a Michael Fremmer review, and reading some threads here, I ordered a Flux HiFi Sonic Electronic Stylus Cleaner, just last night.
First you must have Cardas LP with frequency sweeps that ultrasonically clean the cartridge stylus and degauss the entire system.  Second is Onzow Zerodust stylus cleaner (no liquid). 
Slaw: none yet!
I'll be trying the 'Dust Buster' by Vinyl Passion but I haven't heard of the ones mentioned...
How good is the Onzow & Flux?
First and most records cleaned w/combo of DIY, Audio Intel. fluids & steam + KAB EV-1 vacuum. A pain!

Afterward, a couple of dips of stylus into a little square cut from Mr Clean Magic Eraser...
Followed by a careful brushing with carbon fiber stylus brush...
Then a couple of dips into an Onzow Zerodust (no dry brushing after).

Occasionally, all the above followed by careful brushing with (Last or Mobile Fidelity?) Stylus Cleaner.

Check with magnifier and good light.

Prefer to minimize physical brushing as much as possible due to risk of damage to cantilever.

My best investment was in a 60x magnifier, got one for less than $10 on eBay and this lets me see the dirt on the stylus. With a quick dip in the Oznow after every session (or hour or so of play) and a go with the Audio Technica ultrasonic moistened by Last #4 stylus cleaner once every couple of months. Main thing is to be gentle and don't let the dirt build up
Magic Eraser! Read the old thread with comments/photos from dougdeacon for proof of how well it works. Cheers,

As ghosthouse stated above,... It's more important to have a (cleaned lp) to start with. Any stylus cleaner is really secondary, but still of importance.

(I just have an issue with others starting a thread without explaining their procedure or why they started the thread in the first place! In this scenario, the OP gets away with not contributing (at all) to their own benefit!!!!)

Been using the Last cleaner forever. Works great
+1. I use it before and after every side. I make a point of minimizing how much of the cantilever it is applied to, to minimize the possibility that any of the liquid may migrate to the cartridge’s internal suspension.

I also clean my records with a Nitty Gritty machine, btw.

-- Al

Use magic eraser followed by a soft brush back to front. Inspect occasionally with something like this:


No relation to seller. I have one of these and it is great to check and see if your stylus is clean.

There are plenty of threads on magic eraser here at Audiogon.
Great input guys, thank you. 

And thanks for the laugh slaw...!

I was using Audio Technica fluid but since my cartridge upgrade (Lyra Skala) I wanted something better.
As previously mentioned I have ordered the Dust Buster by Vinyl Passion but I'm certainly interested in the Onzow & Flux. 
Additionally I do of course endeavour to maintain clean records...!

Fluid stylus tip cleaning is strictly prohibited for most of the hi-end cartridges such as ZYX etc!

Onzow is the best solution, you will find it for reasonable price from japanese sellers on ebay.

Cardas LP with ultrasonic cleaning signal works also like demagnetizer but can not harm your MC/MM/MI cartridge.  The best tool ever! 
@ chakster

ZYX makes no mention of "strickly prohibiting" cleaning their stylus tips with a liquid cleaner on their website!

The Ozono does not clean "above the diamond on the cantiliver", and also needs the use of a brush.
As many have noted the key to a good cleaning regime is actually not letting the stylus get dirty in the first place so
  1. Clean LPs
  2. Inspect and clean tip at least once each session (Oznow Zerodust or magic eraser)
  3. Keep dust and dirt away from cantilever (i.e. keep the room clean)
  4. Infrequently more thorough clean with brush/liquid or ultrasonic
As it's step #4 that is most likely to damage things it's the one to avoid as much as possible and if you are doing #1-3 regularly you should not need to go to step #4 very often at all
@don_c55  google it, i tend to trust Nakatsuka-San and Zyx distributors:

Be careful with stylus cleaning fluid. Too much over time and you can dissolve the bond between the stylus tip and the cantilever. Zyx actually warns against using fluid for that reason. I've used a Zero Dust for years now. 

Many Cartridge Manufacturers today do usually discourage the use of Liquids, and the Distributor of ZYX told me either Onzow Zerodust, or Mister Clean ME Eraser only. The fluids needed many times to remove baked on Stylus Crud can no doubt be also agressive enough to harm Stylus Bonding Adhesives. 

FWIW, I have been using the Magic Eraser to clean my two cartridges for a while.  While this works very well on my Ortofon OM-30, it is less effective on my Denon DL-160.  I would guess that the smaller stylus profile (which is how you get more detail from your LPs) of the Denon doesn't catch as well on the Magic Eraser fabric.  I have had a stubborn dust bunny on the Denon that the Magic Eraser and a dry stylus brush have been unable to dislodge.

I am ordering an Onzow - hat tip to chakster.

I just blow on tip most of the time. No contact works best and longest
I have Stanton 1/4 oz bottle that i purchased 25 years ago and it's still near-full. 


I use Last stylus cleaner before each listening session, and Last stylus preservative after each side, with stylus brushing.

I have been doing this for decades without problems of any kind!

Tried Magic Eraser and Ozono, but you still need to brush, and gave them up.

If ZYX was really concerned with fluids, why no warning in their manuals ????
FWIW, I have used Last stylus cleaner before and after playing nearly every side of every record I have played in the last 30+ years.  As I mentioned previously I make a point of minimizing how far up onto the cantilever it is applied, to minimize the possibility of any of the liquid migrating onto the internal suspension.

I also use a Nitty Gritty 2.5FiMk2 Record Cleaning Machine on the majority of the recordings I play, but not nearly on all of them.  I use a Zerostat before playing every side of every record.  Also, my SOTA turntable has a dustcover, so between that and a very occasional dusting of the platter with a carbon-fiber record brush (that I don't use on records) the platter is kept clean.

I do not use any brushes on the stylus other than the very soft one that comes with Last cleaner.

I have never had any problems as a result, with any of the cartridges I have used during those 30+ years.  Those cartridges include various incarnations of the Grace F-9E (the original non-Ruby version; multiple original Ruby versions; a Soundsmith re-tipped "contact line" Ruby version), a Grado Reference Sonata, and the Audio Technica AT-ART9 LOMC I currently use.

-- Al
To the OP,

I thought this conversation was laid to bed years ago when Doug Deacon popularized use of the Magic Eraser.

No doubt there are fluids which (over time) will leave your stylus looking like new (clear/white). I confess to having only used Last, and the results were just meh in comparison with the Magic Eraser.

This might have been a problem with technique (keeping fluid from migrating up the cantilever), but that's my point.  There’s no fluid involved in a Magic Eraser cleaning.

There is a down side to the Magic Eraser, if you can call it that.  You need either steady hands or good technique.

There are times when something doesn’t have to be labeled as an audiophile product to be a best in class product.

As far as the Onzow is concerned, this looks like the old Zerodust - good for removing surface garbage, but not for the baked on vinyl that quickly crusts up on a stylus. Upon having moved on from Last solution (cantilever grunge - possible user error), I used a Zerodust for about a year.

It then took careful and extensive "scrubbing" with a Magic eraser to remove the build-up that the Zerodust let occur. It can be done (remove it after the fact) but it’s a delicate operation, and prevention (regular use of the Magic Eraser) is much simpler.

As always, YMMV, but I thought this was open and closed when Doug posted about the Magic Eraser.

Thom @ Galibier Design
@don_c55 i don’t know why there is nothing about cleaning (at all) in the manuals for my zyx airy and zyx 4d, but that’s why we have distributors to address our questions directly to manufacturer. I use fluid cleaning only on cheap mm cartridges, but i do not use it on hi-end mc cartridges if the distributor warning people to stay away of fluid cleaning. Rebuild of ZYX (for example) cost too much to make such mistakes.
So the common denominator could be Last...

The Dust Buster by Vinyl Passion will arrive today so I'll check out its effectiveness...
"So the common denominator could be Last... "
The common denominator of what?

"The Dust Buster by Vinyl Passion will arrive today so I'll check out its effectiveness... "
How will you determine the effectiveness?
It's your thread ...

If it was all that apparent I would not have asked.

Good luck and you should buy some Magic Eraser to test as well.
Ok I will try the Magic Eraser too, thanks.

The Dust Buster works very well; it's like a really thick viscose gel & you can see the remnants of what it's removed. 
Great that the Dust Buster works. I think it is about the same as the Onzow. If you are not using a magnifier of some some type to inspect the stylus you should get one like I recommended earlier in the thread for about $10. The 60x magnification really lets you see the stylus and cantilever in detail.

Best Regards,

This one is widely available and works well. You will have to remove the clear plastic guard


Here is a copy of my earlier post with a link which I hope works. If it does not work just copy the description into the search description on e-bay:

Use magic eraser followed by a soft brush back to front. Inspect occasionally with something like this:


No relation to seller. I have one of these and it is great to check and see if your stylus is clean.

There are plenty of threads on magic eraser here at Audiogon.
Magic Eraser; I’ve tried many others and this works best and is cost effective. Just a couple of up down and ups onto the surface with the cue lever (no hands on the tonearm needed!) and all is clean and ready to go. Sodium hydroxide is the ingredient in the material that helps clean the stylus.
Thanks Jim & folkfreak for the links...and thanks guys for the continued input, much appreciated. 

I recently attended a info session on Cartridges at AXPONA. The speaker Mr. Van Den Hul mentioned that Audio Technica stylus cleaner  was the worst cleaner to use, just the one I was using. He recommended Vodka or Last Stylus cleaner. He should know what works
To paraphrase your comment above "Mr. Van Den Hul recommended Vodka or Last Stylus cleaner. He should know what works."

I don't disagree with his recommendation on Van Den Hul cartridges or cartridges Mr. Van Den Hul has rebuilt, however not every manufacturer uses the same cantilever/stylus attachment methods or adhesives.

I use Magic Eraser on my cartridges based on the recommendation of the distributor, who also advised never to use liquid cleaners on these cartridges. Cartridge owners should follow the manufacturer's or distributor's recommendation regarding their particular brand of cartridge.

When in doubt I would not use a liquid cleaner unless it was approved.
I use Clearaudio Elixir stylus cleaner and a small stylus brush I would never use Magic Eraser on my seventeen hundred dollar cartridge 
I tried the clear sticky bubble  but found a film building up on the stylus

Ok so I've used the Vinyl Passion Dust Buster & it works well; the viscose gel does remove dirt from the stylus. 

It's the same principle as the Onzow although I have no idea as to the composite of either product. 
Yes Jim, it should arrive next week. Although I forgot that I have quite a good magnifier on my phone!
My flux hifi arrived yesterday, and 60x-100x zoom magnifier for iPhone is on its way.  Should be super easy to take before and after photos.  I'll be sure to report on the experience and post some pics!
About 36 years using Stylast and either their small brush, or the brush that Dynavector provides, prior to each listening session.  Then, I use the brush after each LP side.  
Here's the magnifier that I ordered.  I said it was a 60-100x, but I forgot that I had decided on this 60x model instead.

Look at this on eBay:

Clip-On 60X Zoom Microscope Magnifier Micro Lens for iphone 6s 6s plus
I would be worried and reluctant to use the Flux Hifi Sonic cleaner. A third party device that oscillates the cantilever?! No thanks. This is clearly not what the cantilever was designed for. 

The description on Music Direct is laughable - talking about "crust" on your records. Seriously, if your records are clean, you don't need to dislodge crust on your needle!
The only stylus cleaner I’ve ever used is the Lyra stylus cleaner that came with my cartridge. I keep my records clean and use the stylus cleaner once every session, or so. I use a magnifier occasionally to check the cartridge. While I don’t have a basis for comparison, I have literally never felt the need to search for one. My eyes and, more importantly, my ears tell me it works just fine. (And since it comes from the manufacturer I have no worries about it harming the cartridge.)

edit- the tiny little bottle lasts forever if you follow the directions.