SKT In The Groove Record Cleaner

[In The Groove Record Cleaner]
[Italian version]

Product name: In The Groove Record Cleaner
Manufacturer: SKT - USA
Cost: 19.99 USD. (Currency conversion)
(YMMV)

Reviewer: Todd Bromgard - TNT USA
Reviewed: December, 2013

Introduction

The best method to get a record clean is to wash it with an appropriate wet solution and dry it on a vacuum powered record cleaning machine (See TNT-Audio.com article How-to: record cleaning fluids for suggestions for wet solutions). Thereafter, records should be left out overnight to dry completely because even after vacuum cleaning a trace amount of residual liquid can remain deep in the grooves. But for inbetween wet cleanings, or for those without a record cleaning machine, a dry brush is about the only option available. But brushes always leave a little dust behind and are completely ineffective at removing fingerprints. Recently I tried the In-the-Groove Record Cleaner, which proved to be an effective alternative to record brushes, like the Nagaoka Rolling Cleaner.

Description

[In The Groove Record Cleaner]

The device looks like a lint-roller for clothes, about the width of one side of an LP and coated with a blue tacky material. The directions are simple: place an LP on a clean flat surface and roll along the grooves. It will pick-up surface dust and lift fingerprints. When the roller gets dirty it can be washed under warm water and air dried. It will last for years without drying out or losing its tackiness. Apparently the inventor is a surgeon and holds a patent for the blue tacky material, which was originally developed to hold surgical instruments in place.

In Use

I have the excellent 200 gram Analog Productions pressing of "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones. I wanted to play it one night, but it was dusty and my thumbprint was clearly visible across the first song. I thought about giving it a full service wash and setting it down to dry for the night. But I was impatient and wanted to hear Norah, so I broke out the In-The-Grove Record Cleaner to give it a try. It only took one pass and the LP was free of dust. Most of my thumbprint was gone too, only a faded smudge remained. I placed the LP on my turntable and it played fine. At the end of side one no dust was stuck to the stylus or piled at the end of the record.
Initially I was concerned the roller might leave a residue on my LPs, but I have seen no evidence of any under a 10x magnifying glass. I also examined the stylus of my Ortofon 2M Blue but saw no residue on it either. The tacky material on the roller appears similar to the highly regarded ZeroDust stylus cleaner, which I have used for years with good results.

Conclusion

I can clean about a dozen or so LPs before the roller needs to be rinsed. The roller is like new after five months of use. The In-The-Groove record cleaner is an easy recommendation, particularly for those without record cleaning machines.

Copyright 2013 Todd Bromgard - todd@tnt-audio.com - www.tnt-audio.com