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If vinyl is your jam, you need this $30 brush to keep those records clean

To keep your record player stylus clean and your albums like new, this simple-to-use brush is the way to go.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Hunt EDA Mark 6 record brush.
Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I have the good fortune of working from home, so I'll listen to three or four vinyl albums a day. But if your home is anything like mine, there always seems to be dust floating around. And given there are three cats sharing our space, there's also fur to contend with.

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Because of those things, I have to be proactive in keeping my albums free from various particles floating in the air before each play. Now, I've tried many different brushes over the years, but the Hunt EDA Mark 6 has been, by far, the best. 

View at Music Direct

Before I drop the needle on any side of an album, I gently place the brush on the vinyl (while it's spinning on the turntable) and let it pick up everything for 3 spins. I do this for every side of every record I listen to and it goes a long way to not only keeping my stylus clean but preventing build-up on my records. Thanks to this simple brush, all of my albums remain in (at least) near-mint condition.

The Hunt EDA Mark 6 easily removed hair, lint, dust, and just about anything that clung to my records. The only downfall of this brush is that it seems to be currently out of stock on Amazon, but you can find it on Music Direct (which I've used quite a bit for vinyl-related purchases).

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The Hunt EDA Mark 6 comes in two pieces: The brush itself and a simple metal stand that has two mounting holes (if you want to go that route). Personally, I have never mounted the stand because I use the stand to clean the brush. That was a particular trick I learned from an old vinyl guru who recommended the brush to me. 

To clean the Hunt EDA Mark 6 (which you should do regularly), you simply swipe the brush head across the long metal edge of the stand. Do this three or four times and all the link, hair, and dust is removed. You don't want to allow this to build up too much, or you might find the brush considerably less effective.

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The Hunt EDA Mark 6 has two rows of carbon fiber bristles that are separated by a static-grounding felt pad. When you place the brush onto a spinning record, you lay it down gently such that both rows of carbon fiber bristles are touching the album and the arrow pointing away from you. 

Do not press down on the brush, just let the weight of the tool do the trick. Allow the album to spin 3 times under the brush and then slowly swipe the brush in an arc to ensure it doesn't leave anything behind.

The Hunt EDA Mark 6 in action.

Cleaning my all-time favorite album, Rush's "Grace Under Pressure" with the Hunt EDA Mark 6.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Once you've done this, drop your needle on the album and enjoy the listening experience. Make sure, after flipping the album, that you brush the second side clear.

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As I said, I've tried just about every type of vinyl cleaning brush on the market, and this $30 gem has become my go-to for everyday recording cleaning.

One thing to keep in mind is this brush doesn't clean albums of fingerprints, oil, or other residues. For that, you'll want a gadget that is specifically designed for wet cleaning (which I'll deal with in a later piece).

If you're looking for the last album cleaning brush you'll ever need to purchase, the Hunt EDA Mark 6 is it.

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