How to Remove Static From Vinyl Records

james williamson author James Williamson
  April 1st, 2024

The static charge on the vinyl can affect your listening experience and sometimes, those pops and crackles can irritate you a lot.

So, according to my experience and research, I have drafted this article in which we have talked about static charge build-up on vinyl and how to remove static from vinyl records and keep your record static-free.

Before going further, let’s understand the static charge and why static charge builds up on vinyl.

What is Static Charge or Electricity?

The static charge or electricity is an imbalance of protons (positive charge) and electrons (negative charge).

Every atom has a balance of protons and electrons i.e. an equal amount of protons and electrons which makes the material neutrally charged.

If there is any imbalance i.e. increase in the number of protons or a decrease in the number of electrons then the material can be charged positively or negatively depending on which charge is in excess. Well, this is the basic understanding that you must have about the static charge but if you want to learn more about static electricity, you can check out this link.

As you know, vinyl records are built with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) material which is a natural insulator, and a static charge is built on it when it interacts with other objects.

This static charge can attract dust particles which can get stuck inside the record grooves and affect the overall vinyl experience. The PVC material is the main reason due to which you can’t remove static from vinyl permanently.

Measure Taken By Manufacturers To Reduce Static Charge Of PVC:

The manufacturers added a material called Black Carbon to the original PVC mix to reduce the static charge of the vinyl.

According to Conductive Phonograph Record Patents, black carbon is conductive so when you mix the black carbon in the PVC mix then the conductivity is increased which makes the record less prone to static charge.

Black carbon is the reason why the industry standard color of vinyl is black.

The non-existence of black carbon in colored vinyl is also one of the main reasons why colored vinyl sounded worse in the past. But now, the technology has evolved and the manufacturers found a way to make colored vinyl sound as good as black vinyl without black carbon.

How Static Charge Generates On Vinyl Records:

Static electricity can be built on your vinyl record by record sleeves, hand touches, a stylus running over the record, the temperature and humidity of the room, and much more.

According to my experience, the dry weather builds up the static very fast.

How Does Static Charge Affect Vinyl Records:

If your record has a static charge then you will hear pops, crackles, or even face record skipping issues.

How to Remove Static From Vinyl Records:

If your records are dirty then I suggest you first clean your record using these methods and then proceed with static charge removal techniques.

Here are the methods to keep your records away from static charge:

1) Anti-Static Record Brush:

anti static record cleaning brush

The anti-static records brushes help a lot in keeping your viny static-free. This brush along with anti-static record inner sleeves has done wonders for me.

Steps to use this brush:

  • Lock the tonearm in its resting place.
  • Turn on the turntable and let your record spin.
  • Take the brush and put it on the edge of the record. Now, slowly move the brush to the inner side until it touches the spindle.
  • Once, it touches the spindle, pick up the brush again and repeat the 3rd and 4th steps 4-5 times.

That’s it.

Some people have shared that these brushes built static charge on the records instead of removing it but, it has worked great for me. I am using a Boundless record cleaner brush and recommend you to use the same.

2) Anti-Static Inner Sleeves:

Anti-Static Inner Sleeves

The anti-static record inner sleeves are the best solution to keep your record away from building static on it.

I have used these and I have seen a noticeable difference in the sound.

Mostly, we use paper sleeves to store the record but as I already told you, vinyl records are made from PVC so it will react with paper sleeves or air inside your sleeves which creates static.

So, what I recommend is, that you can put the records inside anti-static inner sleeves and then put the record in the paper sleeves. This will solve the problem of static on records.

The sleeves I am currently using are Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab anti-static record sleeves and I recommend you to get the same.

3) Replace the Felt Mat If Using:

Felt mats are more prone to attract dust, dirt, and static charge. So, if you are using a felt mat then I recommend you change it to either a cork mat, leather mat, or acrylic mat.

4) Anti-Static Gun (Milty Zerostat 3 Anti-Static Gun):

milty zerostat 3 anti-static gun

Everyone is recommending to have an anti-static gun to remove the static but most of us don’t know anything about its working concept because you won’t be seeing any visible thing coming out of it.

The manufacturer has recommended holding it above the record with a 1-foot distance and then squeezing it and releasing it. That’s it.

Nothing is mentioned in the manual like how it works and how the static is being removed from the vinyl with a gun.

So, I have researched a lot about this gun and figured out its working concept and now, I am going to explain it to you guys.

How Milty Zerostat 3 Anti-Static Gun Works:

The working concept of the gun is pure science. The anti-static gun releases positive and negative ions when you use it. The gun spits positive ions when you squeeze the trigger and negative ions when you release it.

These ions go on and interact with the static charge on the vinyl record which results in removing the static records completely from the record.

Best Way to Use Milty Zerostat 3 Anti-Static Gun:

1) Remove the record from the turntable and hold it in your hand

2) Hold the record 1 feet away from the gun and slowly squeeze the trigger until it touches the holding surface of the gun and then release it slowly

3) Repeat the second step 4-5 times and you will see that the static charge is removed from the records.

My Experience:

I honestly don’t own this gun right now but I did some testing with my friend’s gun on my records and guess what? It works.

But, this gun is a little expensive so It’s your choice whether you want to invest some bucks to get this device or not. You can check more details about the Milty Zerostat 3 Anti-Static Gun here.

5) Walker Audio Talisman:

Walker Audio Talisman is a very old product in the market that is meant for removing static from vinyl, CDs, DVDs, cables, players, and much more.

The size is similar to an anti-static brush but it contains very strong magnets inside which helps to remove the static from the records.

You need to spin the record on the turntable with the stylus being away from the platter. Now, hover the talisman over the record with around a 1 to 1.5-inch gap and spin the record. Keep the talisman hovering on the platter for a few seconds and slide it off the record.

That’s it.

Here is the video demonstration of the tool:

My Experience:

Well, I haven’t used this tool but I have seen a lot of positive feedback on this. Just like an anti-static gun, this is a little expensive but if you want to try it then you can go to your nearby stores and get it.

If you have used this then please let me know in the comments. Maybe your comment can trigger me to get this one for me too.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1- Why is static bad for vinyl records?

The static buildup on records can attract dust particles that settle down deeper inside the grooves, and these dust particles restrict the stylus from fetching audio signals from the grooves efficiently, which results in sound distortion, crackles, and pops.

Q2- Is it OK to touch a vinyl record?

You should always touch the record from both sides, using both hands. I recommend you avoid touching the grooves because, in that case, the PVC will interact with your hand touches and a static charge will build up on the record surface.

Q3- Is it normal to hear static on vinyl?

Yes, it is normal to hear static on vinyl, but I recommend you remove static from your records before playing them, otherwise, your vinyl experience will be affected.


I hope you have successfully removed the static from your vinyl. If you still have questions then please comment below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you follow any other unique method to remove static from vinyl records then do share your method with us and we will add the method in this article.

james williamson
About Author: James Williamson

I have been a music enthusiast since childhood and I love talking about music bands, artists, vinyl, and music equipments. I have launched TurntableWave to help people avoid the mistakes that I had made while entering the vinyl world. In my free time, you will find me fishing or playing basketball.

4 thoughts on “How to Remove Static From Vinyl Records”

  1. Hi, I have tried anti-static inner sleeves after reading your article and it is doing wonderful job. Thanks for sharing your experience with us James and yes, I will be implementing your other suggestions too.


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