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Maintenance and Cleaning of Your DJ Equipment

How to clean and maintain your turntables, revive your slipmats, and clean your crossfaders for optimum performance of your dj equipment.
by Kevin Healy
February 29, 2007

Cleaning your records isn't everything. When was the last time you cleaned your slipmats, dusted off your turntable platters, or taken a brush to your needles. If you cant remember, then your equipment is most likely in need of a full cleaning.

There are a few items that you will need before you start:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • A nonabrasive cloth
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • A cartridge brush, or a small paintbrush will work

Now that you have gathered these items, you are ready to start. The first thing to clean is your slipmats. These can be cleaned, by either taking a damp cloth and lightly brushing the mat from the center outwards all the way around the slipmat. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to vacuum the dust out of the slipmat.

Take off the slipmats and get your nonabrasive cloth damp with a half and half solution of water and isopropyl alcohol. Lightly wipe the turntable plate in the same manner that you cleaned the slipmats.

Your cartridges are very delicate so be careful when cleaning. Simply take your brush and sweep the needle from the back of the cartridge to front. This is what is known as a dry cleaning and should be done on a regular basis. Wet cleaning is the exact same only you use an alcohol based cleaning solution.

Be sure to wipe your equipment down on a weekly basis, electronic equipment seems to collect alot of dust due to static, just use a cloth with some 50/50 solution of alcohol and water.

Cleaning your Crossfader

Now its time to clean that crackle coming from your crossfader, you will need the following items to do this:

  • Can of compressed air
  • Tube of bearing lubricant
  • Screw driver

Not all crossfaders can be cleaned some mixers use a disposable fader that cannot be taken apart. Most dj mixers come with a fader that is designed to be taken apart and cleaned. Make sure all of your equipment is unplugged before you clean it.

Taking Apart your Crossfader

The first step is to take the screwdriver and remove the screws fastening the fader plate to the mixer. Once you have done this, you will notice the fader is attached by a connector. Detach the connector now there should be two more screws that hold the coverplate of the fader to the fader itself, remove these. In order to take the cover plate off the fader you will also have to remove the slider, these just pull straight off.

Now take the compressed air and blow out every crevice in the fader. Make sure it is dust free, and that there is no grime build up on it. Lubricate the crossfader, reassemble, and voila no more sound leakage or scratchy noise when using your crossfader.

Suggested Reading
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  • Editing Samples
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  • Producing Sound With Computer Recording Equipment
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  • Low, High, and Band Pass Filters
    Using low pass, and high pass filters, when mixing down a track or automating effects for a song, very powerful tools for audio production.

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