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Look, we all do it…

We all get our stylus (needle) dirty. It’s inevitable. Whether it is playing dirty records, handling the record wrongly, getting it out of the sleeve, or just playing the record and accumulating dust, all these things and more can get your stylus dirty. So, we need to clean our stylus.

ONZOW ZeroDust - Stylus Cleaner

Onzow ZeroDust is one of the methods of cleaning a stylus for your turntable. I hope to inform the reader, to the best of my knowledge, of how well Onzow cleans a stylus and if it is worthy of purchasing. This will be left up to you to decide if I paint a good enough picture.

Let’s get to it…

What Is Onzow ZeroDust?

Onzow ZeroDust can be ordered on Amazon or bought at most record stores and has been available for sale for many years now. This comes in a small little square case that has a removable lid. The lid serves the second purpose of being able to magnify. This allows you to possibly check the condition of your stylus before and after using the Onzow ZeroDust.

Inside the box, you will find a clear sticky-like polymer. This is where you will dip your stylus into and which cleans the stylus. The stylus hit the polymer and indents into it, though never puncturing it. The goo wraps around the stylus and allows the dirt and debris to transfer to the Onzow, thereby cleaning the stylus.

A clean stylus means better sound, and that is very important.

Does It Work?

100% it works!

But the right question is, how well does it work?

I know from countless times of hearing distortion or muffled playback (like someone threw a heavy blanket over the speakers) that after using the Onzow Zerodust, the sound improved immediately. Additionally, you can see the dust and debris left over in the Zerodust goo after dipping your stylus into it.

It works. This is indisputable.

onzow with dirt it picked up
This is my Onzow, and you can clearly see it removed a bunch of debris from my stylus. It needs to be cleaned and run under some water.

How Well Does It Work?

For some, it works well enough, and that is just fine. For others, it’s a decent standby, but there are better stylus cleaners available for purchase. I found this out myself by purchasing a Digital USB Microscope and looking at the stylus before and after using the Onzow ZeroDust. Not much change

stylus up close look
All you need to know is that this was after I used the ZeroDust. It did change a little bit, but it sure left a lot there.
cleaned stylus
This was cleaned using a different method. See how much cleaner it is? I used the Hudson HI-FI UV Stylus Cleaner, an ultrasonic stylus cleaner.

Hudson Hi-Fi Turntable UV Stylus Cleaner Vinyl Cleaning - Vinyl Stylus Needle Cleaner for Turntable Record Player - Anti Static Needle Cleaner for Turntable Accessories

Now, the Onzow will pick up stray hairs, dust bunnies, and dirt, but it will not get your stylus this clean. It does work but doesn’t work compared to an ultrasonic stylus cleaner. Nothing cleans like an ultrasonic cleaner!

For more information, check my review of my page, What Is The Best Way To Clean Stylus.

I don’t mean to hijack this post and talk about another device, but after I’ve seen the result, I can’t go back to solely using Onzow anymore. Sure, I will use it if I see a big dust bunny on the stylus, but for deep cleaning, I’m grabbing the Hudson.

Possible Issues Using The ZeroDust

In an article on Analog Planet, Fremer wrote a post about Time To Put Away The Onzow ZeroDust. In this article, he reports the possible ZeroDust leaving a hard-to-remove residue on the stylus by using a much more expensive microscope and magnification. This is reported to be some sort of polymer. It’s worth a read and something to keep in mind as well.

This residue might be present in the first picture (above), but I don’t have that good of magnification.

What I Use To Clean My Stylus

As of right now, I only have two stylus cleaners, the Onzow ZeroDust and the Husdon HI-FI Ultrasonic cleaner.

I have both of these Stylus cleaners, and I will use both when whatever situation calls for the right one. If small dust bunnies are present, I would hit it with the Onzow. If it’s been a while since I cleaned my stylus and I want a thorough cleaning, I will use the Hudson.

But for sure, I will be using both. The more tools to attack the different situations at hand, the better, in my eyes at least.

How To Clean Onzow ZeroDust

Yes, you can easily clean the Onzow!

Over time, your Onzow ZeroDust will become quite littered with spots of micro dust bunnies and various debris. This can happen in a matter of months or years, depending on how often you use it and how dirty your records are.

Thankfully, a little-known fact is you can easily clean the ZeroDust. Some people take it out of the little box it comes in and simply wash it with water from the sink. If you have hard water, I might suggest you use some distilled water to thoroughly rinse and get it clean. Shake it dry, then simply put it back into the box in which it came.

lid on magnifying dirt left after cleaning
This easily shows with the lid’s magnification how much dirt it has removed from my stylus over time.

Tips On Using Onzow Zerodust

Take Your Time & For God’s Sake Be Careful

Cleaning any stylus takes a steady and careful hand. Make sure you are calm. Read whatever instructions that came along with your cleaner and follow them closely.

Prevention Is King

Playing clean records should be mandatory, as this is where the stylus picks up the debris from…your records. Playing clean records mostly means your stylus isn’t gunking up with debris. This initial first step is the most important to having good playback and sound and not having to worry about cleaning the stylus as much.

If you don’t have a record cleaner yet, check out my post on Spin-Clean VS Vinyl Vac – Which Is Better. These are the two cheapest systems for cleaning records, and they both do a great job at it.

Use It Before Every Record

A good practice, if you own an Onzow, is to clean the stylus every time before you play a new record. Just dip the stylus into the Onzow carefully using the cueing lever on your turntable to gently set the stylus onto the Zerodust.

Use The Magnifying Bubble

The lid cover also serves as a small magnifying glass. This can be used to clearly see the amount of gunk you have accumulated on the ZeroDust goo.

Also, it can be used with care to inspect your stylus prior to use in order to check out the condition of the stylus before and after cleaning.

Get A USB Microscope To Check Out Your Stylus & How Well Your Cleaners Actually Work

I did, and I was quite surprised by the results. There are hundreds of different models to choose from I ordered the Jiusion. These are relatively inexpensive to purchase and sure let you know what is happening when cleaning your stylus. I highly recommend getting one.

Jiusion 2K HD 2560x1440P USB Digital Microscope for Android Cellphone and Tablet Windows Mac Linux, 40X to 1000X Magnification Endoscope Handheld Mini Magnifier Camera for Coin Facial Skin Scalp

The Last Groove

It is without question that the Onzow ZeroDust does clean the stylus; it just doesn’t clean it thoroughly. It does a great job of when too much dust is accumulated on the stylus and allowing the music to return to normal.

It is a practical device that is simple and easy to use, and I know it works.

ONZOW ZeroDust - Stylus Cleaner

click here to buy

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