A Guide to Cleaning and Storing Your DJ Equipment


“Take care of your tools, and they’ll take care of you.” Although it sounds a bit cliché, there’s never been a truer statement about your DJ equipment. To keep its components in top condition and performing at your gigs, paying attention to cleaning and storage is critical. Following some useful tips should ensure that your system stays in top shape.

Basic Cleaning Supplies and Techniques

Delicate controls and surfaces could be damaged by harsh, abrasive substances and materials. For that reason, it’s vital to gather the right supplies to keep your units free of dust and debris. The basic items your cleaning kit should contain are isopropyl alcohol, a nonabrasive cloth, a vacuum with a brush attachment and a small-sized brush (a small paintbrush or cartridge brush will do).

Now that you have your tools, you’ll need to observe a few important cleaning steps. Apply a light touch to your slipmats, cleaning them with a damp cloth from the center and working outwards or by using your vacuum and an appropriate attachment. Turntables should be wiped down gently using a solution of half water, half isopropyl alcohol. Use an even more delicate approach with your cartridges, lightly sweeping their needles from front to back. This regimen should be performed weekly as part of basic maintenance, and remember to disconnect electrical power from your units before you begin cleaning.

Besides regular upkeep, it’s prudent to include post-gig cleanup as part of your tear-down procedures. Once you’ve disconnected your system from all power sources and cabling, take a moment to wipe down all the units. This should clear away any residue accumulated during your show, such as cigarette smoke or residue from smoke machines.

Storage Tips

How you store your DJ equipment is just as critical as how you clean it. Damp conditions, temperature extremes and dust can all wreak havoc on intricate electronic units, so be sure to keep your system in a dry area that’s as close to room temperature as possible. Covering your equipment doesn’t hurt, either, to keep unwanted detritus away from your turntables, slipmats, needles and other components.

If you must store your system in an area with extreme heat or cold, no serious harm should come to it. Simply wait for the units to come to a proper temperature before you power up, and be prepared for initial motor slippage or strange sounds if you’re dealing with unexpected condensation. Finally, it’s wise to coat any plugs or sockets with a thin protective coating of lubricant should you need to keep your equipment tucked away for long periods of time.

Don’t Neglect Regular Upkeep

Equipment malfunctions are not only an embarrassment, but they also cost you money. Proper cleaning and storage eliminates a lot of common problems that could plague your DJ system such as degradation of sound quality or damage to your records. Storing your units correctly also cuts down on dust accumulation and other hazards. Paying attention to these basic elements of maintenance will not only reward you with long-lasting equipment but also save your budget and reputation.