Over time, stylus wear is inevitable. But there are a few things you can do to help prolong the life of your stylus, protect your records from needless degradation, and maintain high quality sound from your set-up.
The stylus should be brushed before every play. This is because the typical LP carries half a mile of grooves, and your stylus is tracing through this entire distance, encountering dust and micro-debris each time you play a record. Regular cleaning will go a long way to ensuring stylus longevity.
A clean stylus reproduces the best sounds – No cartridge sounds good with a dirty needle.
Prevent mistracking – Stylus debris are a common cause of the needle jumping out of a groove. Keep your stylus clean to prevent this from happening.
Prevent damage to the stylus and records – Dirt and debris on the needle act as abrasives when tracking through the record groove, damaging both stylus and LP.