Sometimes the needle gets dusty, how should I clean it? the way I do it now is just pick away the dust with my fingers, and it seems to work but it doesn't seem professional to clean it with my fingers.
I don't know if this is approved of, but I have a little brush that I use. It's about 3 inches long with the handle and I can't remember where I got it, but it's not too rough and works perfectly. Needless to say, I use it carefully.
I pull the actual needle out(Sure & Stanton cartridges) every few months to get right up inside with the brush. I think I might have had it with a beard trimmer...
Do never touch your needle with your finger! Usually there is a small carbon needle brush provided with each new cartridge. I got one with each of my Ortofon cartridges and with the Shure I bought once, so I guess this is standard, though you might get one in commerce if you don't have any.
In order to clean your stylus from small fibers, etc. just brush the stylus gently from back to forth, never sideways and never from front to back. You can do it once before each drop.
But in some occasions styluses can get very dirty, even with clean records! Furthermore, some records have defective end grooves so styluses can jump on the label, etc. In this occasions the brush alone is not sufficient.
You should by a 20x - 60x magnifying lens, they are not very expensive. 10x can be sufficient, but you will still need very good eyes, so I would go with 20x. After inspecting the stylus' state I use demineralized water or my vinyl cleaning solution (demineralized water + some drops of Art du Son) to wet the stylus cleaning brush and do the same cleaning routine as with the dry brush: gently brushing from back to front.
I read somewhere that you should not use alcohol in order to clean the stylus, since this could dissolve the glue that is used to fix the diamond.