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How to Clean a Vinyl Record: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to clean vinyl records without damaging them?

Wipe gently. Remove all dust and static using a microfiber cloth, using very little pressure to avoid driving any particles further into the grooves in the vinyl. Your goal is to pick up larger dust and dirt particles on the record without damaging the surface.

What is the best thing to clean vinyl records with?

Lint-free, microfibre cleaning cloth, from Calotherm. Anti-static inner sleeves, modelled by an eejit. When cleaning your vinyl using an anti-static brush use gentle, long strokes. Work in the direction of the grooves, not across them, and avoid pushing down or applying pressure.

Is it OK to clean vinyl records with water?

Simply put a few drops of dish soap into a tub of water. Avoid using tap water if you are creating your own solution. This will help to keep minerals that could damage the vinyl away from the records that you are cleaning. Di-ionized or distilled water is ideal for cleaning records.

Is it okay to clean vinyl records with alcohol?

You should avoid cleaning vinyl records with alcohol. Although it’s an effective cleaning agent, the alcohol will destroy the protective coating of the vinyl over time. Isopropyl alcohol, however, is a popular ingredient in many DIY record-cleaning fluids.

How to clean very dirty vinyl records?

Wash carefully in luke warm water with a drop of washing-up liquid and dry. Apply a thin layer of pva glue over the surface of one side (not touching the label) and peel off once dry. This removes a lot of the heavy soiling in the grooves. Use a quality record cleaning lotion and a lint free cloth to give it a polish.

Can you clean vinyl records with wet wipes?

Using anything other than a vinyl cleaning solution on your records is not recommended. However, to get a deeper clean using wet wiping, refrain from using household soaps and cleaners. Instead, moisten a microfiber cloth with distilled water.

How do professionals clean vinyl?

Brushes and Solutions To clean manually, we recommend you have a record brush, a specific cleaning solution and a clean, plush microfiber cloth. Brush the vinyl by hand to remove surface debris. Brush the record in a circular motion, following the grooves. Go easy on the pressure in order to preserve the grooves.

Can I clean vinyl records with soap?

Best Practices for Cleaning Records Gentle soap: Choose a mild, non-abrasive soap without additives like moisturizers or fragrances. Dish soap or baby shampoo are commonly recommended. Distilled water: Use distilled water to avoid minerals present in tap water, which could leave deposits on the record.

Is vinegar good for cleaning vinyl records?

Don’t use natural vinegar. Only white vinegar. Always use a clean sponge and cloth. A simple swipe with a new, lint free anti-static cloth is sufficient for new or not played often records.

Can you use WD40 on vinyl records?

I tried this method on one LP in particular which really doesn’t mean that much to me – a Geoff Love album (!) – and upon playing the WD40 treated disc, it appeared to reduce those crackles and pops when listening – the surface noise was much quieter.

What not to do with vinyl records?

Don’t stack your vinyl records on top of each other as this can lead to warping and scratching of the records. Take care to place the disks inside the vinyl record sleeves and then the jacket and place them flat without any heavy weight over them.

How often should I clean vinyl records?

Regular Cleaning: For records in regular rotation, especially those played frequently, it’s advisable to clean them regularly. A general guideline is to clean records every 5-10 plays or when you notice an increase in surface noise, pops, or clicks.

Do new vinyls skip?

Even if they’re brand new, some vinyl records can skip during playback. Not only does this ruin the listening experience, but it can leave a sour taste for those who’ve just paid for a new record. Skipping occurs when the needle of the record player jumps out of the vinyl grooves.

How long to let records dry after cleaning?

The fourth station is to let the records air dry for a couple hours. I set my records on water glasses; I flip them every 20 minutes or so. Labels can take a while to dry; and so can the grooves.

Why do my records get so dusty?

It’s airborne particles that float into our homes from the outdoors. If your vinyl has any exposure to the air whatsoever, it will come into contact with dust. The problem is that dust doesn’t simply rest on the surface of vinyl. It lodges itself into the grooves and collects in thick clusters.

Can I clean a record with a paper towel?

Playing dirty or dusty records can also prematurely wear down or even damage your grooves. If you don’t have an anti-static record brush, you can use a clean microfiber cloth instead. Avoid using anything dirty, abrasive, or prone to shedding such as paper towels, dish rags, or clothing.

Can you clean a vinyl with a towel?

Spray your record and then wipe it with a microfiber towel. Then, clean your vinyl with the dish soap. To remove dried paint: Scrape off the paint with a toothpick. Or, combine 1 part isopropyl alcohol with 3 parts distilled water in a spray bottle.

Can you clean a vinyl with a paper towel?

Almost as important as what you use to clean a vinyl record is what you should never use. The use of any of these harsh cleaners will permanently damage your records: Paper towels and tissues leave behind lint in the vinyl grooves and some paper towel fibers are so stiff they can leave scratches.

What is the easiest way to clean records?

Easily the best way to deep clean a vinyl record is to use a special record cleaner. These vacuum-powered devices are made especially for cleaning vinyl old and new. They work by sucking up the dirt and dust that have settled in the grooves while maintaining a low pressure to protect your prized hits.

Can I clean a record with at shirt?

Just don’t try to clean your records with a cotton shirt or a towel. It might seem soft enough, but it’s really just moving dirt around, and you run the risk of scratching them too.

How do you clean records cheaply?

Microfiber Cloth The first and most basic of our essentials is an item that should sit on the mantle of everyone’s hi-fi set-up. The trusty Microfiber Cloth is the most affordable and accessible option out there, to be found online, in record stores or in your local supermarket.

What household product cleans vinyl?

In a spray bottle, mix one part Isopropyl Alcohol, one part distilled water, and one to two drops of any dishwashing detergent. Shake well and safely spray on your vinyl records.

Is vinegar good for cleaning vinyl records?

Don’t use natural vinegar. Only white vinegar. Always use a clean sponge and cloth. A simple swipe with a new, lint free anti-static cloth is sufficient for new or not played often records.

How do you protect vinyl records from damage?

Use Inner Sleeves Now that you have cleaned your records your next step is to place it into a protective inner sleeve. These keep your record safe and protect it from dust and scratches. Avoid placing your record into cardboard or paper sleeves directly as this will damage the record over time.

Can you use a cleaning product on a vinyl record?

Using the wrong cleaning products can permanently damage the vinyl. Do not use the following items on your records: Isopropyl alcohol: While alcohol will cut through the grease and grime on a vinyl record, it also removes the protective coating on the grooves and floor of the record.

How do you clean a vinyl record?

Mix distilled water with several drops of dish soap. To prevent impurities and residue from sticking to your record, use distilled water instead of regular tap water. Just fill a small bowl with distilled water and add several drops of dish soap. Then, stir the soap and water together. Alternatively, use a vinyl record cleaning solution.

How do I clean my records?

Good lighting. Lighting is very important in the cleaning process. You want to see any obvious marks before washing your records so you know where some extra work is needed. Also, after washing and drying you want enough light to make sure you’ve cleaned those pesky marks off.

How do you clean a record on a turntable?

Use a record cleaning mat to prevent spreading dust into the components of the turntable. Place the record on the turntable and turn it on so the record is spinning. Place an anti-static carbon fiber brush or velvet cleaning brush on the record surface at a 90-degree angle, starting from the outer rim.

Cleaning Your Vinyl Records: A Comprehensive Guide

As an avid vinyl collector, I know how important it is to keep your records in pristine condition. Over time, dust, debris, and even oils from your fingertips can accumulate on the surface of your vinyl, affecting the sound quality and potentially damaging the grooves. That’s why I’m here to share with you my tried and true methods for cleaning vinyl records effectively.

The first step in cleaning your vinyl is to gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need a high-quality record cleaning brush, a record cleaning solution, and a microfiber cloth. Avoid using paper towels or other abrasive materials, as they can scratch the surface of your records.

Once you have your supplies, it’s time to get started. Begin by gently brushing the record’s surface in a circular motion, using the record cleaning brush. This will help loosen any dust or debris that has built up on the surface. Be sure to apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to the brush before starting, as this will help dissolve any stubborn grime.

After brushing the record, it’s time to wet the microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution and gently wipe down the surface of the record. Start from the center and work your way outward, using a circular motion. Be sure to apply even pressure and avoid wiping back and forth, as this can cause the debris to spread across the surface.

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the record, it’s important to dry it thoroughly. Use the microfiber cloth to gently pat the surface dry, being careful not to apply too much pressure. You can also use a record drying mat or a soft, lint-free cloth to ensure that the record is completely dry before returning it to its sleeve.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to store your vinyl records properly. Keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and store them vertically to prevent warping. Invest in high-quality record sleeves and jackets to protect your collection, and handle your records with care, avoiding touching the playing surface whenever possible.

By following these simple steps, you can extend the life of your vinyl records and enjoy their warm, rich sound for years to come. Remember, cleaning your records regularly is an essential part of vinyl care, and it’s well worth the effort to keep your collection in top condition.


  1. How often should I clean my vinyl records?
    I recommend cleaning your records before and after each use, as well as periodically throughout the year, depending on how frequently you play them. Records that are played regularly may need more frequent cleaning to maintain optimal sound quality.

  2. Can I use household cleaners to clean my vinyl records?
    No, I would not recommend using household cleaners on your vinyl records. These products can be too harsh and may damage the delicate grooves. Always use a dedicated record cleaning solution designed specifically for vinyl.

  3. What’s the best way to store vinyl records?
    Store your vinyl records vertically, in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Invest in high-quality record sleeves and jackets to protect them from dust and damage.

  4. How do I handle vinyl records without damaging them?
    When handling your records, always hold them by the edges or the center hole. Avoid touching the playing surface, as the oils from your skin can leave behind residue that can degrade the sound quality over time.

  5. Can I use a record cleaning machine to clean my vinyl?
    Yes, using a record cleaning machine can be an effective way to deep clean your vinyl records. These machines use a combination of vacuum suction and cleaning solution to remove even the most stubborn dirt and debris. However, they can be quite expensive, so they may not be practical for everyone.

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