Cleaning Vinyl Records

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated August 1, 2016)

Handling your record collection with care is not only about holding them the right way but also includes keeping them clean. There are many ways to clean a record, machines and specific record cleaning products are available online and in specialty stores, or you can keep your records clean with just a few simple things you may find at home. You will want to gather these before you begin: a plastic tub or washbasin, some dish soap, and 3 wash cloths. Fill the tub with about 3 or 4 inches of water adding a few drops of dish soap, place this next to sink and you are ready to begin.

  1. Wash. Place a record into the water and spin it around to wet the entire surface. Using one of the wash cloths wet with the soapy water, wipe the record following the grooves in short strokes until you have cleaned the whole side. Flip the record over and repeat the process to clean the other side. Never use alcohol on your records as it can do more damage than good.
  2. Rinse. Run some cool water from the faucet and slide the record into the sink. Keeping the label as dry as you can rinse the record on both sides. If you do not want to use tap water you can get some distilled water to rinse it.
  3. Dry. Using the other two wash cloths folded over the side of the record, pick it up and move one hand around the curve of the record the dry it. Do this on both sides to remove most of the water, then lay one cloth in one of your hands. Place the label of the record directly on top of this and with the other cloth in your other hand gentle press both sides of the record over the label. Rubbing the label while it is wet will cause it to peel and or tear, a little pressure will remove enough water. Now you want to lay the record flat on top of something that will not get too many fibers or other particles on the freshly cleaned surface, the protective sleeve the record is stored in is perfect for this.

Many people have gotten rid of their records as the years have passed and Cds then mp3s have taken over the music scene, but recently the sales of vinyl records have increased and are still rising. With the rising popularity vinyl records can be found in music stores and second hand stores, both old and new records need to be cleaned with a soft dry brush, there are record brushes available for this purpose. Cleaning your records before playing them will keep your records in good shape and will also help keep your record player working as it should.

Author Bio

Lecia DeBrine

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