How to Clean Vinyl Records and Properly Maintain Your Collection


Record Brush

Dirt, dust, and debris destroy the sound quality of vinyl records. But if you take measures to maintain your record collection it will provide you with pleasure for years to come. Keeping the vinyl in tiptop shape requires regular cleaning. However, it’s not a difficult or time-consuming task. Follow these simple steps on how to clean vinyl records.

Why Clean Vinyl Records?

Delicate vinyl discs require routine care. Dust that collects in the grooves of a record’s surface causes pops and clicks when played. As it accumulates, more damage occurs, resulting in skips and distortion. Regular cleanings prevent the buildup, keep the sound smooth, and help your collection retain its value. Basically, clean vinyl records last longer and sound better.

Cleaning by Hand

If your collection is relatively small (and so is your budget) cleaning by hand, using a special brush, is the way to go. Gently brush the record surface in a circular motion. Tip: Doing this before each time you play the record prevents buildup and the need for deeper cleanings.

Does your collection include used records? Chances are these pre-owned discs require more than simple brushing. You’ll need a microfiber cloth and record cleaning solution. Although some people make their own solutions, we prefer tried-and-true store bought cleaners. Certain cleaning ingredients harm vinyl, so play it safe and avoid the inconvenience. Follow these steps.

  • Apply cleaner to cloth.
  • Gently wipe the record in a circular motion, following the grooves and avoiding getting the solution on the label.
  • Go around a few times, cleaning the dirt and dust off the cloth each time.
  • Add more solution to the cloth if it gets dry.
  • Repeat the process on the other side.
  • Make sure the record is dry before putting it back in a sleeve or playing it.

Clean Machines

Although record cleaning machines can be costly and cumbersome, a larger collection and/or discs in need of a deep clean benefit from this device. Try a vacuum-powered record cleaner. These clean machines basically suck up dirt and dust without putting pressure on the record. Another device, called a record washer, is made up of brushes and rollers. Place the record in the machine and turn it a few times to clean.

Treat your record collection right so it maintains its value and rewards you with years of listening enjoyment. Call Disc Hounds today at 610-696-8668. We’ll answer any questions regarding cleaning, storing, or transferring vinyl records.