The time has come to clean your vinyl records! But how do you do it safely? While you can head to
Robert Halvari’s website on vinyl to learn everything you could possibly need to know about vinyl, figuring out how to clean them can be a difficult process.
Vinyl can be incredibly expensive, and many of them are one of a kind! That means that you will want to take care of them and treat them the way they deserve – which includes regular cleaning.
Not sure how to clean your vinyl records safely? We’ll tell you what you need to know.
Table of Contents
How to Tell if Your Vinyl Needs to be Cleaned
There is no set time you need to wait to clean your vinyl records – just clean them when they are dirty. This usually means anywhere between 10–20 plays per side, but this will vary from person to person.
If your vinyl looks dirty, then it’s time to get the microfiber cloth out and get to work! You might also notice a difference in sound when the vinyl is dirty, so keep an ear out and see if your music doesn’t sound as good as it should.
Do You Need a Vinyl Cleaning Kit to Get the Job Done?
The good news is, a vinyl cleaning kit is not a necessary purchase. However, these kids do tend to come with a variety of useful items, including microfiber cloths, velvet brushes, LP cleaning solutions, and more. In many cases, it is worth spending some money to get a good kit that will last you a long time rather than buying everything individually.
Cleaning Your Vinyl Records by Hand
Cleaning your vinyl records by hand is easier than you might think, and definitely not as scary as you may imagine. All you need is a good quality microfiber cloth, a suitable cleaning solution (like Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner), and some water (preferably distilled).
Follow these steps to clean your vinyl records by hand:
- Get your vinyl out and find somewhere suitable to place it down. You may need to place a cloth or something similar on a hard surface to prevent it from getting damaged.
- Get a clean and dry microfiber cloth to wipe the visible dust off the vinyl. This will also get rid of any static on the vinyl.
- Get another microfiber cloth and dampen it with clean water (preferably distilled). Make sure that the cloth is not soaking wet.
- Gently wipe the vinyl with the damp cloth. Do this in a circular motion and be sure to stay away from the middle of your record.
- Spray on some Simple Green cleaning solution, or another cleaning solution you are using. If you are using Simple Green, mix it in a 1:30 ratio with water in a bowl.
- Use the same circular movements to gently clean the record with the solution until you have cleaned the whole vinyl.
- Finally, carefully dry the vinyl off with a dry microfiber cloth. You could also use compressed air to get the job done, which will also remove any remaining dust on the vinyl’s surface.
- Make sure that the vinyl is completely dry before putting it back in its sleeve and where it belongs on the shelf or drawer. Your vinyl is now clean!
Vinyl Cleaning Machines
Of course, you could always get a vinyl record cleaner if you prefer. There are lots of options available at various price points, but none of them are particularly cheap.
If you don’t like the idea of cleaning your vinyl records by hand, then you might want to invest in one of these machines. Some go for just a few dollars, while others are several hundred, depending on the type you would like to invest in.
For deep cleaning, we would recommend going with an ultrasonic vinyl cleaning machine. These tend to be pricey but should last a long time and get your vinyl records in top shape.
Cleaning your vinyl records isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it can be intimidating considering the price of some records. All you need are a few good-quality microfiber cloths, a suitable cleaning solution, water, and your vinyl.
The process is simple and gets good results as long as you are careful. Alternatively, you could opt to get a vinyl cleaning machine, which will do all the hard work for you at a price. If you do choose to go with a machine, an ultrasonic one will do the best job for deep cleaning.