Vinyl is now experiencing a massive resurgence, with plenty of people going out and buying their own turntable on which they can spin their own records.
However, in the same way as you would take care of CDs, you’ll have to take care of your own vinyl records so that they will always play.
Because, like CDs, your vinyl will be susceptible to scratches. It will also have a lot of dust that will accumulate on the surface. This is because vinyl has a much larger surface area, which means that there will be a lot more surface to scratch.
So, it will be very important to master the right way to clean your vinyl. You can either buy a special vinyl cleaning kit (which we would definitely recommend.
For anyone who is looking to keep their vinyl in absolutely mint conditions) or you can do it with cleaning products that you have lying around at home.
You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t have any chemicals that might further damage your vinyl records. If you have even the most basic incorrect chemical, then you might experience damage to the grooves in your record, which will render it completely useless to play.
So how exactly can you clean your vinyl records without damaging them? What are the best cleaning products that you can use?
How much will you need to pay for a decent vinyl cleaning kit? What are the go-to tips and tricks that you can employ to give your vinyls that thorough clean?
Well, if you are mad about vinyl and you want the answer to all of these questions and more, then we would suggest that you keep reading.
We have compiled a how-to guide that will give you the safest and quickest method of cleaning your vinyl. We’ll cover cleaning products and utensils.
There are a few different companies that provide this service online. Here are 3 kits that we would absolutely recommend for you:
Best Kits For Cleaning Vinyl
This is a full vinyl record player and vinyl record cleaner. It comes with a walnut brush that not only looks great but will do a great job of removing stubborn dirt from the inside of your grooves.
This also comes with cleaning fluid that you can be sure will remove even the most stubborn and dry stains from your record.
Next up, we have some anti-static cleaning fluid with a brush to match. This comes with a carbon and a velvet brush that will pick up stubborn dust and dirt without damaging the surface of your vinyl.
It also comes with a microfiber cloth that will remove grime and leave your record sounding great.
- Complete Vinyl Record Cleaner Kit and Stylus Cleaner for Record Needles - 1 x large blue microfibre cloth, 1 wooden velvet record cleaning brush,1 record cleaning fluid (50mL), 1 carbon fibre stylus brush for your turntable needles, 1 velvet brush cleaner, 2 small microfibre cloths and 1 eye-catching magnetic display box
- Comes with Large Blue Microfibre Cloth to Lay Your Records on for Gentle Cleaning - Your blue microfibre cloth allows you to keep your records safe and free from damaging surfaces during the cleaning process
- 50mL Vinyl Record Cleaning Fluid (Distilled) - Gentle and effective lp record cleaner liquid in convenient spray bottle for keeping your albums looking and sounding great for years to come. The album cleaning kit for effective care with minimal fuss
- Perfect Gift for Music Lovers and Record Collectors - The Spin Chemistry Cleaning Kit is intentionally eye-catching but also downright effective. The record player accessories present that every collector will love for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, or anything else
- Rock-Solid 12-Month Satisfaction Guarantee - Buy today with zero risk and enjoy ongoing post-purchase customer care for any questions or issues. Vinyl record addiction doesn't have to be a chore with the Spin Chemistry record player cleaning kit
Finally, we have a 5-in-1 set that you can be sure will give you everything you need for a solid clean on your vinyl.
This comes with a few different brushes that you can be sure will give you a premium level of care, with a manual air blower that you can use to get rid of those groove-bound pieces of dust that are hard to shift.
- 📀【5in1 Ultimate Set】-- OPULA vinyl record cleaner kit contains a carbon fiber brush, an air blower, a stylus cleaning gel, a bottle of 1oz cleaning solution, and a cleaning cloth. One set includes all your need for taking care of precious vinyl record. Not only for self-use, but also perfect gift for vinyl records collectors.
- 📀【Anti-Static Record Cleaning Brush】-- Two rows soft carbon fiber bristles can reach to deep grooves, sweep out the dust without scratching album. It's anti-static and electrically conductive, which could help remove harmful particles.Use it before and after the playback of each side, not only protect records from dust, but also extend the life of stylus at same time.
- 📀【Multipurpose Air Blower】-- Powerful air stream blow away dust, hair, debris, and avoid scratching album. It can also be used to clean record player corner, camera lens and other electronics. Proper size make it easy to use.
- 📀【Stylus Cleaning Gel】-- A dusty stylus can permanently damage your records. So stylus cleaning gel is must-have. Gel cling to dust away by gently touching stylus, protect our records and bring you a perfect auditory feast at same time. The gel is reusable.
- 📀【Records Cleaning Solution and Cloth】--It comes with a 1oz alcohol-free cleaning solution in spray bottle and cloth. Spray solution on cloth, and lightly wipe in a circular motion around your vinyl. The cloth is soft, lint-free, round and bigger than vinyl records,which means you can also put it under vinyl as protector pad. If you a have any problem with our record cleaner kit, pls feel free to contact us and we will offer you a 100% satisfied solution.
Guide To Cleaning Your Vinyl Records
Step 1: Use An Anti-Static Brush
Gingerly rub your brush along the surface of the record. The fact that this is anti-static will mean that you won’t have to worry about any static ruining the quality of your record. Run the record on your turntable without the needle and let the brush do its work.
Step 2: Clean your brush
Now that you’ve used the brush to clean your vinyl, you’ll need to clean that dirt off the brush. Simply open and close the handle of your brush a few times to dislodge all of the dirt.
Step 3: Spray On Your Record Cleaning Solution
Now you’ll need to spray your record cleaning solution onto the affected areas. Keep this spray at a distance of around 6 inches and give it around 5 sprays. Once you have done this, you should leave it for a few minutes.
Step 4: Wipe Down Your Record
As we have mentioned above, you’ll want your record to be completely dry before you play it. Wipe down the surface of your vinyl in a clockwise motion so that you are not working against the grooves and damaging them.
Once you have wiped it down, then give it another smooth and gentle brush with your anti-static brush. This will make sure that you get rid of any remaining traces of dirt and grime that can accumulate in the grooves.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 1 And 2
Give the vinyl one more light clean, running the brush on the surface with your turntable on a slow spin. Once you’ve done this, then you can put it back in the slipcase and replace it on your shelf.
Keeping Your Records Clean: Why You Should Be Doing It
What some of you might not know is that you have to be very careful with your vinyl records. You might think that because they seem more durable than CDs, then you can treat them as roughly as you like.
However, vinyl is much more susceptible to dust and wear and tear than your average vinyl.
If you want to clean a vinyl record properly, then you’ll have to make sure that you use the right utensils.
You’ll need to use the proper cleaning solution and the right kind of anti-static brush so that you don’t damage the grooves while you are cleaning.
This is how your vinyl player works, the needle runs along the grooves in the record and that is how the vinyl eventually plays.
You’ll need to use a microfiber cloth that is lint-free, so that again the dust will not accumulate in the grooves themselves. This will also help you to remove any liquid or residue.
It is then important to let the cleaning fluid dry properly before taking it for another spin on your turntable. You’ll need to remove all the cleaning fluid too, as this might harden and further damage the inside of your record.
This is the most effective method of cleaning your vinyl, although it is by far not the only method. There are plenty of ways you can clean your vinyl.
It will all depend on how much money you’re willing to spend and how thoroughly you want your vinyl cleaned. If you have the money, then we would certainly suggest that you go with the luxury option.
We’ll run through some of the other methods below and you can then ascertain which one you’ll need. It is very important that you’ll have as much information as possible before you embark upon cleaning your vinyl. The cheapest option might not necessarily be the best option.
We have also included plenty of pictures in this article because sometimes reading the instruction is not always the easiest and if you are a visual learner, then having plenty of detailed illustrations will certainly help you understand exactly what we’re talking about.
The Best Time To Clean Your Vinyl Records
Cleaning your vinyl is very important as it will often help you to preserve your records for the future. We’ve all heard stories of our parents handing down their vinyl to their children.
This is because they have been kept in the slip cases and largely looked after properly.
If you are an audiophile, then you’ll definitely want to keep your record in mint condition to get the best sound quality.
We’ve all heard records that have been scratched, as you can hear the scratches as the records play. This will be a quick way to ruin some of your favorite vinyl albums.
This is one of the main reasons why you’ll want to be cleaning your vinyl on a regular basis. We would certainly recommend giving your vinyl the quick once over every few months to keep it in tip-top condition.
Even if you have a new vinyl, then you’ll need to keep on top of cleaning, as it will get worse over time.
Even a slight trace of dirt can eventually start to affect the sound of your records. You might also have left your records near children, who are prone to spilling things.
If you get some fluid in the grooves of your record, then this will eventually congeal and either affect the quality of certain portions of the sound or render the whole thing entirely unplayable.
The most important portion of the record is along the outside, as this is where the grooves are located and where your vinyl will play in its entirety.
The center of your record might be in pristine condition, but if you have some dirt or blemishes on the outer rim, then you can be sure of skipping and poor sound quality.
When And How Often You Should Clean Your Vinyl
We would recommend that you give your vinyl a wipe with the anti-static brush at least once before and after every play.
This is to make sure that all dirt that has accumulated during play is completely eradicated. This will also help to remove dirt and grime, which will often ruin the quality of the record.
One of the best times to clean your vinyl is before you give it the first spin. When it is fresh out of the case, give it a wipe-down, as this will remove any dust and dirt that has accumulated in the casing itself. You’ll also moisturize the surface, which is very important when you are playing vinyl.
You will also want to clean vinyl records that are second-hand. If you have picked up a record from your local thrift store.
Then the chances are that it will already have been played numerous times. So you’ll want to make sure that it is as clean as possible before you put it on your vinyl player.
If you do have a second-hand record, then making sure that you clean it properly will be very important for revitalizing the whole thing. There will undoubtedly be stubborn stains that have become embedded in the grooves that will need to be cleaned properly with an anti-static brush.
Once you have cleaned the top of your record and let it dry, you’ll notice that the quality of your record has improved dramatically. Some of the scratches and the skips that you might have had before cleaning will have done away instantly.
Tips For Cleaning Your Vinyl
One of the main things that any vinyl enthusiast will tell you is that you should not touch the record’s playing surface.
This is because greasy fingers can cause dirt and grime to get stuck in the grooves of the outside of your record. This is why you might see record enthusiasts handling their records by the very edges.
There is a great method for keeping your vinyl clean when it is not in use. You can store your vinyl in anti-static slip cases that you can buy from certain record stores.
These vinyl cases will be broadly a lot better than the slipcases that your vinyl comes in. Again, this is only for die-hard record enthusiasts.
If you get an outer plastic jacket for your vinyl, then you can be sure that it will protect not only the vinyl itself, but the artwork.
If you have a particularly rare vinyl and you are looking to keep it in mint condition as you might sell it on one day, then having a plastic outer casing will be more than enough.
We would also recommend that you store your vinyl vertically rather than horizontally. This is because dust and dirt will definitely find a home on a large and flat surface rather than a smaller vertical surface.
You’ll also need to make sure that there is not much moisture in the air and your vinyl is well-ventilated.
Another tip for keeping your vinyl in great condition is to keep it as far away from direct sunlight as possible! This is because sunlight can have an awfully detrimental effect on the quality of your vinyl. Some vinyl can even start to melt in extreme sunlight.
Make sure that your record playing equipment is also kept clean, as this too will affect the quality of your record and vice versa.
You’ll need to make sure that your needle and your slip mat are kept free of dust and dirt, both before and after playing your record. A stylus will pick up all the dirt that is in your record’s grooves.
How To Clean Your Vinyl Records
If you are going to clean your vinyl, one thing that you’ll definitely want to avoid is using any cleaning products that you can buy from your local department store.
This is because most of them have corrosive elements that you can be certain will wear away the grooves and seriously damage your records.
There are plenty of articles out there that would suggest using window cleaner, white vinegar and even saltwater to clean your vinyl player.
You should avoid using any of these to clean your vinyl! This is because they have very caustic elements that will ultimately damage the quality of your vinyl.
Alcohol is another fluid that you should avoid putting into your vinyl. This is because it also has a lot of corrosive material in it.
There are some vinyl fluid cleaners that have alcohol in them, but it only contains a very small amount. Alcohol has naturally cleaning properties, which makes it ideal for wiping down surfaces.
We would definitely advise that you do not mix up your own alcohol solution at home, as you might get the balance wrong and it might cause you to ruin your vinyl.
If you are going to opt for your own solution, then we would suggest that you don’t use any alcohol whatsoever. We’ll give you a great recipe for homemade vinyl cleaner later in the article.
One of the best ways to clean vinyl is to use a vacuum cleaner. This will help you to remove lots of dust and dirt from the grooves without harming the surface of the vinyl itself. The air from the vacuum will not touch the delicate surface of the vinyl.
You can buy a proper vinyl cleaning vacuum that will provide the right amount of suction for your vinyl player. With a regular hoover, it might be too powerful and will warp the surface of your vinyl.
The best method of cleaning your vinyl player will be by hand, so you’ll want to be sure that you have the right products. An anti-static brush, some water-based fluid and a microfiber cloth will be all that you’ll need to make sure that you clean your vinyl properly.
Where To Find The Best Vinyl Cleaning Kits
If you are looking for the best method of cleaning your vinyl, then getting the proper kit is the right method of going about it. You can get these kits from most record stores and they will set you back around $30.
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘How To Fix Static Noise Out Of Your Speakers‘.