How to Clean Vinyl Records? Safely Remove Dust at Home

If you have kept the vinyl record, you must agree that cleaning them is always a hassle. But it is necessary to maintain and keep it in good shape. But what is the best way to deal with the cleaning and how to clean vinyl records at home?

The best method to clean the vinyl records is using the non-contact method, i.e., a vacuum cleaner. However, it is not practical for most people as they are expensive. To compromise the cost, the best alternative to vacuum cleaning the vinyl records is using distilled water with a cleaning solution (dish soap).

Besides these methods, there are several other methods that you may find helpful. I will cover each method in detail so you can clean the vinyl records and keep them in prestige shape even after years of use.

How to Clean Vinyl Records at Home?

If you are searching for methods on how to clean dusty vinyl records at home, plenty of solutions are available to cater to your needs. However, not all the methods are safe. So, it is better to test new methods, and you need to rely on tested and approved methods.

How to Clean Vinyl Records at Home

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When sorting the methods about how to clean vinyl records properly, there are a few things to keep in mind. You don’t want to scratch the records and permanently damage those using unsuitable methods.

You may be thinking, what household items can I use to clean my records. Well, there are no complex items on the list. For starters, it mostly involves using soap and distilled water for most jobs. However, there are other methods, too, which I will enlist and explain below.

What Can You Use To Clean Vinyl Records?

The list of vinyl cleaning agents is not long, as only a few things are safe for vinyl cleaning. Using the right cleaning agent in quantity is crucial as concentrated amounts can damage the vinyl records.

Although using these materials is perfectly safe, you still need to follow the procedure to get the desired results. Here is the list of the cleaning substances/agents you can use to clean the vinyl records at home.

Distilled Water: It is one of the most commonly used vinyl cleaners that everyone can use without any issues. Distilled water is necessary as tap water can corrode the records and damage them.

Dish Soap: Use dishwasher fluid or dish detergent to clean the vinyl records. It helps clean any debris or dirt on the record that does not remove with the distilled water.

Isopropyl Alcohol: It is the third most used cleaning agent for vinyl records cleaning. There is a debate over the use of alcohol for vinyl records as it can corrode them. Therefore use it only sparingly to avoid any damage to the records.

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How to Clean Vinyl Records With Distilled Water?

Cleaning vinyl record with distilled water is a simple task and does not require any complex procedures to handle. Here are the steps on how to clean vinyl records cheaply using distilled water at home.

How to Clean Vinyl Records With Distilled Water
  • Give a gentle wipe using a microfiber cloth to remove dust from the vinyl surface. Don’t use extra pressure to avoid dust particles getting deeper into the vinyl groves.
  • Now take a clean microfiber cloth and soak it with the distilled water. Use the cloth to gently wipe the entire vinyl record surface using a circular motion along the grooves.
  • Damp the cloth again and repeat the process to ensure that all the surface gets a brief cleaning.
  • After that, use the dry microfiber cloth to dry the vinyl record completely.                                                                                                           
  •  You can take assistance from a compressed air can to remove the dirt in the first step and clean the water stuck in the grooves.
  • Once the vinyl record gets clean, store it in a dry place away from dust.

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How to Clean Vinyl Records With Soap and Water?

If you are searching for methods on how to clean vinyl records without a brush, soap and water cleaning is the best solution. Here are the steps on the best way to clean vinyl records by hand using soap and water.

  • Use a small bucket or medium bowl to make the cleaning solution. Add distilled water accompanied by a few drops of dishwasher fluid or detergent. Mix them well to make a homogenous solution. Ensure using the distilled water as it has fewer chances to corrode the records.

How to Deep Clean Vinyl Records?

Vinyl records are not challenging to clean in most situations. However, they can get dirty and sometimes need a deep cleaning to remove debris and dirt on their surface. Adding isopropyl alcohol to the soap and water solution can help enhance the cleaning potential. Here are the steps involved in the procedure.

How to Deep Clean Vinyl Records
  • Add three parts water, one part isopropyl alcohol, and a few drops of dishwasher soap to make a homogenous mixture. Stir them properly and ensure that the solution is mixed for usage.
  • Take a vinyl record cleaning mat and secure your vinyl record to it by using the spindle it comes with. It will allow you to clean the surface of your turntable without worrying about messing anything up. Alternatively, secure the record to a flat surface like your kitchen table if you don’t have a spindle.
  • Clean your vinyl records with some cleaning solution. Don’t pour the fluid directly onto your favorite albums, as it may damage the label. Instead, wipe gently using a soft towel or microfiber cloth that you have dipped into the cleaning solution, or better still, spray some of the cleaning solutions onto the cloth or towel and then wipe the vinyl records with them.
  • Clean the vinyl record with a dry microfiber cloth. Use a circular motion to wipe it clean and absorb the moisture. Don’t apply too much pressure when wiping.

How to Clean Vinyl Records Safely?

Many people keep their vinyl records on a turntable platter throughout cleaning because it offers a secure, stable surface that won’t slip.

1) Use Canned Air

Remove any debris from the vinyl record surface using canned air. You can purchase any canned air supply from the local store. You can follow the instructions given on the packaging to remove the dust from the records carefully. Sometimes canned air can cause condensation, so you must carefully wipe it from the surface.

2) Clean with Microfiber Cloth

Invest in a high-quality microfiber cloth for cleaning the vinyl surface. Put slight pressure on the surface and move in small circles according to the grooves. Microfiber cloths are easy to find from a local store.

3) Use Carbon Fiber Brush

Buy a brush that has carbon fiber construction specially made for cleaning records. These brushes are readily available in the local music and audio stores. Use these brushes and gently press on the record surface along the grooves.

4) Use Vinyl Record Cleaning Arm

It is a gadget with a cleaning arm to remove debris from the record. It sits above the record and requires gentle press in a rotatory manner. It is effective against debris, dust, and other material. It also helps to clean the stylus and remove the debris from it.

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