As the technology of vinyl records advances, so does the quality. Vinyl record sales are on the rise currently, and with that comes an increase in people wanting to find effective ways to keep their records looking clean and shiny for as long as possible. With this in mind, there are some important tips to pay attention regarding how to clean your vinyl records correctly.
1) How to clean vinyl records:
There is no “best” way to clean a record, as there are many different tricks and techniques. But for this article we will discuss our own experiences on how to clean vinyl records the right way.
First, what you will need is a record brush. This can be purchased at any sorts of music stores or on Amazon for less than $20. Make sure it has nylon bristles so that they are not too abrasive on your records, but strong enough to get out dust and sometimes even gunk! Also, make sure the handle is nice and weighty…at least a pound or two, to give you plenty of control.
Next, what you will need is some good quality record cleaning fluid. We have been using the Spin-Clean Record Washer for years now and it has always proven to be a great product, and we highly recommend it. This cleaning fluid is used in the final step of our process!
And lastly, all you will need is some lint free cloths to dry and clean your records after rinsing them. We use microfiber clothes for this purpose and they work great.
2) How do you know if your record needs cleaning:
First off, you only clean the records that are of course dirty. So if your record is collecting dust on it’s own, but not looking at all cloudy, don’t wash it! Use a dry brush to dust it every now and again if need be or maybe once a month. If the record looks dirty, cloudy or has sticky gunk on it that is hard to get off with a dry brush, then you are ready for cleaning.
3) Why should I clean my records:
It’s important to keep your records clean so they last longer. Now cleaning will never bring back the high fidelity that records once had over 10 years ago, but it will improve their overall sound quality and cut down on any unwanted pops or crackles.
4) Why should I clean my records:
Because over time dust will cause your record to become more dull sounding. Dirt can cause pops and ticks when played, which most likely won’t be heard during playback but definitely noticeable
5) How often should I clean my records:
If you play your records everyday, we recommend cleaning them once a month. If you play them less than that, maybe every 2 months would be good enough. It really depends on what kind of covers and vinyls you have and how heavily you use them.
6) Alternative tips on how to clean vinyl records:
Keeping your record collection in a safe and dry environment will help to keep records looking nice for years to come. Also, we would recommend having a turntable with adjustable tracking force and adjust your cartridge accordingly. This will help reduce the wear and tear of spinning records and prolong their life span.
Things that can damage or ruin a record:
- Stacking records directly on top of each other.
- Leaving them in the sun for extended periods.
- Using the wrong brush with too much pressure when cleaning.
- A list of what not to do with a dirty record:
- Do not use household cleaning products such as soap and water, Windex etc.
- Do not scrub the records too hard when trying to clean them.
- Do not use your fingers or Q-tips to help clean the records – that can cause damage to the groves.
- Do not attempt to dry your records with a hair dryer or any other kind of heat device – that can warp them and make them unplayable.
Vinyl care FAQs:
What if my record is dusty but I don’t want to wash it? Generally the dry brushing method should suffice. If your record still has a lot of dust on it, we would recommend using a lint free cloth and some record cleaning fluid to help get rid of any dirt or particles that could be causing pops and ticks during playback.
What do you use to dry your records after using the Spin-Clean Vinyl Washer? We like to use microfiber cloths for drying our records. With these, they can be used over and over again with proper care.
Do you need any special equipment to care for vinyl? It’s not necessary to have anything besides some lint free cloths and record cleaning fluid.