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Vinyl care: How to clean vinyl records so they sound better

This article explains how to clean records giving three different methods for you to choose from.


By Cleanipedia Team

How to clean vinyl records so they sound better
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Regardless of whether you have just bought some vintage records in mint condition and want to keep them looking and sounding great, or you've inherited your dad's vinyl collection and want to relive the soundtrack of your childhood, you'll want strategies for how to keep vinyl records in good shape. In this article we give you the low-down on how to clean vinyl records and even more, explain out of all the different options out there which is the best way to clean vinyl records.

Always test out your cleaning technique on an old, unused vinyl record first.

What is the best way to clean vinyl records?

This is a tough one as there are quite a few different options to try. The best way to clean records is ultimately a question of opinion and different experts will have different preferences. If you’re wondering “how do you clean vinyl records?” we’ve listed below some of the different options available. The best approach is to try methods out on a single (preferably old and spare) record to assess the results before using it on anything you particularly love.

How to clean records: A few different options

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  1. With a microfibre cleaning cloth: Buy these online or from a specialist cleaning shop. These cloths are designed to absorb oils, dust and grime without leaving any marks or scratches on the surface (never clean vinyls with a normal cleaning cloth or duster).

  2. Use a specialist anti-static cleaning brush: If you want to clean vinyl records with something specifically designed for the task, go for an anti-static brush. These can usually be sourced from music shops and places that sell vinyl records. Their special bristles are adapted to prevent any damage being done to your favourite records.

  3. Clean records with a fitted cleaning arm: The best way to clean vinyl records using the machine itself is with a cleaning arm. These nifty little devices fit onto the record player. You insert the vinyl as if about to play it and the arm lifts off dirt and dust. If you’re going to try this option, go for a good quality cleaning arm (look for online recommendations) because anything not up to scratch could, well, scratch.

If you’ve been trying to work out how to clean records in your collection, the methods above are all tried and tested ways. Just be sure to try out the technique first and if in doubt, ask for specialist advice.

Key steps

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Looking for the best way to clean vinyl records? Here are the key steps:

  1. Choose one of the methods listed above

  2. Source a good quality version of the cleaning instrument listed: cloth, brush or fitted cleaning arm.

  3. Try the method out on a vinyl you don’t want anymore.

  4. If successful, you know you can use the technique on your collection with confidence.

Originally published