How to Clean Vinyl Records (2022): Vacuums, Solution, Wipes


Unless you are shopping for them brand-new—and infrequently even then—your vinyl information are in all probability filthy. New information are staticky and entice mud; previous information have been sitting in containers in different peoples’ basements. Take it from somebody who has purchased, offered, discovered, cleaned, and restored some dusty, oily gems: Your information in all probability want bathtub.

Below you may discover every thing you want to find out about getting (and protecting) your wax contemporary. Interested in different audio suggestions? Be certain to try our record of the best turntables and our information on how to upgrade your home audio for free or cheap

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The Supplies

Pro-Ject VC-E Cleaner

Photograph: Pro-Ject

If you do a quick Amazon search, you may discover a ton of merchandise that purport to clear vinyl information. Typically, they use sprays and a few type of wiping gadget, like a fabric or pad, to clear the floor. However, vinyl grooves are so small that the fibers of any fabric cannot presumably attain inside. While you would possibly get cleansing liquid into the grooves, getting it again out is fairly arduous.

That’s the place vacuum suction is available in. Fancy record-cleaning machines like this one from Pro-Ject ($499) use a platter and a vacuum system to bodily suck the nasty cleansing answer out of the grooves, with a motor that spins the report in two instructions.

If you feel extra frugal, you possibly can merely purchase considered one of these awesome attachments ($30) for a small store vacuum. Then, all you want is cleaning solution ($24), a cheap paintbrush ($5), a vacuum ($50), and an previous report participant or spindle to flip the report as you vacuum the answer out of the grooves. Look for previous ones at thrift outlets, since all you want is a desk that bodily spins, not that performs music.

I’ve had staggering outcomes cleansing my information utilizing this method, taking crusty previous information to shiny clear masterpieces in a couple of minutes.

Let It Roll

Once you’ve got received your vacuum system setup, it is primarily a wax-on, wax-off scenario. Spread the answer on the report whereas spinning it, ensuring to fill each groove. Let it sit for a number of seconds, then use the vacuum nozzle to suck up the liquid whereas turning the report, being certain to get as a lot as attainable earlier than permitting any residual liquid to evaporate.

If a report is particularly soiled, I like to do it two occasions per aspect. Be certain to have a clean microfiber towel ($7) or a drying station in order that the report is absolutely dry earlier than returning it to its packaging.

Scratches or Warps

You cannot clear scratches or repair warped information, so retailer your information in an upright, clear atmosphere. (Records stacked otherwise can warp from their very own weight.) Don’t retailer your information someplace particularly sizzling or chilly, or anyplace the place temperature varies rather a lot, as it could have an effect on the vinyl’s longevity.

When shopping for used information, it is necessary to know the distinction between a grimy disc and a scratched or warped one. I like to recommend utilizing a bright handheld flashlight ($16) to examine any used information you are keen on shopping for for scratches and to ensure they’re flat. 

How Often Should I Clean?

The appropriate reply right here is at any time when your information are soiled. For most individuals, a single thorough cleansing of all their information adopted by cleansing each 10 to 20 performs per aspect is an effective begin. I spring-clean mine. I make a pile of ones which have been performed rather a lot and newer information that I’ve by no means cleaned. (New information can have oils used to separate them from the press nonetheless on the floor, and thus get gunky quicker than beforehand cleaned information.) From there, it is Netflix and vacuum!

I’m not such a clear freak that I put on white gloves after I deal with my vinyl, however in the event you’ve received particularly oily palms, it may be a good suggestion. Always deal with your information as not directly as attainable—grip them from the sides or from the sting and the label somewhat than touching the taking part in surfaces.

Before taking part in a report, clear the needle (I like these gummy little cleaners ($16)), and just be sure you’ve brushed your report so the needle is not grinding mud into the floor (the supply of many pops when listening). Properly maintained, your information ought to final many many years of playtime. Remember: A clear report is a contented report!


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