How to clean vinyl records | Important Steps to Take

How to clean vinyl records

/ 09:01 AM July 14, 2021

If you are a DJ, music lover, collector, or love records, you probably have a record collection that you clean often. Knowing the steps on how to clean vinyl records can be a lifesaver when it comes to your music.

There are many ways that you can clean your vinyl records and preserve them for many years. Some people use special tools and brushes. Others clean their vinyl the old-fashioned way.


No matter how you clean your vinyl, there are certain ways to keep your records in great shape and make them last years and years.

You may be wondering what the best way to clean your vinyl is now. We have some ways to clean your records that are safe for the vinyl and not expensive.

The first thing you should know about cleaning a vinyl record is what the records are made of and how to take care of the record’s surface. There are record cleaning machines that some people use.

These machines are quite costly, and there are other ways to clean dirty vinyl records. The next time you put vinyl on a record player, think about how you get dirt and dust off of the records first.

Believe it or not, cleaning a dirty vinyl record is not that hard, and it can be cheap too.

How do you clean a dirty vinyl record?

How do you clean a dirty vinyl record?


Vinyl records gather dirt, dust, particles, and other things from the air, plus the wear and tear of the vinyl. If you have dirty records, there are some easy steps to clean your dirty records.

There are several cleaning solutions that you can use to clean your vinyl records.

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Is it OK to clean vinyl records with alcohol?

Is it OK to clean vinyl records with alcohol?

Vinyl records can be cleaned with an isopropyl alcohol solution. The alcohol solution must have an extremely low alcohol concentration.

The isopropyl should be 0.5% to 99.5% water when cleaning vinyl.

Vinyl records are always going to attract dust, dirt, and grease over time. It is bound to happen. However, there are several ways to clean vinyl, and it can last the test of time.

Generally, cleaning vinyl with alcohol is not the best way to clean vinyl records unless you see it in a solution you are cleaning vinyl with. When you want to get rid of the dust on your records, alcohol is not suggested.

If you have something on the vinyl that is hard to come off or it is sticky, alcohol would be great in this case. There are many dangers to cleaning vinyl records with alcohol.

The protective coating that is on vinyl can become eroded and fall off if you clean with alcohol. If the coating erodes, you can expose the underlying material, and your vinyl can get scratched easily.

With that being said, it is advised that alcohol should not be your first choice when cleaning vinyl records.

What is the cheapest way to clean vinyl records?

What is the cheapest way to clean vinyl records?

There are ways how to clean vinyl records everywhere. Two methods are certain to work when cleaning your records at home.

The first method of cleaning records is to use a vinyl record vacuum cleaner kit. However, this machine is about $7000. Removing dust from vinyl records is easy and does not have to cost so much.

There is also an affordable semi-pro kit to clean your vinyl records at home. If you are on a budget, you have common products at home that will be a great alternative.

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Here’s how to clean a vinyl record on a budget.

Here’s how to clean a vinyl record on a budget.

1. Warm Water:

Some say you should use hot water to clean your vinyl. However, if you use water to clean your vinyl, you should be using distilled water. The impurities will stay on the record without distilled water.

2. Dish Soap:

This is by far the cheapest option. There will be some residue on the record. A record cleaner solution is also great to use and costs $20-30.

3. Carbon Fiber Brush:

Carbon fiber brushes are the best because the carbon fiber removes the static on the record. Anti-static brushes are always preferred for the record’s surface as well.

4. Soft, Lint Free Cloth:

Having a microfiber cloth to help on how to clean vinyl records is a play in your home. You want to get a clean cloth that is soft and absorbent. You want to make sure there is no lint left behind.

Cleaning the record can be broken down into easy steps as well.

Cleaning the record can be broken down into easy steps as well.

  1. Prepare your cleaning solution. If you are using water and dish soap, add very little soap to the water.
  2. Remove the dust and other loose particles from the record and record label. Make sure there are no particles on the surface of the record.
  3. Wrap the microfiber cloth over your index finger and dip it into the cleaning solution. Do not get too much on the cloth.
  4. Do not use your nails when cleaning the record, either. This can cause scratches on the record.
  5. Rinse the record to remove any soapy residue. Then once there are no particles or soap left, dry the record.

Here are a few other tips about cleaning your records.

  • Do not clean the record before removing surface debris.
  • If you can, purchase a record vacuum cleaner.
  • Store your records vertically and in plastic outer sleeves.
  • Do not touch the surface of the record.
  • Buy quality record players because cheap ones will damage your vinyl.


To sum it all up, if you love records and are on a budget, cleaning them is easy and can preserve some of the best music for years to come.

Cleaning vinyl records does not have to cost an arm and a leg. You can use cleaning vinyl with the items that are in your house. Take your time cleaning your vinyl, and they will be pristine. Owning vinyl does not have to be expensive, but it is entertaining.

Disclaimer: This article is not the official guide to a cleaning records process but is based on the author’s own personal experience.

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