Vinyl records are known for their unique sound quality and warm tone that many music enthusiasts still appreciate today. However, it’s important to keep them clean to ensure they sound their best. When records become dusty or dirty, they can produce pops, clicks, and other surface noise that can detract from the listening experience.
Despite this, many people assume that cleaning vinyl records is a difficult and time-consuming task. Some may even be hesitant to clean their records out of fear of causing damage. However, with the right tools and techniques, cleaning dusty vinyl records is actually quite simple and straightforward.
This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to clean their dusty vinyl records like a pro. First, we will discuss the necessary supplies for cleaning vinyl records, including a record brush, cleaning solution, and microfiber cloth. Then, we will explain the step-by-step process for cleaning vinyl records, including pre-cleaning, wet cleaning, and drying. Additionally, we will offer tips for maintaining clean vinyl records over time, such as proper storage and regular cleaning.
By the end of this article, you will feel confident in their ability to clean their vinyl records with ease and enjoy their music collection to the fullest.
Supplies You’ll Need
To clean your dusty vinyl records, you’ll need a few key supplies. Here are the essentials:
- Record brush – A record brush is a specially designed brush used to remove loose dust and debris from the grooves of a record. It’s important to use a record brush with soft bristles to avoid damaging the record. A record brush should be the first step in any cleaning process. We recommend using Audio-Technica AT6012 Record Brush. This brush is a great choice for removing surface dust and debris from vinyl records. It’s made with soft bristles that are effective at removing dust without scratching the record surface. The brush is also anti-static, which helps prevent dust from accumulating on the record after cleaning.
- Cleaning solution – A cleaning solution is used to loosen dirt and grime from the record’s grooves. There are various commercial solutions available on the market, but many DIY solutions can be used as well. One popular DIY option is a mixture of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol.
- Microfiber cloth – A microfiber cloth is used to apply the cleaning solution to the record and gently clean the grooves. It’s important to use a non-abrasive cloth to avoid scratching the record.
- Record cleaning machine (optional) – If you have a large vinyl collection, a record cleaning machine may be a worthwhile investment. These machines use a combination of brushes, cleaning solution, and suction to thoroughly clean records. However, they can be expensive and may not be necessary for those with a smaller collection. For this, we suggest using Pro-Ject VC-S2 ALU Record Cleaning Machine, which is a great record cleaning machine for vinyl enthusiasts who want a high-quality, automated solution for deep cleaning their records. The machine uses a powerful vacuum to remove dirt and grime from records, leaving them clean and sounding their best. It’s also easy to use and comes with a range of cleaning accessories.
For more convenience, you can get all the supplies in Spin-Clean Record Washer MKII Complete Kit. This cleaning kit includes a cleaning solution, brushes, and drying cloths, making it an all-in-one solution for deep cleaning vinyl records. The solution is effective at removing dirt and grime from records without leaving behind any residue. It’s also safe for use with all types of vinyl records.
When selecting supplies for cleaning your records, it’s important to choose high-quality materials. Cheap or abrasive brushes and cloths can cause damage to your records, defeating the purpose of cleaning them in the first place. Additionally, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any cleaning solutions or machines.
How to Clean Your Dusty Vinyl Records
Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to start cleaning your dusty vinyl records. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get the job done:
- Pre-cleaning: Before you start the wet cleaning process, it’s important to remove any loose dust and debris from the record’s surface. To do this, gently sweep the record brush in a circular motion across the record’s grooves. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the record, paying special attention to any areas with visible dust or debris.
- Wet cleaning: Once the record has been pre-cleaned, it’s time to apply the cleaning solution. Place the record on a clean, flat surface and apply a small amount of cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth. Gently wipe the cloth across the surface of the record, following the grooves. Be sure to use a light touch to avoid causing damage to the record. Once you’ve cleaned the entire surface of the record, flip it over and repeat the process on the other side.
- Drying: After the record has been wet cleaned, it’s important to dry it thoroughly to avoid any water damage. To do this, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to gently remove any excess moisture from the record’s surface. Be sure to let the record air dry completely before playing it.
- Repeat: If your records are especially dirty, you may need to repeat the wet cleaning process multiple times to fully remove all dirt and grime from the grooves. Be sure to pre-clean the record in between each wet cleaning to avoid re-distributing any loose dust or debris.
- Maintenance: Once your records are clean, it’s important to take steps to maintain their cleanliness over time. Store your records in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and any sources of heat or moisture. Avoid touching the surface of the record as much as possible, and use a record brush to remove any loose dust before playing.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your dusty vinyl records sound their best and continue to provide you with hours of listening enjoyment. Remember to take your time and be gentle when cleaning your records to avoid causing any damage, and always use high-quality supplies to ensure the best results.
Tips for Keeping Your Vinyl Records Clean
Cleaning your dusty vinyl records is an important first step in ensuring that they sound their best, but there are also a few tips and tricks you can use to help keep them clean over time. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Store your records properly: One of the best ways to keep your records clean is to store them properly. Be sure to keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and any sources of heat or moisture. Invest in some sturdy record sleeves or storage containers to keep your records safe from dust and debris.
- Avoid touching the surface: The oils from your fingers can leave behind smudges and fingerprints on your records, which can be difficult to remove. Avoid touching the surface of the record as much as possible, and handle them by the edges or the label.
- Use a record brush regularly: Regularly using a record brush to remove any loose dust or debris from your records can help prevent buildup over time. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush, and always brush in a circular motion following the grooves of the record.
- Be mindful of your turntable: A dirty turntable can transfer dirt and debris to your records, so it’s important to keep it clean as well. Wipe down the surface of the turntable regularly with a clean, dry cloth, and avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools.
- Avoid smoking or eating around your records: Smoke and food particles can easily settle on your records and cause damage over time. Try to avoid smoking or eating near your records, and always wash your hands before handling them to avoid transferring any oils or debris.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your vinyl records clean and in great condition for years to come. Remember that taking good care of your records not only ensures that they sound their best, but also helps preserve them as valuable pieces of musical history.
In conclusion, keeping your dusty vinyl records clean is an essential step in ensuring that they sound their best and last for years to come. While it may seem like a daunting task at first, with the right supplies and techniques, it’s actually quite simple.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can safely and effectively clean your records, removing dirt and grime from the grooves and restoring their sound quality. And by taking steps to maintain your records over time, such as storing them properly and using a record brush regularly, you can help prevent buildup and keep them in great condition.
Remember that vinyl records are not only a great way to enjoy music, but also a valuable piece of musical history. By taking good care of your records, you can help preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
So, grab your supplies and start cleaning your dusty vinyl records today! Your ears (and your records) will thank you for it.