What Is the Best Way to Clean Vintage Vinyl Records?


If you own or collect vintage vinyl records then you know how dirty they can get and how much the dirt affects sound quality. Washing vintage vinyl records is something that must be done with care but it's possible to wash them and restore some of the sound quality to your vinyl records. Use supplies found in your home to wash your vintage vinyl records. Once they're clean again you can enjoy music from years gone by.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish pan
  • Mild dish washing detergent
  • Distilled water
  • Vinyl record cleaning brush
  • Clean towels
  • Dish drying rack
  • Fill a dish pan with 4 inches of distilled water. Add a few drops of mild dish washing detergent and mix the two to make a soapy solution.

  • Place your vintage vinyl record, standing up, in the soapy water so only the vinyl portion is submerged, not the record label. Place the palm of your hand on the record's edge and slowly spin the record around so all the vinyl gets wet with the soapy solution.

  • Wet the vinyl record brush with the soapy solution. Brush the record in a circular motion, following the grooves. Go five times around the record in a clockwise motion, then five times in a counterclockwise motion.

  • Rinse the vinyl portion of the record with distilled water. Turn the record over and repeat Steps 2 through 4 for the other side of your vintage vinyl record.

  • Dry your record thoroughly using a clean, dry towel.

  • Set the record in a clean dish drying rack to ensure it's fully dry before you place it back in its sleeve.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean off the stylus, or needle, on your record player frequently so it doesn't add dirt or scratches to your records.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol-based cleaners on your vinyl records as they will dry out and damage the vinyl.

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  • Photo Credit vinyl record image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com sudsy image by Micah Jared from Fotolia.com robinet image by razorconcept from Fotolia.com towels image by turkinson from Fotolia.com
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