Vinyl records have never been more popular. The format’s distinct sound and immersive, tactile listening experience have cemented it as the ultimate method to own music.
Your vinyl record collection will last a lifetime if properly cared for, and keeping your vinyl clean is a big part of that. Most importantly, clean vinyl records sound incredible, and while some people enjoy the comfort and nostalgia of a little surface, we prefer to keep it to a minimum for the greatest listening experience.
You’ll be spinning lovely tracks again in no time if you follow our definitive tutorial on how to clean vinyl records.
Cleaning vinyl records by hand is unquestionably the simplest and most cost-effective method. This is the greatest approach we know of to manually clean a record by hand, based on years of expertise and research.
Using a Carbon Fiber Record Brush, remove any loose dust:
A dry clean with a carbon fiber record brush should always be the initial step in any vinyl cleaning process. The Audio Quest brush, illustrated below, features smaller fibers in a higher amounts than a conventional brush, as well as enhanced conductivity to help with static neutralization.
Choose the Most Appropriate Record Cleaning Solution:
We can safely proceed to wet-cleaning the record after removing as much loose dust and particles as feasible. If you don’t dry clean before this step, the loose dust will become trapped in the groove and turn into sludge, which is tough to remove.
You’ll need a record cleaning solution kit for this step:
GrooveWasher is by far our favourite record cleaning fluid at the moment. G2 Fluid is a one-step cleaning solution that leaves no residue and eliminates the need for a secondary rinse. Years of research and testing were carried out by the company, which was inspired by the popular Discwasher of the 1970s. We’ve tried a lot of cleaning products on the market, and GrooveWasher is by far the quickest and most convenient manual hand-cleaning solution.
Apply the Cleaning Fluid to the Records:
Place the record carefully on the microfiber towel that came with your GrooveWasher kit.
(Use a soft clean cloth or a record cleaning mat if your kit does not include this towel.) On the record label, place the record label protection disc. To completely cover the record surface, spray 5 or 6 mist sprays. Wait at least 10 seconds.
Clean Your Record using the Cleaning Pad:
Lightly press the pad’s leading edge to the record and wipe it in concentric arcs (with the grooves, not across). Wipe the entire record with moderate pressure at least three times.
Begin Rotating The Pad:
To carefully dry and groom the surface, rotate the pad. If visual inspection reveals a problem area, reapply the G2 fluid, wait a few seconds, then gently scrape the area with the pad, but only in the grooves’ direction. Records that are extremely unclean may require two or three cleanings.
Before playing the record, let it air dry:
You don’t want to play a record that’s wet, or worse, put it back in its sleeve that’s moist. Air-drying stands can be made out of toast or dish racks.
Listen to the audio examples below to hear some real-world GrooveWasher effects (taken from our full GrooveWasher review). After the second and third cleanings, this very dusty record begins to shine.