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How to safely clean your vinyl records

Vaseline 4 weeks ago

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Now that spring has arrived, it’s a great time to clean out your vinyl record collection, especially if you’re planning to celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday (April 20). It’s no secret that vinyl records are hotter than ever, and whether you have a large or small record collection, it’s good to keep them clean and organized.

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Like all other forms of physical media, vinyl records must be kept clean in order for them to work properly. Fingerprints, dust and scratches can damage the surface of the record itself, which can reduce the sound and create unwanted noise. Even natural oils from your hands can erode the surface of your vinyl records.

When it comes to cleaning your vinyl records, there are specialty solutions, vinyl record brushes and cleaning kits designed to keep your records in pristine condition. For example, the Vinyl Buddy Record Cleaning Kit ($20) has a near-perfect customer rating on Amazon, and you get a lot of items for a decent price.

Amazon

Vinyl Buddy Ultimate Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit | Includes: record cleaner, velvet brush, microfiber brush, stylus brush and storage case – restore and revive your LPs

The five-piece set comes with a velvet brush, microfiber brush, stylus brush, cleaning solution and a storage pouch. The Groove Washer Walnut Record Cleaning Kit ($44.95) is another favorite of music lovers.

For something easier and possibly cheaper, depending on what you already have at home, you can always opt for Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner and water. Not yet familiar with Simple Green? It is a natural, universal cleaning solution that works on almost everything. From surfaces to soft carpets, Simple Green is designed to instantly remove grease and stains from countertops, floors, fabrics, appliances, vehicles and more. And it’s gentle enough to use on your vinyl records.

Simple Green retails for about $2-$5 for a 32-ounce spray bottle and about $10 for a gallon. You can get it at Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s and other retailers.

To clean your vinyl records, grab a microfiber cloth to remove the dust and static electricity from the record. Then dampen a clean microfiber cloth (preferably with distilled water) and lightly wipe the surface of the plate in a circular motion, but staying away from the center of the plate. Then add a dash of Simple Green (the company recommends a 1:30 ratio) to a bowl of water and clean the plate by following the same circular motion as in the previous steps. Finally, grab a dry microfiber cloth to dry the vinyl record (you can also use compressed air to blow away any remaining dust).

After your record is clean, all that’s left to do is enjoy the music! Be sure to check the needle on your turntable so that it doesn’t leave any dust particles that could distort the sound. For more shopping recommendations, check out our list of the best record players and turntables, the best speakers for music lovers, and storage options for your music collection.