Vinyl Record Cleaning: Do's and Don'ts

Vinyl Record Cleaning: Do's and Don'ts

Vinyl Record Cleaning: Do's and Don'ts

Vinyl records hold a special place in the hearts of music lovers, offering a warm sound quality and a tactile connection to music that digital formats can't replicate. Proper care and maintenance of your vinyl collection are crucial to preserving its sound and longevity. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the do’s and don'ts of vinyl record cleaning.


  1. Use a Carbon Fiber Brush Before and after playing your record, gently sweep a carbon fiber brush across the surface in a circular motion to remove dust and static. This prevents dust from settling into the grooves and affecting playback quality.

  2. Clean with Proper Solutions For deeper cleans, use a cleaning solution designed for vinyl records. You can either purchase a commercial vinyl cleaning solution or make your own by mixing distilled water with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol and a drop of dish soap. Apply the solution sparingly to a microfiber cloth and wipe the record in a circular motion, following the grooves.

  3. Rinse with Distilled Water After cleaning with a solution, rinse the record with distilled water to remove any residual soap or cleaning fluid. Tap water can leave mineral deposits on your records, so distilled water is a must.

  4. Air Dry Completely Let your records air dry completely before playing or storing them. Place them on a clean, lint-free cloth and ensure they are dry to avoid trapping moisture in the sleeve, which can lead to mold.

  5. Store Records Properly Always store your records vertically in their sleeves and jackets to avoid warping and unnecessary pressure on the grooves. Ensure they are kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.


  1. Don’t Use Alcohol-based Cleaners Indiscriminately While isopropyl alcohol is effective at cleaning, it should be used sparingly and never on shellac 78rpm records, as it can cause damage. Always dilute it properly if you decide to use it.

  2. Avoid Touching the Surface Handle your records by the edges or the labeled area in the center. Oils and dirt from your fingers can degrade the grooves and affect sound quality.

  3. Don't Play Dirty Records Playing dirty records can not only harm the record itself but also damage your stylus. Always clean your records if you notice visible dust or dirt.

  4. Don’t Use Shirttails or Paper Towels Materials like shirttails and paper towels can leave behind lint or even scratch the surface of your records. Always use a soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth for cleaning.

  5. Avoid Stacking Records Never stack records on top of each other, whether in or out of their sleeves. This can lead to warping and unwanted pressure on the grooves, degrading sound quality over time.

Proper maintenance of your vinyl collection ensures not only the preservation of sound quality but also the longevity of these cherished items. By following these simple do’s and don'ts, you can keep your records sounding pristine for years to come, allowing you to enjoy the unique experience they offer every time you drop the needle.

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