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How Often Should You Clean Your Vinyl Records?

How Often Should You Clean Your Vinyl Records? featured imageHow Often Should You Clean Your Vinyl Records?

With the rise in popularity of vintage record players, people are once again learning how to clean and care for their vinyl records.

One of the questions that are asked quite often is how often should a person clean their vinyl records.

The short answer is this. Give a thorough cleaning right before using the record for the first time, and then lightly clean it before and after every use.

However, there is a lot more involved than this. Here are some helpful tips that will enable you to keep your vinyl records in great shape for years to come.

How To Clean Vinyl Records

Quick Tips For Cleaning Vinyl Records

  • Clean your vinyl records with a carbon fiber brush before and after each use.
  • Don’t use crazy homemade solutions or methods. Play it safe.
  • Use distilled and de-ionized water.
  • Use a carbon fiber brush before any deep cleaning.
  • A vinyl record cleaning vacuum is the best method of cleaning records.
  • New records are not always clean. Give new records a deep cleaning before playing them.
  • Use a lint free cloth like an old t-shirt for cleaning your records.

Beginners Guide To Cleaning Vinyl Records

Image of a vinyl record on a record playerIf you are an audiophile then cleaning your vinyl records approaches an art. You may even consider purchasing a vinyl record vacuum cleaner to get every speck of debris off of your vinyl.

However for the rest of us everyday Joe’s, we want to keep our vinyl records in good shape. Just like with any other fine product, there are those out there that will try to sell you a miracle cure with their proven scientific formula. You know, like the ones for hair care or wrinkle removal.

Instead of following after a miracle system, here are some basic guideline for keeping your records clean for many years to come.

Light Cleaning

The most effective way to keep your records clean is to use a carbon fiber brush before and after each play of your vinyl record. Just place your record on the turntable, lightly put your brush on the record and turn the turntable a couple of rotations while letting the brush clean your record.

Don’t turn on the turntable. Do this manually.

Medium Cleaning

When you first buy your vinyl record or if it has been left out in the open and has gotten dirty, then you need to do a medium cleaning. Most people recommend using a distilled de-ionized water solution for cleaning. However, some suggest an alcohol-based cleaning solution.

I do not recommend an alcohol-based solution. The alcohol can take the sheen off of your records, and long-term use can damage your records.

To do a deep cleaning, place your record on the turntable. Dampen your lint-free cloth with your distilled water solution. Lightly put the fabric on your record and slowly turn your record a couple of rotations.

Give your record time to dry before playing.

Here is an excellent video of this method.

Deep Cleaning

For the most in-depth cleaning available, experts recommend using a record vacuum cleaner. The library of Congress has one of these machines to care for the millions of vinyl records they store. However, this method is only for the vinyl record aficionado. Their cost is more than the average person would want to pay.

How Often Should You Clean Your Vinyl Records

Image of vinyl records stored above a record playerHow often you clean your records depends on your habits. If you run a carbon fiber brush over your records before and after every use, then you need to clean your records more thoroughly diminishes. If you are less cautious with your records, then the need will increase.

Make sure you keep your records in a clean sleeve. Make sure you store your records in a clean space. Moreover, don’t leave your records out in the open for hours on end. You need to put them up after you use them.

I hope these tips on keeping your records clean will help you keep your records in great shape and they will provide you with years of enjoyment in the future. If you are looking for a vintage record player to play your vinyl records on, you might want to check out our list of the best vintage record players. Alternatively, you can read our individual vintage record player reviews and other informative articles like our buying guide.

Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful websites and is now taking his skill as a writer and using it to help non-profit organizations and leaders around the world.