How to Clean Vinyl Records

In today's times, vinyl records have been outdated, but a few DJs use it on their consoles for mixing music. Some people treasure their old music collections on these records. Here are some ways to keep those cherished records spotless.
Cleaning vinyl records is very essential to maintain their durability and the sonic capability of vinyl medium. A clean record offers optimum sound quality. So, if you want to hear a better sound when you play these records, it is mandatory to clean them regularly. Here's how to do this:

Surfactants

A surfactant is a solvent used for cleaning the surface of a vinyl record. There are a number of surfactants available that are specifically designed to clean these records. These record cleaning solutions usually come with a brush that help to completely remove the dirt. Velvet or carbon fiber brushes are often recommended for this purpose.

To start off, place the record on a turntable and apply the liquid to the brush. Place the brush on top of the record and move the turntable in the counter clockwise direction a couple of times to loosen the dirt. Slowly move the brush in a direction away from the center. You will observe that some dirt gets stuck to the brush. Carefully remove the dirt and continue cleaning. You can repeat the procedure till no more dirt accumulates on the brush. Do not press the brush hard on the surface, to avoid scratches. As most record cleaning solutions contain alcohol, the record should dry quickly. On the whole, allow it to dry before flipping the vinyl record to remove the dirt from the other side.

Homemade Record Cleaning Solutions

If you don't wish to spend money on commercial record cleaning solutions, then you can use a dish washing liquid. They clean these records effectively but make sure you rinse it off quickly. It is advised not to use 'rubbing alcohol' as it contains additives that can damage your records. Avoid using tap water, instead go for distilled water and soap to eliminate the dirt from the surface of your record. Distilled water dissolves serious stains that are usually found on old vinyl records. You can also use isopropyl alcohol for cleaning these records.

Record Cleaning Machines

If you have a wide collection of vinyl records then it won't be feasible to clean each and every record by hand. A better option would be to use a record cleaning machine. The results are superior and quicker than cleaning it by hand. There are different models of record cleaning machines available and their price varies from a couple of hundred to a thousand dollars.

A record cleaning machine is a box that comes with a motor, platter and a vacuum suction tube. The motor is used for rotating the platter. The vacuum suction tube has a soft brush to remove the dirt. All you have to do is place your vinyl record on the platter, prime the pump for applying the record cleaning solution and allow the record to spin a few rotations to loosen any dirt. Just flip the switch and the vacuum sucks any fluid or crud.

Remember, do not play your vinyl records if they are wet. Thorough cleaning and drying is essential before playing the record as "wet playing" may harm your disc.
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