How to Clean Records with Household Items: A Step-by-Step Guide

Vinyl records are beloved by many for their nostalgic appeal and excellent sound quality. However, it’s important to remember that in order for your records to sound their best, they need to be properly taken care of. This means regularly cleaning them to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that can affect the sound quality of your records. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your vinyl records by hand using simple household items.

Before we dive into the cleaning process, we want to mention that cleaning your records is not a cure-all solution for all record problems. If you have a record with scratches and scuffs that are affecting its sound quality, cleaning it may not fix the problem. With that said, regular cleaning can help improve the sound quality of your records and help them last longer.

To clean your records by hand, you’ll need a few basic items. First, lay down one or two towels on your tabletop to protect it from any mess. Next, you’ll need a plastic dish rack to hold your records after they’ve been cleaned. For cleaning, you’ll need microfiber rags and a custom-made cleaning solution. You can buy microfiber rags in bulk online or offline. For the cleaning solution, mix a few drops of fragrance-free dish soap, distilled water, and rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle.

To start the cleaning process, place the record on top of the towel and spray the first side of the record with the cleaning solution. Make sure you get the record wet while leaving the label as dry as possible. Next, take a clean microfiber rag and wipe the record clockwise, applying a little bit of pressure to get into the grooves. Repeat this process a few times to ensure you’ve cleaned the first side of the record thoroughly. If needed, spray the record a second time and clean it counterclockwise.

Once the first side is cleaned, the record should be fairly dry. If it’s not, place it in the dish rack and move on to the next record. If it’s dry, flip the record over and repeat the cleaning process on the other side. Once you’ve cleaned all your records, leave them in the dish rack to air dry completely before playing them on your turntable.

Cleaning your records by hand is a quick and inexpensive process that can help improve their sound quality and prolong their lifespan. If you have a little more money to spend, you may want to consider investing in a record cleaning machine, which we’ll cover in our next article. In the meantime, try out this simple cleaning method and let us know in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks for cleaning your vinyl records.