How to get vinyl records clean.

As I may have mentioned before, I am currently going through the process of recording all the records I currently have here… hmmm… about 2000 of them! I think I must be about one third of the way through and recording more everyday. During this I have developed a system to get vinyl records clean that works very well, it also reduces static and makes the records sound really good. This is how it goes.

Step 1: Clean the record using AM Record Cleaner Fluid This is the best stuff I have ever used for this job. I tend to use 4 or 5 squirts all around, paying particular attention to the outside and inside run-outs as this is where the dirt tends to collect especially if you are DJ’ing with the vinyl and grubby finger are getting all over it, then rub off the excess with the provided cloth.

Step 2: Play the record through at least once with the counter weight on the turntable turned to up to maximum weight. If the record is very dirty and has noticeable dirt patches on it, as the record plays, you should notice small specks of dirt lift out of the groove and lay on the record surface. Now take your cloth and carefully brush the specks off being careful not to push the dirt back into the groove.

Step 3: Now if your record was very dirty or if really want to make sure things are clean you can use the AM Record Cleaner again. You may also want to do this if the record is a 33rpm album or very old, because the recording on these tend to be quitter and the static will be more obvious.

Step 4: Play your record, record it if you want. Then put it back on the shelf and never play it again….

AM Record Cleaner

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3 thoughts on “How to get vinyl records clean.

  1. Hey Steve.

    Nice article. I couldn’t agree more about the grubby hands and the necessity for keeping your records clean.

    This might save you a penny. I make my own vinyl cleaning fluid by mixing 20% tech grade (99% pure) isopropyl alcohol and 80% distilled water. I source the tech grade isopropyl from my local chemist upon request and apparently I’m not the only one asking for it.

    I usually add a single drop of photographic wetting agent to 500ml of fluid. I can’t source Triton X-100 or X-114 so I’ve opted for using Tetenal Mirasol 2000. It’s easy to buy online from here.

    Good luck with your recordings and see you soon!
    –marty

  2. There’s loads of different methods out there when it comes to cleaning records and some get very, very expensive.

    Personally I’ve built my own cleaning deck using an old vacuum cleaner, some VPI replacement parts for the 16.5 and an old broken turntable.

    Theres some excellent advice over at http://howtocleanvinyl.tumblr.com though, I’m about half way through reading and have noticed a few things I wouldn’t have thought of.

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