Aside from keeping your vinyl records in a durable hi-fi system and purchasing an excellent record player or turntable for your need, you also need to make sure that your records are well-kept and clean since doing this ensures the best sound. Many people think that the pops and clicks from vinyl records cause damage. However, this is only the case if you scuffed or made scratches on it. If not, dust and dirt accumulated between the grooves is the possible reason. It’s important to know if the problem is pops and clicks or dust.
In this article, you will learn a few ways to make your vinyl records clean so that you can always get optimal sound. Here are some of them:
For this method, you need to have a record brush. The cleaning brush from Mobile Fidelity Record and is quite popular. Many people also suggest using a brush from AudioQuest Record. It is not a must for you to own both. However, if your records have collected much dust, you can try using both brushes before washing them.
To start, you gently brush your vinyl record’s surface in a circular direction following the grooves. Avoid putting much pressure on brushing so that you can remove large dirt and dust. Also, you can avoid causing more damage to your records. It is recommended if you don’t like washing your records. Before playing your record player, you should brush it lightly.
Washing your records is recommended if you purchased used records, brushing does not remove visible dirt and dust, and you’ve been storing your records for an extended time.
The conventional way people wash their records is by using water and dishwashing soap. However, this is not good for your records. Cleaning solutions specially made for cleaning records are recommended. You should be wary of the chemical ingredients for the solution you use. Though some people recommend using solutions that have isopropyl alcohol to clean your record, but it can damage protective covering of your record . If you already have a solution like that, at least don’t use it regularly.
Tergitol, combined with deionized water, which is a gentle surfactant, is what the curators at The Library of Congress use for their records. You can use this to wash as well. A Tergitol solution and deionized water can be purchased on Amazon. You can mix Tergitol with water if you don’t want to buy deionized water. After you gently spray this solution on the disc, you let the solution sit for around 5 minutes. Use your record brush to remove the mixture from the grooves of the discs gently. If you have deionized water, use it without Tergitol to rinse your discs
A vinyl record cleaner that is vacuum-powered is highly recommended for cleaning your records. The best thing about this equipment is it is specially made to lessen physical contact and pressure to the sensitive parts of the record while sucking up the collected dust and dirt lodged in the grooves.
You should not use the vacuum cleaner you have at home to clean your records. You have many options to choose from if you’re interested in purchasing a vinyl record vacuum cleaner. You can get the most out of your money when you get the Record Doctor V Record Cleaning Machine. Deluxe vacuum cleaners are also available. However, they are more expensive, and these do the same job as the regular ones.
If buying expensive cleaners is out of your budget, you can use your hands. All you need is a cleaning solution, a cloth made of microfiber and a brush. Here are the steps to do it by hand:
- Put your record on a mat. The kinds of mats you can use for cleaning are available at music stores. These are made of cork or any soft material. Liquids may spill if you do the cleaning on top of your turntable, so having a mat is recommended. To secure your record while cleaning, you can use the spindle attached to it. Don’t forget to check if your cleaning solution is compatible with your mat.
- After brushing, lightly drop drizzles of the solution onto the record. You can also wet the towel a little and dab it there. Just remember that the record is just a little wet but not soaked in liquid.
- Hold your towel and start wiping the record counterclockwise. Make sure that the towel touches the grooves.
- When drying your record, use a microfiber cloth. After, leave your record to dry for about 30 minutes until you are sure that it is not damp. Mold can grow on the sleeve if there is excess moisture on the record.
Doing constant maintenance on your vinyl record will help it remain in pristine condition. Although cleaning can be a meticulous task, it is undoubtedly worth it knowing that you can enjoy it for a more extended time .