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Here’s How to Clean Your Vinyl Records Without Damaging Them

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Now that spring has officially sprung, it’s a great time to start cleaning up your collection of vinyl records. It’s no secret that vinyl records are hotter than ever, and regardless of whether you have a huge record collection or a small one,  it’s always good to keep them clean and organized.

Just like any other forms of physical media, vinyl records need to be kept clean so that they work properly. Fingerprints, dust and scratches on your records can damage the surface of the record itself, which can diminish the sound and add unwanted noise. Even natural oils from your hands can erode the surface of your vinyl.

When it comes to cleaning your vinyls, there are special solutions, vinyl record brushes and cleaning kits that are designed to keep your records in pristine shape. For example, the Vinyl Buddy record cleaning kit ($24.99) has a near-perfect customer rating on Amazon and you’ll get a lot for the price. The five-piece kit comes with a velvet brush, microfiber brush, stylus brush, cleaning solution and a storage pouch.

Buy: Vinyl Buddy record cleaning kit ($24.99)

For something easier and possibly cheaper, depending on what you already have around the house, you can always go for Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner and water. Not familiar with Simple Green? It’s a natural, all-purpose cleaning solution that works on just about everything. From surfaces to soft carpets, Simple Green is designed to remove direct grease and stains on countertops, floors, fabric, equipment, vehicles and more. And it’s gentle enough to use on your vinyl records.

Simple Green retails for about $2-$5 for a 32 oz. spray bottle and around $10 for a gallon. You can get it at Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

To clean your vinyl records, grab a microfiber cleaning cloth to remove the dust and static from the record. Next, dampen a clean microfiber cloth (preferably with distilled water) and lightly wipe the record surface in a circular motion — but steer clear of the middle of the record. Next, add a splash of Simple Green (the company recommends a 1:30 ratio) to a bowl of water and clean the record following the same circular motion as the earlier steps. Lastly, grab a dry microfiber cloth to dry the vinyl record (you can also use compressed air to blow away any residual dust).

After your record is clean, all that’s left to do is enjoy the music! Just make sure to check the needle on your record player so that there’s no leftover dust particles that could distort the sound. For additional shopping recommendations check out our list of storage options for your vinyl records and more.