Cleaning of Vinyl Records is probably the most contested topic. There are loads of tips discussed on the internet. It is actually quite simple. When cleaning the record, the idea is to remove any dust, dirt, oil, etc. out of the groove of the record, without damaging the record itself and without leaving any dirt or residue behind after cleaned it. Cleaning is broadly divided into two types; wet cleaning and dry cleaning.
Dry Cleaning – Use a carbon fibre brush to clean your vinyl before and after every play. Brush lightly along the grooves to remove the dust and other dirt. Remember to regularly clean the brush too. Let us keep this as a regular practice in our listening sessions.
Wet Cleaning – Wet cleaning is to be done once in a while or for very dirty records that we collect. This method is recommended when we want to give your records a deep clean. Spray all over the record (except the label portion) a mixture of Distilled Water and Isopropyl Alcohol in the ratio of 80:20, then wipe with a micro-fibre cloth and dry with a separate micro-fibre cloth. Never put a wet record on your record player under any circumstances. It is also important that if we wet clean our record that should be completely dry before it goes back into its sleeve for storage. Hence, it is not a bad idea to keep the record under fan for around 10 minutes before playing/putting back into the sleeves, after wet cleaning.
Once we have a big collection, cleaning records by hand might be a lot of effort. There are vacuum cleaning machines that automatically apply a cleaning solution and then vacuum the liquid off again, available from various sources. There are also spin cleaners that clean the record with the solution as it spins with the brushes cleaning off the dirt. Although effective, they can be expensive.
Proper cleaning is an easy way to effectively enhance the sound of our record, and protect it and the equipment.