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To ensure the best sound and least amount of wear on your records, it is essential that they are kept clean. My rule of thumb is to never play an album until it has been sufficiently cleaned.

Here is my tried and true method for liberating a record from all the dirt, dust, mold and fingerprints it may have acquired over the years - all without special fluid. I’ll show you my method that utilizes soap, water and a record brush.

I’ve tried a few different methods over the years, including the traditional fluid and bush method and vacuuming the surface (with a gentle brush), but that would still leave dirt behind.

Then I tried the soap and water method. I finally got ALL the dirt and grime of every record I tried, on the first cleaning too. One record was completely which with mold/mildew. After cleaning, the record is visually perfect and plays well with barely any pops/clicks!

For records with only light amounts of dust, I would recommend just brushing them off with a carbon fiber brush before playback. As any record collector knows, only about 10% of used records actually come in that condition. For the other 90%, wash them off.

Remember, the best cleaning in the world just removes all the dust and dirt. Some records will have scratches and groove wear. No amount of cleaning will fix this. So after cleaning, some record may sound “perfect” and others maybe not so much.

Step 1: Gather the items

You'll need the following:
-A Basin of some kind
-Dish soap (any kind will work)
-A record cleaning brush/pad (Discwasher style)
-A few washcloths
-A source of warm water
-A sink with faucet
-Records to wash
-A clean surface to put the records on (their cardboard sleeves)
-Two hands
-Rubber gloves (if your going to be doing a number of records at a time)
-Towels to dry off the records
<p>In an ideal World, the only thing to touch the surface of a record should be a stylus. However, one method is the use of an Ultrasonic Cleaner. This ticks all the boxes with regards to non-contact with the surface of the record and they can be cleaned very thoroughly without chemicals. Microscopic dust particles are cleaned from the very bottom of the record groove.</p><p>More info: <a href="https://bestultrasoniccleaner.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/cleaning-vinyl-records-using-ultrasonic-cleaner/" rel="nofollow">https://bestultrasoniccleaner.wordpress.com/2015/0...</a></p>
Any tips to getting sellotape off vinyl, my husband had a record that was framed, has take it out, but it was secured by double sided tape, any good advice???
One of the most overlooked items that every household has, is PERFECT for removing sticky adhesives from tape, labels, dirt from dust, fingerprints, drink spills etc. It is a cleaner for nearly anything you want removed, it is made from fish oils and is really inexpensive. What is it you might ask? WD-40.<br><br>I have cleaned many, many, many records with WD-40 (I have thousands), I've removed the little sticky &quot;dots&quot; that some DJ's use on the vinyl prior to my getting them, it works like a charm.<br><br>To remove most kinds of dirt from a non-porous surface, simply spray enough WD-40 onto the offending matter to saturate it, then let it soak for 10 minutes or more. Wipe it off and the gunk will come with it. For stubborn material like double-sided (foam) tape, several applications will be needed to get it all off. Don't forget, it will work best if you remove as much of the material you can before you soak it. Labels that have a shiny surface are tough, you need to peel off as much of the label as you can, otherwise the WD will not penetrate into the sticky part.<br><br>If you are worried about the oily residue left behind, you can clean this with Windex or rubbing alcohol, otherwise it will tend to evaporate by itself. I have found that simply wiping the vinyl record with a soft dry cloth will remove most of the WD-40, but I've never had any problems by leaving it dry by itself.<br><br>WD-40 is my first choice for cleaning almost anything. Hope this helps!
<p>Ok I have to say, this WORKED. I found a bonus album inside a Herb Alpert Case which turned out to be 12&quot; Cameo Word up Extended version. Well Im an 80s child so I was stoked. But the record was bad with clumps of dirt. I tried alcohol at first but then i tried the wd 40. I sprayed some on a microfiber cloth and wiped gently in one motion around the record. Then I used a damp dishsoap microfiber cloth to clean the wd40 off. then dried with a soft tshirt. I think it still has some wd 40 residue (certainly smells like it) but it plays so smooth now!. And it isnt ruined. :) </p>
While WD-40 is certainly popular with people, I have used both this and lighter fluid and I think lighter fluid is superior. Lighter fluid seems to work faster in many cases and doesn't leave that nasty residue behind.
<p>I'll make sure I'll never come your house with a lighted match. :-)</p>
<p>I hate to admit it, but WD-40 would remove it. When ever I have had issues with removing labels from anything, WD-40 comes to the rescue. Word of advice, once removed, make sure you remove all signs of the oil.</p>
You have a tough one and Goo Gone might work but has pretty powerful solvents in it (xylene if I remember correctly). I would try vegetable oil or oil squeezed from an orange or lemon peel, but just on the sticky and try to roll/peel up the residue with a Q-Tip then carefully clean the remainder with Goo Gone and a soft cloth. I admit this is a guess, I have never needed to attempt what you are trying to do. I would not let vinyl soak in Goo Gone.
Has anyone tried LOC? It is great for getting sticky things off and is very gentle.
I used lighter fluid, the kind used for zippo lighters to get sticker &quot;dots&quot; off. I can't say I've tried it on the vinyl itself, but if on the label, works perfectly. Used book stores use lighter fluid to clean book covers. Evaporates faster than rubbing alcohol. Highly recommend. When you find the right products, I don't know, you get giddy about cleaning stuff.
Goo Gone and a soft cloth or paper towel.
<p>I would NEVER EVER clean an LP like in this instruction, YOU WILL RUIN it if you do. WHY would you get the label wet ? Using a washcloth will scratch it</p>
<p>I worried about the label also. Don't forget it's pressed into the vinyl when it's in the stamper so there's no way it will come off. Although I use my bare hands to wash vinyl I have never caused harm to a label - it will go very dark when it's wet but it always dries back to the original colour &amp; contrast. I will try the record brush approach however &amp; it's a simple matter to brush in the direction of the grooves &amp; avoid the label altogether. In my opinion it's people who advocate solvents instead of water who are more at risk of damaging vinyls:)</p>
<p>I used two butter dish lids with a bolt, washer and wingnut to clamp over the label area before cleaning, to protect it. Also, VERY IMPORTANT, use distilled water to rinse because chlorine can eat vinyl. I used velvet in the 70's but micro fiber might be better. Wet labels tend to separate from the record. . .</p>
<p>Nice tutorial for cleaning records manually! I used a similar way before getting a Knosti.</p><p>A couple of tips:</p><p>- You could rinse with distilled water at the end (Getting rid of any salt deposits).</p><p>- If you add 10-15 drops of fabric softener for every drop of soap, you will have antistatic properties!</p><p>- Dry the record with clean towels that leave no fluff/fuzz. </p><p>- Put the record in a new (preferably antistatic) sleeve.</p>
<p>I transfer records to digital as part of my job in a broadcasting company &amp; can whole-heartedly recommend this... People often ask if I use solvents to clean &amp; my answer is always &quot;no&quot; - just soap &amp; warm water. Having said that, if there is sticky stuff which will not dissolve, I then try isopropyl alcohol. Do NOT use this on lacquer or acetate disks though, the groves will vanish!!! Nice instrucrable, thank you for posting it.</p><p>John Roberts</p><p>Wellington.</p><p>New Zealand.</p>
<p>Save your money and your records People!!!!</p><p>Always use distilled water. Regular may leave mineral deposits.</p><p>Spin Clean is cheapest and works fantastic. I never play a record until I clean them with this. Also before I play I use a carbon fiber brush while platter is rotating. don't let it go or it may damage/break your stylus (It is assumed that your tone arm will be on the resting/support mechanism while you do this). I also will place the cleaned records in a new plastic/vinyl cover. I hear paper is somewhat abrasive for vinyl. while we are on this subject your needle should be cleaned also. Onzow Zero Dust or equivalent should be used. you can find on Ebay cheaper.</p><p><a href="http://www.soundstagedirect.com/spin-clean-record-washer-system.shtml?gclid=COnDrqy2tssCFQMQaQod4sQKtQ" rel="nofollow">http://www.soundstagedirect.com/spin-clean-record-...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.soundstagedirect.com/spin-clean-record-washer-system.shtml?gclid=COnDrqy2tssCFQMQaQod4sQKtQ" rel="nofollow">http://www.soundstagedirect.com/spin-clean-record-...</a></p>
<p>Spin Clean works great.</p>
It is the cheapest and best method without spending hundreds of dollars or more on a fancy machine that needs lots of maintenance.<br>I really love mine. I believe spin Clean recommends around 50 records for one batch of cleaning solution. I usually don't make it to 40. It takes me a a few hours to do around 40 depending how dirty the solution gets. It is actually kind of fun to listen to some music while you clean. :)
<p>Use the Knosti Disco Antistat with its own fluid and then a distilled water, 5%IPA and a drop of Ilfotol solution rinse. Cheap, easy and effective. Has brought many charity shop finds back from the dead.</p>
<p>Paper label can be damaged by moisture.</p>
<p>Hey kids - here's a good companion able describing how to restore really messed up records - search Bring Ruined Records Back to Life by bfk, whom I think posted here as well.</p>
Is that a Herb Alpert record? Nothing quite like Jazz or Classical on vinyl from the peak of the era. : )
<p>I still have my Herb Alpert records from the 1960s. And they are kept in the original paper sleeves and carbord albums. But now I listen to the same tracks on Pandora for free (with some ads in between).</p>
<p>I thought he chose the herb alpert because those are staple cheap records you find everywhere for less than buck, and if you damage it who cares.</p>
Yes, it's "Sounds Like Herb Alpert." This is the stereo version I picked up at Savers (for $.99) the other day. I previously had the mono edition. Most of the records I get are dirty, so I just wash them off before I even think about playing them. As I mentioned in the tutorial, I clean any dust off with a carbon fiber brush before playback, so I think cleaning is really only a one time thing.
<p>In 1972 I collected my Mom's 78 RPM record collection (some were older than me!), filled the bathtub with water and shampoo to wash them, rinsed then with the shower, and held them up to drip dry with bent clothes hanger through the center hole. Then I played them and recorded the music to cassette. Now I would had recorded them to CD and MP3, but the method I used is similar to what is posted here.</p>
<p>I remove dust, particles AND static from my records by placing them on the turntable, start it up, spread a thick layer of wood glue on the record in a spiral from the outside to the middle, use an old credit card or similar to spread it evenly, let it dry for 24 hours, peel the dried glue off and Bob's your uncle. The first record I ever used this on was a g to g- copy. Looked awful and played as G. after the glue treatment it still looked awful but played VG to VG+.</p>
<p>Has anyone ever tried Scotts Liquid Gold? Or something similar? It is a cleaner, and has an oil that is very impressive......and though it is for wood, it seems to work great for everything I can think of. I would soft cloth, towel it all off, but I believe this would clean, and condition......extremely well. </p>
<p>I have an old Elvis record that seems to have paint on one side. Is there any way to remove the paint and save the recording?</p>
<p>Acetone is a major no no. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are conversing about a circular piece of vinyl that is vulnerable to practically anything It may touch. Harsh chemicals are, &quot;OUT&quot;. :-)</p><p>My major concern is not a clean record, because I have always taken care of my records. Periodically I will hold my records to the a bright light. Tilt the record slightly, and it will reveal the record's usage history.</p><p>My concern is..., How to eliminate the faint pops during quiet segments of a particular song. I think we can all agree that most of those little pops are caused by static electricity. I have performed searches via the internet trying to find an &quot;Anti-Static&quot; cloth that I can apply to the record before playing it. Everyone refers to a cloth made up of Micro-fiber. Personally, I can't stand the way they feel to the touch. Most of them are made out of synthetic fibers. I prefer more cotton in the blend.</p><p>I also recall reading where one individual places a small percentage of fabric softener mixed with &quot;distilled&quot; water in wash tub. Takes an old T-Shirt, places it in the tub, allows the fabric softener to penetrate the cotton. Then, wrings out most of the fabric softener/ water to where the T-Shirt is at the damp state, and applies it to the record. This person has also followed the same procedure and applied it to his flat panel TV. He claims it to be a guaranteed fix.</p><p>What is your opinion? If you disagree, what would you suggest?</p>
<p>For anti-static, try the Tonar Nostatic Mat II - www.tonar.eu - shockingly, it makes a huge difference.</p>
<p>All my records are clean and nice. I do not have any garage kept stuff . Why should i wash my records this way? There is no need if you do not have badly cared for records. All of my records and some of them I have for 40 years, are still as shiny and clean and sound as good as they sounded when I first got them. </p>
<p>Thanks for this useless post! This is for when you score some used records and need to clean them, not for your Mel Torme LPs you bought 40 yaers ago.</p>
<p>The only useless post here is yours. I buy records from Goodwill, etc, that have decades of detritus to remove. Not every record is mint. Critical reasoning is a rewarding skill set.</p>
In the article he calls out that this is more for used records in rougher shape. Near the end he says that he never has to washed his records twice, he just uses a brush. So from what I read in this instructable, I'd hazzard to guess the OP agrees with you.
<p>Bravo! I just purchased a new Turntable, and broke out some of my albums from the 1980's. All, I might add are in terrific shape. :-)</p>
Well, I love the instructable, and reading all the conflict that was going on in the comment section provided me something to do, but I have a question. It's not really about cleaning records, more about a record I found the other day at a garage sale. It was the original Star Wars soundtrack which I got for a dollar. My buddies said I could sell it for a lot more than that. I probably won't but I was just wondering how much it could possibly be worth?
<p>Considering that I see this in the wild often, it's not worth much, unless its in mint cond. or contains auth. signatures, etc. You might be able to flip for some extra cash to someone who doesn't know what records are worth, but its a 2 - 3 dollar record, at best. The Star wars records that are pictures discs are worth more, and the ones that contain dialogue and stoires are good too.</p>
<p>It's worth in general about 5 bucks. So they are 'kind' of right -it's worth 5 times what you paid. Pretty good return. Now a still sealed copy with signatures from the cast on it from 1978 - could fetch around $120 bucks - but the chances of anyone finding that would be very slim.</p>
I have no idea. There are record collectors guides and stuff that will give you all that information, though. Do a little googleing and hit up your local library (mine has a few record collectors guides.
<p>Dish soap, alcohol, WD40 and other chemicals are not good to use on Vinyl. Do yourself a favor and go buy a spin clean.</p>
<p>Would a saline solution for contact lenses be damaging to the lps? Was reading these and multiple other threads and curiosity got me wondering.</p>
<p>Yes, it will leave salt behind.</p>
Thank you. Good thing i didn't try it on my own. I did end up buying a lp carbon cleaning brush and using that alone has done wonders.
Is there anything I can use instead of a record cleaning brush?
<p>Tap water is a bad idea. It can and will leave minerals behind in the grooves, especially if your water is relatively hard. Ever seen mineral deposits on the door of your shower? That's minerals in the water, and that will be left in your grooves. Sure, dish soap does make it less, but there will always be some of it left, enough to make pops that can not be removed. Distilled water is the only way to go. Also, label protection is vital, as I have had vinyls that didn't like getting the label wet, all post-1975. I also heavily recommend getting some kind of record to test your method on. Any cheapo thrift shop/flea market/given record will suffice, as it's only to see if it damages the vinyl or not. Better safe than sorry!</p>
<p>does anyone know how to remove lenco clean?</p>
<p>To those not sure or who are even bagging this idea, I've done this many many times. I do a couple of extra things though... I put a dowel rod through the middle of the record so that it can freely spin it in the bucket of water. I only put the water up high enough so that it covers the actual vinyl. I then use an old record brush to wash the grooves while spinning through the soapy water. try to avoid using just any old dish washing liquid... pure soap is best but comes down to how well you rinse. I also use 2 scrap CDs to water seal the label! So, get some blu tak or other reusable putty adhesive, roll out to a long 'snake', stick around the very edge of the CD then stick to the vinyl .. NOT on the grooves OR on the label but on the blank space between.. do it on both sides. Rinse THOROUGHLY in DISTILLED WATER - see I also use a very soft paint brush in the rinse to ensure I have removed all the soap (can also use distilled water in with the soapy water if you're worried about tap water). Dry with microfiber towels. Finish off with your fave cleaner. I use Buggtussell Vinyl-Zyme Gold for records that were heavily soiled, covered in mold etc and for most initial clean of records I haven't played for a long time that don't need the above wash. I try to avoid alcohol based cleaners but of course have a bottle of AM for very quick once over cleans.</p>

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