Step 6: Storage and Playback

I'd recommend that the record is stored in a sleeve (the paper jacket inside the cover). Paper is fine, but does shed over time, so your records might have a little bit of stuff on the surface. Later records (late 70s and 80s) have glossy paper and even plastic sleeves to prevent this.

Either make sleeves out of wax paper (this will be a future Instructible) or buy some paper or plastic ones (they can be found online).

When handling records, make sure to only touch the label and edge, because finger oil acts like glue and dirt will stick to it (I've seen many a used record with blotches of dirt in the shape of finger prints).

Unless you seriously mistreat them, you'll probably never have to wash your records again or even use cleaning fluid. Just get the stray dust off with a carbon fiber brush before playback, clean the stylus (with a stylus cleaning brush or a lint free cloth and a drop of alcohol), keep the turntable clean and close the dust cover during playback.

Additionally: You may encounter a record with a sticky substance or something which doesn't come off via soap and warm water. In this case, I would try a cloth and Goo Gone and/or rubbing alcohol.When you are done, rise that area off with water to remove the chemicals.
Bricology2 years ago
It's definitely a bad idea to get the labels wet! They are, after all, just paper and paper + water = mess. So, be careful to only immerse or run water over the vinyl, *not* the labels!

Also, under "Drying", you wrote "With one had, hold the record, and with the other, dry it off." It's a good idea to hold the cloth so that it moves along the grooves, tracking with them, rather than scrubbing against them. The cloths should definitely be either all-cotton or microfiber; many other synthetic fibers can abrade the record surface.

Finally, it's a good idea to use rubbing alcohol and cotton pads to wipe down the record after you've washed, rinsed and dried it. Alcohol mixes with any water that remains and helps it evaporate away, and it breaks down any remaining oils. Again -- always move anything over the surface of the record *with* the grooves, not against them.
kstlfido6 years ago
Good info and worth a try. But if you find you need deeper cleaning abilities, using nonionic, ethylene oxide condensate surfactants such as Tergitol 15‑S‑3 and 15‑S‑9 with distilled water would be better. Also, these will leave virtually no residue.

More info at-
What about acetone, 70%? or 50%? to clean records.
I would be cautious putting something as harsh as acetone- it might very well dissolve the vinyl... But I am not a chemist.
Ok, I use this method myself & there is some good advice here but a precautionary word of advice. A lot of washing up liquids contain salt which is corrosive as do normal hair & body shampoos & other detergents. A far better cleaning medium which does not contain salt is either Eufora or Pureology, a hair shampoo which is used in salons for ladies who go in for Brazilian waxing. These shampoos are nearly completely petro-chemical free & are of course PH neutral. If its good enough for a lady's sensitive bits it should be fine on records! Also for the macho types who can't bring themselves to buy pum pum wash, the stuff that is used to shampoo cars & motorbikes also does not contain salt. Mer is a good one & its chemical make up is listed on their website.