How to Repair Scratches on Old Records

Written by tammi clements
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How to Repair Scratches on Old Records
Scratches on vinyl records do not have to be permanent. (old gramophone record image by Julia Chernikova from

If you have had the unfortunate experience of finding irritating scratches on your prized vinyl record collection, you are not alone. Although the scratches may alter the sound of your records, the damage does not have to be permanent. There is a home remedy that will smooth out the scratches and restore the sound of your records. This restoration method is moderately easy to complete and will have your records as good as new in no time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Old newspaper
  • 29.6ml. isopropyl alcohol
  • 2 small bowls
  • 227gr. distilled water
  • Photographic wetting agent
  • Record cleaning brush
  • Sink
  • Lint-free cotton cloth

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  1. 1

    Cover the work area with old newspaper to prevent making a mess.

  2. 2

    Place the record on the newspaper. Be sure that scratched side is facing up.

  3. 3

    Pour one oz. of isopropyl alcohol into a small bowl.

  4. 4

    Add three oz. of distilled water into the bowl.

  5. 5

    Add eight to 10 drops of photographic wetting agent to the bowl.

  6. 6

    Saturate a record cleaning brush with the cleaning solution from the bowl.

  7. 7

    Starting at the top of the scratch and working your way to the bottom of the scratch, apply the cleaning solution using the saturated cleaning brush. Be sure to follow the grooves of the record to prevent causing new scratches. Repeat.

  8. 8

    Fill a second small bowl with five oz. of distilled water.

  9. 9

    Hold the record over a sink while pouring the distilled water from the bowl over the scratched area.

  10. 10

    Use soft swirling motions to dry the record using a clean lint-free cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • To help prevent any future scratches, always store your vinyl records in a record storage unit or in their paper sleeves.
  • Never attempt to play records that are wet or damp. Playing wet records may cause permanent damage to the vinyl.

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