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How to remove static from vinyl records

Updated February 21, 2017

You can remove the static electric charge from vinyl records by giving them a careful cleaning. Static electricity attracts dust particles to the surface of records, which cause noise in the playback and damage to the vinyl surface. Wet-cleaning records using a specialised solution eliminates static completely and lifts accumulated grit and grime from the grooves. Preserve your vinyl record collection with regular cleanings using products that are designed to gently remove dust and static.

Place a single record on the turntable and switch it on to its lowest speed. Move the tonearm away from the record and lock it out of the way if possible.

Add a couple drops of the cleaning solution to the centre of the grooves on the slowly spinning record.

Spread the cleaning solution all over the grooves of the record with a carbon fibre brush. Apply light pressure to the vinyl record so it continues to spin as the cleaner is brushed onto the record without wetting the label.

Allow the record to continue spinning until it has dried completely. This will only take a minute or two.

Brush the dry record with light pressure as it continues to spin using a second carbon fibre brush that is dry.

Turn the record over and duplicate the wet and dry brush cleaning process for the second side.

Slide the clean and static-free vinyl record into a new antistatic sleeve and insert the sleeve into the original album cover.

Tip

Some stylus designs for turntables include an optional antistatic brush that sweeps the grooves of the record just before the needle plays them.

Warning

Homemade record cleaning concoctions may damage some vinyl records. Professional quality solutions are inexpensive and often include a higher grade of ingredient than is available separately.

Things You'll Need

  • Turntable
  • Record cleaning solution (one-step audiophile grade)
  • 2 carbon fibre brushes
  • Antistatic sleeves
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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.