How to Reduce Surface Noise on Vinyl Records

Written by matthew battle
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How to Reduce Surface Noise on Vinyl Records
Vinyl records encode sound waves into a pattern of grooves. (record image by Pefkos from Fotolia.com)

Reducing the surface noise on vinyl records creates superior sound quality and therefore a better listening experience. Records attract dust; this causes surface noise, which makes the music sound fuzzy. Furthermore, unless you clean dust and dirt from your records regularly, it can damage the vinyl by working its way further into the record's grooves.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Soft, lint-free cloth
  • Record brush
  • Record cleaning solution

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lift the record player's stylus gently and blow on it to remove any dust.

  2. 2

    Put the vinyl record onto the turntable. Start the turntable. Gently hold the lint-free cloth against the surface of the record as it spins. Move the cloth around the record so that you clean the entire surface. Turn the record over and repeat the process.

  3. 3

    Hold the record brush gently against the record as it spins. Position the brush so that its hairs get into the grooves of the record, removing dust and dirt. Turn the vinyl over and repeat on the other side.

  4. 4

    Put a few drops of record cleaning fluid onto the surface of the vinyl. Spread the cleaning fluid across the surface of the record using the record cleaning brush, making sure it covers the entire surface. Gently wipe the record dry with the lint-free cloth. Turn the vinyl over and repeat this process on the other side.

Tips and warnings

  • Cleaning records with the cloth or brush after every play. Use the fluid once a month to reduce dust build-up.
  • Record cleaning cloths, brushes and fluid are available at audio stores and online audio retailers.
  • Never touch the stylus: styli are fragile and easy to break.

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