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DIY: Record Cleaner

Updated February 21, 2017

It's not difficult to clean your old vinyl records so they will deliver optimum high fidelity sounds. You don't need expensive equipment or even a stand-alone record cleaner. Mix an effective homemade cleaning solution and use easy-to-find supplies for removing lint, dirt and grime from your LP grooves.

Make a Cleaning Solution

Contaminants get deep into the grooves of your records. Loosen and lift them out by preparing a solution of 25 per cent rubbing alcohol to distilled water with 2 to 3 drops of liquid dishwashing detergent. Pour this mixture into a clean spray bottle with a mist setting.

The Right Cloth for the Job

When combined with the homemade record cleaning solution, an anti-static microfiber cloth works just as well as a £26 record cleaning kit. Microfiber cloths are available at hardware stores and in home cleaning supplies section of many grocery stores. The cloths are made of synthetic materials and woven together from fibres much finer than a strand of human hair. The result is a cloth with an overall greater surface area for capturing contaminants than a paper towel or old T-shirt used for polishing furniture. Even better, microfiber cloths are gentle to records and won't scratch the surface of your vinyl.

Revitalising Your Records

The speed adjustment knob on most turntables has a neutral setting that allows you to rotate the platter freely without engaging the motor. Set your turntable to neutral and place the record to be cleaned on the platter. Spray a light mist of the homemade cleaning solution on the record. No need to soak the vinyl; just give it a quick misting.

Spin the record by turning it with the tip of your finger pressed against the label, then gently apply the microfiber cloth to the surface of the record itself. You can fold the cloth into a rectangular shape that's easy to hold and will cover the entire radius of the record, from the edge to the innermost groove. Gradually lift the cloth away from the record surface at a slow, steady angle. You may be amazed to see how much dust and filth you are able to lift from the grooves with these simple DIY strategies.

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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.