Record Cleaning

What do you use to clean your vinyls?

I have inherited a collection of old blues records which are battered and look awful. I was hoping to clean them before I start playing them.

Recommendations please.

Sorry - no answers from me but I’ll follow this thread - I am useless at record maintenance but should probably take a bit more care…particularly given the price of the things to buy these days

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Nylon brush whilst record is playing for debris and dust. Any anti static spray for smudges with fabric free cloth


There are lots of sprays etc to clean vinyl and you should definitely use them to get rid of the worst muck and try to cut down static (but beware of using too much and leaving a residue). In reality though unless you are going to spend hundreds of pounds on a proper record cleaning machine none of them will ever get old records properly clean. I’m not sure there is any way to bring back a record in really bad condition unless you have it professionally cleaned. I’ve sent a couple of really precious things off to be professionally cleaned and digitally copied (to give a back up copy of something rare or unavailable digitally). I don’t know exactly what machinery they use but the difference it can make is amazing. It costs about £20 a disc (less if you have a few done at once).

What I’ve found is that the best way to get good sound from old records that are just a bit neglected is to play them. The needle cleans the grooves better than most cloths and the record will sound better each time. What is crucial though is that you properly clean the needle after every side of an old record.

I use one of these:

It’s quite expensive to buy but is really easy to use and makes a massive difference. If you play an old neglected record three or four times and carefully clean the needle throughout the process you eventually get excellent sound out of most discs (so long as they are not scratched or warped of course).


Got two things. Got some fancy record cleaning machine I bought off a lad on here a few years back which is amazing. And I’ve also just got some vinyl cleaning spray off Amazon with some anti static cloths. It’s great.

Just put the record flat on its sleeve, spray it around, then really push down with the cloth around the record a few times. Makes my shit old records sound nice again. Be sure to press down hard though otherwise I find you just leave damp dust in the grooves and the stylus picks it up.

I’ll try and find the link

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Yeah. This

And for cleaning loads in a session, I used to use this a lot. It’s brilliant


There’s a guy near me with a cleaning machine that cost him about £10k. Think he said he charges about £5 per record.

I’ve got one waiting to take. My mother in law decided to clean our house when we were out one day - including the record on the turntable. With furniture polish. So now the grooves are all clogged up with Pledge…well intentioned, but pretty annoying.

Fortunately the fella reckons it’s redeemable with a few runs through the machine.

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Also. Everyone with a turntable absolutely needs to own a carbon fibre brush to dust records before play. Not being anal. Dust causes distortion and makes things sound shit.


Also dust on the stylus = ARGGGGH NOISES

The best way to do it is to let the carbon fibre brush glide over it when you press play on each side and swipe the dust away as you leave the tabel

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Thanks everyone! I will check out your suggestions. Top stuff.

For old records that are dirty as all hell you’d be better getting something like this and reading up on best cleaning solution mixes

As other have said for new records always use an antistatic brush.
And for keeping you stylus right the know zerodust mentioned above is amazing.


I always got by with a velvet pad from Woolworths. I listen to a podcast occasionally and the guy that does it (The Vinyl Guy) bangs on about this to such an extent he must be paid to do so. It does actually look decent though and not massively expensive. No idea of UK stockists, the Woolies pad is fine!

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(The Vinyl Guide) podcast.

The plural of vinyl is vinyl.


When it’s a newly acquired OLD record I’ll wash it with washing up liquid and warm water. But rinse it thoroughly so that ALL the washing up liquid is removed. After that a carbon fibre brush before each play.

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I have one of these and have to say it does a very good job -

I agree, although I think a velvet brush is better because carbon fibre ones can shed fibres (especially if you buy a cheap one)

Do you use deionised water? A mate was telling me about this method before but I’ve never tried it. Might take a crack at it during the week.

I’ve never tried it. Al I know is that I play my vinyl records in pubs, clubs and gig venues frequently and they still sound clean and clear.

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What do you recommend @egg333?

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