In this article, I want to talk about how to keep vinyl records, and more specifically about the best record cleaner. Let this thought not seem absurd to you but washing the records is not something that is desirable, it is necessary if you want to get an improved sound quality from their playback.
Nowadays, vinyl records are considered to be an antique rarity, but there are many music lovers who prefer vinyl. But it is a very fragile and delicate material. Therefore, proper storage and cleaning of vinyl records become extremely important for their safety and efficiency. Each owner of a collection of vinyl records eventually asks the question of how to clean a record. And not only how, but also with what.
It is clear that you need to remove fine dust before listening, sometimes you need to clean the needle, keep the surface of the disc or the player’s mat clean, but very often you need to do something with the plate itself.
In various sources, the topic of washing and cleaning vinyl has been discussed repeatedly. The problem is that about half of the tips can actually be categorized as “how to spoil a record.” The most important thing you need to know about cleaning and washing vinyl discs – no need to use cleaning products, solvents, alcohols, shampoos, colognes, and toilet soap. Cleaners and solvents can permanently spoil the plastic from which the disc is made, and shampoos and toilet soap leave marks, sometimes hard to remove.
Let’s start in order. No brushes or rollers can be taken from the depth. Brushes and rollers – this is for the current dust cleaning and to remove the static, but no more. At once I want to say about the use of PVA glue: in theory, everything is simple – we apply glue to the plate, it freezes, sticking to all the dirt, and then the resulting film is easily removed. But in practice, it does not always work. If there is a lot of dust in the grooves and many years of dust, then dirt remains on the bottom. Also, a lot depends on the glue itself.
One of the main reasons for which dust and dirt accumulate on a vinyl record is static electricity. Regular periodic moistening of the working surface allows for some time to get rid of static. So, to minimize the accumulation of stuck dust and dirt in the grooves – one of the main problems that lead to the disc in disrepair and making it impossible to listen. In addition, thorough washing allows you to remove grease stains and other contaminants.
Moisten the vinyl in several ways
- Using a non-fibrous tampon or velvet ribbon soaked in warm water;
- Under running warm tap water;
- Soaking the plate in the pelvis for 2−3 minutes;
- Using a special solution.
Sum everything up, the best way to clean the record is cleaning vinyl records with vinegar. Vinegar contains 5% acetic acid and 95% water. It is very good for cleaning. I use white vinegar and distilled water 50-50 for many years, it gives an excellent result. I highly recommend this to all vinyl lovers.
You can use a small amount of dish soap or a mix of water and vinegar. The only disadvantage of vinegar is that it is acidic, and if you live in a climate where mold is a problem, an acidic environment can contribute to this growth. Don’t use natural vinegar, only white vinegar. Always use a clean sponge and cloth.