Close up of a vintage film reel

How To Clean Your Custom Vinyl Records

If you’re looking for how to clean vinyl records, you’ve come to the right place. Maintaining clean records is just as important for good sound as having quality equipment. This article's goal is to show you how to properly clean your precious custom vinyl records to get the finest possible sound from them. Here are the three key ways to do so!

Use a Vinyl Record Cleaner

A vacuum-powered vinyl record cleaner is arguably the greatest method for thoroughly cleaning vinyl records. It minimizes pressure and direct contact with the delicate record while sucking up the dirt and dust that have embedded themselves in the grooves of the vinyl.

The Record Doctor V Record Cleaning Machine offers the best value for your money out of all the vacuum cleaners designed specifically to clean vinyl records. 

Though most expensive, this method of cleaning is worth the investment especially if you want to protect treasured pieces like a rare vintage record or a custom made vinyl record.

Use a Record Washer

You can choose to go with a record washer instead of a record vacuum if you prefer a more affordable option.

The Spin Clean beginning kit is what we'd recommend. It's a manual device with brushes and rollers that cleans your recordings with an accompanying solution. You simply need to place the record into the cleaner, rotate it a few times by hand, and you're finished.

Additionally, it's a wonderful way to deep-clean extremely soiled vinyl records.

Clean It By Hand

If you don't wish to purchase a costly washer or vacuum, the best way to clean vinyl records is simply by hand. With just a brush, some cleaning solution, and a microfiber cloth, you can effortlessly clean your records by hand. There are only four easy steps to cleaning vinyl records when you're on a budget and at home:

Brush the Record

Get yourself a record brush, and start by using it to lightly brush the record's surface in a circular motion (always follow the grooves).

You want to pick up larger pieces of dust and debris from the record, but you don't want to damage the grooves, so don't apply too much pressure here.

Move on to the following steps for a deeper clean, especially if you purchased the record used, it has been sitting in storage for a while, or it simply looks noticeably dirty.

Wash the Record

We don't advise mixing water and dish soap, even though some people do. Instead, we advise using a cleaning agent made specifically for vinyl records.

However, we advise staying away from any that include isopropyl alcohol. While it will remove the grime from your record, many claim that, over time, it will also harm the vinyl's protective layer. If you must use an isopropyl alcohol-containing solution, do so sparingly.

To remove any remaining soap residue, repeat this process one more time using only deionized water.

Dry the Record

To dry the record, use a soft microfiber cloth and pat it lightly. To avoid mold from forming on the custom sleeve due to excess moisture, you might want to let the record air dry for up to thirty minutes before putting it back.