Solid 7 Methods How To Clean A Vinyl Record

How to clean a vinyl record? Okay, so you looked at your records and it appears you need to remove some dust? How should you do that so that you don’t damage the record?

Even if you store your vinyl record cassettes in a turntable stand with storage, over time, the record would accumulate dust and need to be cleaned.

Well, there are a couple of ways to clean the record so that they don’t get damaged.

Vinyl Record

Even so, you can clean your old-time records from time to time, and keep enjoying them anytime with your turntable player.

It won’t cost you much to clean your record, and here are the possible ways to do that.

How To Clean a Vinyl Record

Note: Don’t use water to clean your record cassettes – that’s not advisable and it could damage them. 

1. Use Canned Air

If you can see minor debris and dirt on the record, using canned air is enough to clean it up.

To do this, you need to leave the record on the turntable; while it’s on the turntable platter, it’s firm and secure.

Shift the tonearm aside so it doesn’t accidentally scratch the record during the cleaning.

Then apply the can air gently to remove the light debris and dust that appear on your record. Use minimal force throughout the process.

2. Microfiber Towels or Carbon Fiber Brushes

Yes, you can use microfiber towels or carbon fiber brushes to clean up your vinyl records.

The procedure is similar to using canned air; you need to move the tonearm aside and then gently move the microfiber towel or brush on the surface of the record in a circular motion (anticlockwise).

Microfiber towels are inexpensive – you could get them for less than $7, and you can also use the one you’ve been using to dry your car after washes.

Similarly, you could get a carbon fiber brush from a supply store and use it for cleaning. Now, these cleaning tips apply when your record is lightly dusty.

3. Get a Sticky Roller

Sticky rollers are available in different online stores, and also in local stores. You can get one and use it to clean your records with minor debris and dirt.

To use sticky rollers to clean record, simply pull the roller across the groove and it’d pick up any debris it finds on the surface.

After using a sticky roller, if you wish to use it again sometime in the future, remove the top layer or wash it.

Well, after using a roller, you should check if it left some residues and blow them off or wipe them with a microfiber towel.

4. Static Guns

Furthermore, you can use static guns to remove minor dirt and debris from records. Static guns come with a manual; follow the instructions on the manual to use the gun on cleaning your records.

Actually, a static gun neutralizes static electricity on the surface of your record, making it less likely to attract dust.

5. Use Cleaning Mats

Ever hear of cleaning mats? Yes, they are good for cleaning records, and they are practically the best method to use when the other methods mentioned above do not work to get your record as clean as you wish.

Cleaning mats are available in different stores, both online and offline.

These mats are typically made from soft materials. You should read the instructions on how to use the mat you bought for cleaning record cassettes.

It is also important to note that not all cleaning mats work with liquids.

6. Make a Homemade Cleaning Solution

Don’t use ordinary water to clean your records, instead prepare a homemade solution such as a mix of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, probably a few drops of detergent or liquid soap.

Note: if you’re preparing a homemade solution, use distilled water (it is believed to be the purest form of water). Don’t use alcohol as it may strip the record’s surface and your record may not play again.

Alternatively, you can purchase already-made record cleaning solutions from online or offline stores.

But, do well to check the ingredients used in the solution’s formula and follow the directions as given by the manufacturer.

7. Get a Record Cleaning Arm

A record cleaning arm is an attachment that sits on the record just like the tonearm. However, a cleaning arm has a soft brush attached to its mouth; it gently uses the brush to clean your rotating record.

The brush is effective in removing minor debris and dust.

So, if you’ve got records with dust on them, you could use this to clean them up. Record cleaning arms are affordable and available in different stores.

What More?

These are the most effective ways to clean your records without damaging them.

Vinyl Recording

You can also dampen a microfiber towel and wipe the record’s surface gently in a counter-clockwise direction. Make sure you don’t apply too much pressure when cleaning a record.

How To Protect Your Vinyl Records?

It is important that you protect your vinyl records from dust and debris. This will cause them to last longer, and you won’t have to always clean them.

The best way to protect your records is by getting archival sleeves; put the records inside the archival sleeves and store them; that way, they’d be safe from dust and other particles that may scratch the surface.

Below is a rundown of how you should store vinyl records.

  • Touch them carefully when putting them or removing them from the turntable
  • Store vertically in shelves
  • Put them into archival sleeves to keep out dust and debris
  • Always make sure they are dry

Best Vinyl Record Turntable To Buy


Explained in this article are the possible ways to clean vinyl records when they’re dirty.

The items you need for the cleaning are all available in online and offline stores.

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