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Now that spring has officially arrived, it’s the perfect time to start cleaning up your vinyl record collection. It’s no secret that vinyl records are more popular than ever, and whether you have a huge record collection or a small one, it’s always good to keep them clean and organized.
Like any other form of physical media, vinyl records need to be kept clean in order for them to function properly. Fingerprints, dust and scratches on your discs can damage the surface of the disc itself, which can diminish sound and add unwanted noise. Even the natural oils from your hands can erode the surface of your vinyl.
When it comes to cleaning your records, there are special solutions, record brushes and cleaning kits that are designed to keep your records in pristine condition. For example, the Vinyl Buddy Record Cleaning Kit ($24.99) has an almost perfect customer rating on Amazon and you’ll get a lot for the price. The five-piece kit comes with a velor brush, microfiber brush, stylus brush, cleaning solution, and storage pouch.
To buy: Vinyl Buddy Record Cleaning Kit ($24.99)
For something easier and possibly cheaper, depending on what you already have around the house, you can always opt for a Simple Green all-purpose cleaner and water. New to Simple Green? It’s a natural and versatile cleaning solution that works on just about anything. From surfaces to soft carpets, Simple Green is designed to directly remove grease and stains from counters, floors, fabrics, equipment, vehicles and more. And it’s gentle enough to use on your vinyl records.
Simple Green sells for around $2 to $5 for a 32 oz. spray bottle and about $10 for a gallon. You can get it at Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.
To clean your vinyl records, take a microfiber cleaning cloth to remove dust and static from the record. Next, dampen a clean microfiber cloth (preferably with distilled water) and lightly wipe the surface of the disc in a circular motion, but avoid the middle of the disc. Next, add a splash of Simple Green (the company recommends a 1:30 ratio) to a bowl of water and clean the disc using the same circular motion as the previous steps. Finally, take a dry microfiber cloth to dry the vinyl record (you can also use compressed air to blow out any residual dust).
Once your disc is clean, all you have to do is enjoy the music! Just be sure to check the needle of your record player for any dust particles that could distort the sound. For additional buying recommendations, check out our list of storage options for your vinyl records and more.