How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water


Cleaning the vinyl records is an important procedure to carry out for many record collectors. It is a good and soothing feeling when you see your vinyl records so clean and shiny for important reasons such as keeping the vinyl record’s needle away from damages and wearing loner vinyl life and improved playback. Making sure to protect the needle, especially the expensive ones is of utmost importance because dirty vinyl can produce a bad sound and may not also be presentable.

A clean and shiny vinyl record produces the best sound quality and capability which every audiophile is looking for. Do not assume that used vinyl records are only meant to be clean, brand new ones need cleaning too in order for them to produce a quality sound. The following steps will guide you.

Step to Cleaning a Vinyl Record 

, How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water

Step One 

You can start by stripping the sleeves and dust cover off the vinyl record, then you should inspect both sides of the record well in the order you see how much the dust and grime have affected the record parts and how much they need attention. 

Then use a record brush to dust it off properly by spinning it on the turntable without having to drop the needle. Spin your record at a high RPM and insert your record brush into the spinning vinyl by applying gentle pressure. In the process of vinyl spinning, move the brush back and forth between the inner and outer grooves of the record and make sure it covers the entire surface area to ensure there is no visible dust on the record. 

, How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water

Be sure not to press hard the brush on the vinyl so as not to damage it and push the gunk deeper into its grooves. Also, touch not the vinyl after you have brushed off all the dust off the vinyl’s surface. You can also use a toned-down method without spinning to dust off the vinyl.

Step Two

After you have successfully dusted off your vinyl, then you should closely look at the vinyl record if there are any fingerprints, scratches, and imperfections on both sides. If you eventually find anything on the surface of the vinyl that can easily be removed, carry out step one all over again with your record cleaning brush. Use a bright light to shine a  bright light over the record in a circular motion to get the light to bounce off of the slightest imperfections. Leftover dust and grime should be adequately cleaned out at this point.

Step Three

, How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water

Use dish soap and water to prepare a cleaning solution for your vinyl records, you can also add isopropyl alcohol to the mix to make it more effective. This mixture is a tested and trusted mixture to clean vinyl records with a DIY mixture that is very easy to carry out. Fill the mixture up into an empty spray bottle for easy and even spray of the mixture to the records, this will now take you to the next step.

Step Four

Spray your DIY cleaning mixture on the dirtiest part of the vinyl record using the spray bottle. This spray bottle makes it easier to apply the solution evenly across the vinyl records. Once the solution is evenly sprayed on the dirtiest part of the vinyl record, you can now proceed to spread it around in a circular motion using a microfibre cloth.

, How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water

You can press a little hard or apply small pressure on the vinyl to make sure the gunk that is trapped inside the grooves of the vinyl is properly wiped. Spray more of the solution into the stubborn spots with patches and leave it for some minutes to soak into the stubborn area before thoroughly wiping it with a cloth. Repeat the process until the spots are adequately cleaned. It should be noted that some vinyl records are more challenging to clean than others, it depends on the storage conditions and the length of years spent in your dusty drawers. Be calm and never lose patience while cleaning your vinyl record and avoid any caustic cleaning products that might cause damage or harm to your vinyl.

Step Five

, How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water

Once you are done spraying and cleaning the grimiest spot on your vinyl, rinse and wipe the records clean. Make sure to get every bit of the cleaning mixture off the record by using a clean water spray bottle or you wash it under the kitchen faucet. It is very necessary to get all the grimes and dust off the records totally to remove all fingerprints before moving ahead to dry it up. 

Step Six

Dry your vinyl record up with a microfiber cloth. Wipe your vinyl record thoroughly to absorb all of its moisture into the dry cloth material. This is to finally get rid of any leftover fingerprints on the record as you wipe them clean for the last time.

Step Seven

After your vinyl record goes through all these processes, it is very essential for you to store them properly to maintain neatness. Make sure you store them in a cool dry and dark place because vinyl records are heat-sensitive materials, so keeping them on a hot windowpane for several days can cause the metal part of the record to deform or melt. You need a hard case durable container to store up your record, these containers have sharp corners, flat sides, and identical dimensions suitable to keep your records. You can also opt for suitable vinyl shelves to store your vinyl records.


Vinyl record cleaning is what you should do often to keep your record always clean and dust-free. You should follow the above steps to guide you to successfully cleaning your records, you can also get some automatic vinyl record cleaners to help clean your record. 

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