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Dust is the worst for vinyl records. It gets into the grooves and can ruin your listening experience. It’s essential to clean your vinyl records regularly, but it may time, particularly for beginners.
Thankfully, there’s a surprisingly easy way to clean your collection without spending too much time or money on supplies. Here’s how to clean vinyl records with Windex!
Why Clean Your Vinyl Records?
Vinyl records are a popular music storage medium in the 1950s and 60s. It consists of a flat vinyl disc with grooves on its surface that encode sound waves.
Vinyl records are prone to collecting dust, dirt, and other particles over time. A dirty album can cause several problems, including decreased sound quality, skips, and pops.
Cleaning your records before you play them can help prevent these issues and ensure that your music sounds as good as possible. Cleaning your records is also crucial for protecting them. Clean vinyl records are less likely to scratch, warp, or deteriorate over time than dirty ones.
What Is Windex Used For?
Windex is a household cleaner that is great for cleaning glass windows and for various cleaning tasks.
It is a powerful cleaner that is suitable for various surfaces. This glass cleaner is also helpful for cleaning vinyl records, leaving them looking and sounding new.
However, remember that Windex is a harsh cleaning solution. Most Windex household cleaners are ammonia-based, but some are formulated without alcohol and are ammonia-free.
So for best results, choose ammonia- and alcohol-free variants. A harsher cleaning solution may damage your record, so be sure to choose one that is gentle enough for your vinyl.
Also, always wear hand gloves, a face mask, and eye protection when using harsh cleaning agents. Wash your hands thoroughly after using Windex to clean vinyl records.
How to Clean Vinyl Records With Windex in 6 Steps
Deep cleaning your vinyl records with Windex is a quick, effective way to increase their lifespan. Below is an easy step-by-step guide on how to clean your vinyl records with Windex.
What You Need:
- A spray bottle of Windex
- Paper towels
- Warm water
- Microfiber cleaning cloths
- Soft-bristle brush
Step 1: Choose a Flat Surface
Place your vinyl records on a clean, flat surface. Ensure it’s protected by something soft like a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
Also, your working surface should preferably be in front of a window or outside if it’s not too cold out. Windex may have a strong smell, so it’s best to do this step in an area with good ventilation.
Step 2: Brush Off Loose Particles
Dust off any loose particles from the surface of the vinyl records with a soft-bristled brush. Make sure to clean both sides, including the record grooves.
Step 3: Apply a Small Amount of Windex
Shake your Windex bottle well. Spray an even mist of the cleaning solution over the whole surface of the vinyl records from 12 inches away. You might need a few sprays for stubborn dirt.
Make sure to avoid getting it on any labels – you don’t want to get ink from these smudged! Wipe off any excess liquid that gets on the label side.
Step 4: Wipe Your Vinyl Records
Wipe down with a kitchen towel or a microfiber cloth until all dirt is gone and no streaks remain on your vinyl records. Gently wipe down each vinyl record from its center outwards in straight lines until all dust, dirt, and other particles are removed.
Step 5: Clean the Vinyl Records With Warm Water
After the Windex dries, apply a small amount of warm water to the vinyl records and wipe them off with a microfiber rag. This step ensures to remove all residues from the window cleaner.
Step 6: Let Them Dry Thoroughly
Dry the vinyl records by gently wiping them in a circular motion from the edge of the record towards the center using a soft, lint-free rag or paper towels. Make sure to dry both sides and around the labels on each vinyl side for best results.
Repeat this process on how to clean vinyl records with Windex from time to time. With proper maintenance, your vinyl records will be in excellent condition, and you will enjoy your music without any unwanted noise or distortion!
How to Clean Vinyl Records With Dish Soap
But what if you don’t have a glass cleaner at home? Are there other record cleaning methods you can use? YES!
You can use a DIY record cleaning solution with just warm water and dishwashing soap. It is a gentle and affordable alternative to your regular Windex cleaning agent.
For this method, you will need a few simple supplies: dish detergent, distilled water, microfiber cloth, and a soft-bristled brush.
The instructions are similar to what’s listed on our guide on how to clean vinyl records with Windex, with minor substitutions.
- First, you need to remove any loose dirt and particles from your vinyl records with a soft-bristle brush.
- Fill a basin with warm distilled water and add a small dishwashing soap. Swish the water around to create suds.
- Dunk your cloth in the soapy water and wring it out until it is just damp.
- Gently wipe down the record with the fabric.
- Rinse the record with warm water and dry it off with a clean cloth.
How to Clean Vinyl Records With Vinegar
Cleaning vinyl records is a great way to improve their sound quality and protect them from dirt and other debris. While many commercial cleaning solutions are available, you can also use vinegar to clean your albums. Here’s how:
- Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and distilled water into a small bowl or basin.
- Spray the solution lightly on each vinyl record.
- With a clean, lint-free cloth, wipe the album’s surface in a circular motion. Continue until all the dirt and streaks have been removed from both sides.
- Dip a clean rag in warm water and then wipe off the vinegar solution.
- Dry the records thoroughly by hand.
Tips for Maintaining Your Vinyl Records
By following simple steps, you can keep your vinyl records looking new and sounding great for years to come.
It is recommended to clean your collection every few months with an ammonia-free glass cleaner window cleaner. This will help remove any build-up of dirt. You can also use a suitable DIY record cleaner made from just water and dish soap.
Make sure to follow our step-by-step guides on how to clean vinyl records with Windex, dish detergent, or vinegar.
Be sure to follow proper storage methods by avoiding excessive heat or humidity. Also, avoid direct sunlight as it may cause permanent damage to your records. Hence, make sure they are stored away from windows!
Store your records in album storage racks to keep your collection well-organized for easy access.
Also, avoid scratches by handling your collection with care. Keep them away from pets or other sharp objects.
Use a suitable scratch repair kit for minor scratches to help get them back in shape. However, a DIY repair kit may not be sufficient to restore extreme scratches. You might need to consult a professional for extreme cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Clean a Vinyl Record Without Any Chemicals?
A simple way to clean your record collection without chemicals is to use a microfiber cloth dipped in warm water. Just make sure the record’s surface is free of loose particles before you start cleaning.
Can I Use Isopropyl Alcohol to Clean My Records?
It would help if you did not use alcohol as it can damage the surface and cause the material to warp.
What’s the Best Way to Store My Vinyl Records?
The best way to store your records is by keeping them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can also use record album storage racks to keep them organized and easy to access.
What Is a Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine?
This machine is a high-powered record vacuum that can remove any dirt and dust from your albums.
What’s the Best DIY Cleaning Solution for Vinyl Records?
The best DIY cleaner doesn’t contain both ammonia and alcohol. It is safe to use a cleaning solution made from combining water and dishwashing liquid. However, make sure you do not leave any excess detergent after cleaning.
What Can You Use to Clean Vinyl Records?
You can use several things to clean your record collection, including vinegar, ammonia-free glass cleaner, and a DIY record cleaner made from just water and dish soap. However, for extreme scratches, you might need to consult a professional.
Why Is My Record Player Producing a Hissing Sound?
A hissing sound may be caused by a crack or scratch on the record. You may also have particles and debris or other substances stuck in the grooves of your records. Thus, it is essential to clean them regularly to avoid issues with playback quality.
Keeping a Well-Maintaintained Record Collection
This article covered step-by-step instructions on how to clean vinyl records with Windex glass cleaner or DIY solutions. Hopefully, with the tips provided, you’ll be able to keep them in good shape for longer.
How do you clean your records at home? What methods have worked best for you? Let us know in a comment below!