How to clean vinyl records? Practical tips
Listening to a dusty vinyl interferes with the quality of the sound. You get a muffled sound or without depth. The sound is played on the vinyls by a mechanical process thanks to the direct contact of the diamond with the surface of the groove. Anything that can slip into the groove will therefore at least hinder the contact between the diamond and the engraved groove, or even damage the furrow itself because some dust can be terribly corrosive. It is therefore to fight against dust and against anything that can be deposited on the etched surface of the vinyl.
Antistatic brush and / or soft antistatic cloth
Wipe your vinyl before each use so that it has the least amount of dust. You can use a carbon fiber antistatic brush. The easiest way is to rotate your album on the turntable. You place the brush perpendicularly in order to collect a maximum of impurities present and you finish the gesture by going from the center of the vinyl towards the outside.
For a thorough cleaning, you can use a soft antistatic cloth and possibly use antistatic spray. If you do not have one at hand, you can take a clean cloth (lint-free of course) that you have slightly moistened with distilled water. Avoid especially tap water, it very often contains limestone that can be deposited in the furrows of the disc.
Great cleaning of very dirty vinyl records
If at the turn of a flea market or a visit to the attic, you find old dirty vinyl records, a great cleaning is required. Take a basin of water at room temperature (ideally 20 degrees), in which you put one or two drops of dishwashing liquid. You immerse the disc and wet it with your fingers, then rinse it with demineralized water. A little rag and your record is clean. Be careful, do not put hot water because vinyls are sensitive to heat and can curl. Be careful not to put too much washing up liquid because like all detergents it is a corrosive product. Do not be afraid for the paper label in the center of the album, it is very resistant to this type of treatment.
Vinyl cleaning machines
There are also machines for cleaning vinyl records. This type of equipment is a justified investment for a very large collection.