So, you’ve started the perfect vinyl record collection, have a great turntable and accessories that bring the best out of your favourite albums—there’s just one more thing you need to know: how to clean vinyl records.
This may not seem as important as getting the latest accessories to display your albums or technology to boost the sound experience, but ensuring your vinyls are well-maintained means you can enjoy listening to them for much longer.
Playing vinyls that are dirty not only affects the sound quality, but can even permanently damage the record itself. It can also wear down the grooves prematurely and damage the needle of your turntable.
It’s important to understand that there are plenty of misconceptions out there about cleaning records. Before you know how to clean vinyl records, you should first know what not to do.
Some common misconceptions about vinyl cleaning are:
- The inner sleeve doesn’t matter: if the inner sleeve is damaged, this should be replaced to better protect your vinyl from contaminants. You should also replace the sleeve after cleaning.
- Alcohol can be used to clean vinyl records: even diluted, alcohol is much too harsh on your vinyl records and should not be used as a cleaning agent.
- Dirty records don’t harm your turntable: actually, the surface of the needle can be worn down or damaged by regularly coming into contact with dirt in your record grooves.
- Using a vacuum cleaner is sufficient: this actually only removes loose dust contaminants and does not thoroughly clean your record’s grooves.
Spin Clean Record Cleaner
If you’ve tried the conventional spray and wipe record cleaners, you know they can be awkward to use and have limited ability to clean your vinyls properly. The Spin Clean record cleaner is by far the most effective, easy-to-use and affordable option for vinyl cleaning and maintaining the cleanliness of your turntables.
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to clean vinyl records with the Spin Clean record cleaner.
10 Step Guide For Use
- After taking everything out of the box, pre-wash the drying cloths before using them (do not use fabric softener).
- Removing the back on one of the rubber feet, press the adhesive side of each foot to one of the four corners—hold firmly for a few seconds to ensure a strong hold. These rubber feet ensure the stability of the basin during cleaning.
- Insert the rollers into one of the three roller pair positions on the basin. The rollers will snap into place with a bit of downward pressure. To remove them from the slots, simply pull and lift underneath the rollers.
- Fill the Spin Clean Record Washer with distilled water to the fill line on the inner sidewall of the basin. Tap water will also work if distilled water is not available.
- Pour the Spin Clean Record Washer Fluid concentrate over the top of the inserted brushes in the basin.
- Insert your record into the Spin Clean Record Washer.
- Rotate the record three times clockwise, then three times counterclockwise. The recommended rotation technique is to use the palms or fingers of two hands, placed at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions, to ensure even weight distribution is put on the rollers.
- Carefully remove and wipe the record with your pre-washed, reusable drying cloth in a clockwise circular motion. Once it is completely dried by the cloth, your record is ready to be returned to its sleeve. A new inner sleeve is recommended.
- Once you have finished cleaning all your records, remove the brushes from the basin, rinsing them thoroughly with warm water and pressing out any excess water. Leave them to air dry on top of the unit.
- Discard the cleaning solution and thoroughly rinse the basin with warm water, leaving it to air dry. Once all components are completely dry, place the clean brushes back into the unit—which is now ready for your next cleaning session.
There are plenty of benefits to using the Spin Clean Record Washer to help maintain your entire record collection:
- Your vinyls will maintain their great sound quality for longer, providing high fidelity and the best acoustic sound for much longer.
- Save time cleaning your records as this thoroughly cleans both sides at once.
- Some vinyl cleaners can be quite an investment, but this innovative product is much less expensive and still offers incredible quality.
- The design of the wash basin captures dirt and forces it to the bottom, preventing it from being re-deposited onto the record. The bright yellow colour of the wash basin allows you to see the dirt collected at the bottom when you’re finished.
- Every time you prepare the unit for a cleaning session, the washer will clean 20-50 records—the actual number will depend on how dirty your records are.
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How to store and handle your vinyl records
Maintenance doesn’t stop once you’ve properly cleaned your vinyl records—it is important to help preserve them in other ways too. Firstly, vinyls are best stored in a cool, dry place with a stable temperature range—when exposed to high heat for extended periods of time, vinyls can become warped and damaged. Sunlight will fade your sleeves too, so if you want to avoid ruining your favourite album covers, it is best to store them away from windows.
Also, records should not be stored horizontally—keep your vinyls vertical to keep pressure off each record. You should also never leave vinyls leaning at an angle, as this can cause warping.
When handling your records, it is a good idea to hold them around the thin edge and in the centre, avoiding the grooves on the record surface to prevent oils or dirt getting stuck there.
CHT Solutions vinyl cleaning products
We only stock products we would use ourselves, which is why we proudly stock the Spin Clean Record Cleaner at CHT Solutions. We also offer these premium Pro-Ject Audio cleaning products if you’re looking to take your cleaning to the next level. They make the cleaning process a breeze, as being a motorised system they rotate the record around an inbuilt brush and vacuum arm. This makes for a lot quicker cleaning process, which allows you to get through a large collection of records in no time.
Take care of your vinyl collection
At CHT Solutions, we understand the power of treasured vinyl records—which is why we offer only the best products to help preserve your collection. Check out our vinyl cleaning collection page to see the great solutions we have to ensure you can enjoy your favourite music for years to come.