An Easy Way to Clean Vinyl Records

Keeping your vinyl records clean allows them to retain sound quality better and last far longer. Over the years, the records may accumulate static-producing dust and fingerprints, all of which degrade quality. There are professional cleaning machines available, but these can be expensive and difficult to use. Instead, you can clean vinyl records using a homemade cleaning solution, cotton swabs and a microfiber cloth.

Keeping your vinyl record clean can extend its lifespan.
  1. Place the record on a turntable and let it spin with no needle. This makes cleaning a little easier, as you do not have to spin the record yourself.
  2. Blow off any large dust particles with the compressed-air squeeze ball.
  3. Mix equal parts isopropyl alcohol and distilled water in a bowl. Moisten the end of a cotton swab with the cleaning solution and run it through the grooves of the record as it spins. This removes any dirt or dust embedded in the grooves.
  4. Wipe the record dry with the microfiber cloth. This also removes any remaining stray particles.
  5. Allow the record to air-dry for at least 10 minutes before putting it back in its sleeve.

Things You Will Need

  • Turntable
  • Compressed-air squeeze ball
  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Distilled water
  • Bowl
  • Microfiber cloth


  • Clean your records at least once a month to keep dust and grime from embedding in or getting stuck to the vinyl.
  • You can use a specialized cleaning brush instead of a cotton swab if you so desire. These brushes have teeth that are designed to scrape dirt and dust out of record grooves.

About the Author

Brenton Shields began writing professionally in 2009. His work includes film reviews that appear for the online magazine Los Angeles Chronicle. He received a Bachelor of Science in social science and history from Radford University.

Photo Credits

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