How to clean vinyls


I received a bunch of vinyl records and some of them are a bit dirty so the sound is not that great. Can I just use water and a soft cloth to clean them or will that damage the disc?

Is there a better way to clean them?



Senior Member
Dishwater soap(sulfo, liquid) and lukewarm water, rinse with clean water and let it dry...


If it is a record that I just want to play in order to copy, I use dish soap and a small brush , like a tooth brush, to clean out the grooves.
I read something interesting on the net, never tried it.
A dude posted that he cleans albums by using some kind of wood glue. He puts a thick coat of it on one side of the album then lets it sit for a day or two to completeld dry. He then peels the glue off, he claims it pulls all the crap right up out of the grooves. I never tried it, but it makes sense.......


A thing to remember about using the warm water and soap liquid method is that it only works in areas where you have soft water. Any high mineral content hard water areas should not use this method as the rills will just fill with the mineral residue and make your records unlistenable. If you live in a hard water area then you would be better to buy distilled water from your local garage/chemist etc and warm that to add the soap to.

Hot Rats

+1 on the distilled water. Learned the hard way. If it's a significant number of records, a record cleaning machine is a good investment. I love mine.


I would use teflon pipe tape back in the day. Wrap some around my index finger, turn on the turntable and gently run my finger from the edge to the inside of the record. VERY effective as all the dust and particles stick to the tape.


The records are not that dirty so the dishwasher soap and water will probably be enough for me.

You just have to be extremely careful about what and how much solvent you use.

Dishwashing soap can leave a film or can take a huge amount of rising to get clean. Other solvents can eat away at the vinyl. A dedicated record cleaning solution make with 99% alcohol, distilled water and a little bit of surfactant to get the solution to flow into the grooves and not just sit on top of the record, followed by a rinse with distilled water is the best in my experience in that it leaves nothing behind and evaporates quickly (though not for old shellac).

If you can't use a vacuum cleaner rig to actually suck the dirty fluid from the grooves you need some kind of brush system that will dry in the grooves...otherwise the dirty fluid just settles in the bottom of the grooves and winds up coating the stylus with gunk when you spin the record. The old Orbitrac was the best surface/brush cleaning system for records but I don't think anyone makes 'em any more. There are a range of different wet cleaning brushes and commercial record cleaning solutions available;

Use a wet brush to work the solution into the grooves then a dry brush to absorb it, then a clean wet bush to work the distilled water rinse into the grooves and a clean dry brush to absorb it.

Also a carbon fiber record brush is essential for cleaning surface dust off records before you spin 'em and reducing the static charge on the record surface (which attracts dust) in between wet cleanings.

BTW, for those of you who like the old Diskwasher system, it is still available.


The new discwasher kit is nothing like the old unfortunately, it's a cheap capitalization on the name.

Don't waste your money. I'm still looking for something like the old d4 liquid for the old brush I still have.

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