What is the best way to clean vintage records (LPs, 45s, etc.)?
I purchase old records all the time, and in most cases, they are covered in dust and smudges. I need another method of cleaning them, besides simply wiping off the dust with a rag!
I’ve tried a few different methods over the years, including the traditional fluid and bush method and vacuuming the surface (with a gentle brush), but that would still leave dirt behind.
Then I tried the soap and water method. I finally got ALL the dirt and grime of every record I tried, on the first cleaning too. One record was completely which with mold/mildew. After cleaning, the record is visually perfect and plays well with barely any pops/clicks!
For records with only light amounts of dust, I would recommend just brushing them off with a carbon fiber brush before playback. As any record collector knows, only about 10% of used records actually come in that condition. For the other 90%, wash them off.
Remember, the best cleaning in the world just removes all the dust and dirt. Some records will have scratches and groove wear. No amount of cleaning will fix this. So after cleaning, some record may sound “perfect” and others maybe not so much.
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