How To Clean Vinyl Records
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How To Clean Vinyl Records

Cleaning LPs and singles made of polyvinyl material is extremely important to avoid gradual deterioration of their quality. These LPs and singles which mainly composed towards late fifties are of relic value to their owners. Therefore, maintain their superb quality requires regular cleaning and careful handling in order to avoid damages.

There are various solutions that can be used for vinyl records cleaning. The most effective solution is 70% Isopropyl alcohol. 

Another solution for cleaning vinyl records that also achieve good results is denatured alcohol. This is because it contains slight impurities. Distilled or filtered water with negligible impurities is also appropriate for cleaning vinyl records. It is important to note that alcohol can damage vinyl records if it is over 70% by volume, and it is kept in contact with the vinyl for an extended duration. Otherwise, when used at the aforementioned dilution levels it cannot damage vinyl records. This is because alcohol completely dissolves in water without creating residual, which are damaging to the vinyl.

Another detergent that can be used for cleaning vinyl records is mild baby bath that can be bought in all supermarkets. It is used with water and requires no rinsing. Another chemical compound that is used for reducing water and mark spots on during the process of rinsing photographic negatives can also be mixed with the solution detergent  mentioned above. Several drops of the solution are effective in reducing the deposition of residual on the vinyl grooves.

The actual cleaning of vinyl records involves the application of the solution on the vinyl surface using very soft and clean washcloth. The washcloth is used to wipe in circular motion along the grooves. It should be done in a gentle manner while holding the vinyl record one of the edges to avoid leaving marks after the cleaning process. The washcloth should be rinsed frequently in the solution as you continue cleaning to ensure that all residual are removed. The solution also needs to be replenished to ensure complete removal of all foreign materials on the vinyl surface. The vinyl record should be thoroughly dried after cleaning, using a very clean and soft towel. This ensures that all residues are eliminated, and all wetness is removed to avoid damage.

Although it is advisable to leave vinyl covers and labels as they are (no cleaning required), when the covers are glossy or laminated, damp towels may be used for cleaning. The covers can also be cleaned using furniture polish that is not too strong. A rubber eraser is very effective for removing unwanted writings and marks on the cover. If the marks are made using pen, light fluid such as naphtha or hair spray can be used to remove them. A dry erase maker is used to remove marks that are permanent. Stickers are generally removed using a hair dryer which heats the adhesive the cover, thus they are easy to eliminate. The residuals left when stickers are removed can be cleaned using naphtha or even cleaners containing citrus.

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Comments (1)

Great tips here.