If you have a love of vinyl, you're probably wondering how to clean record albums. Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to have shiny, resorted vinyl albums to play. If you were a child of the 1980's or earlier, you know all about the joys of singing and dancing to your favorite record albums. Perhaps you still have Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" LP or even the soundtrack to "Xanadu." No matter what your favorite record albums are, enjoy making them look as good as new with the proper cleaning techniques.
- Get a record cleaning brush. A fruit brush can be used, because the bristles won't damage the record album. However, it's safest to go with an authentic record album brush that's designed for cleaning these delicate preservers of musical art of the past century. You can get a great record cleaning brush at specialty stores and online at places like Needledoctor.com. You also might want to look for unopened packages on auction websites like eBay, who may have them for less.
- Place the record on a clean, flat surface for cleaning. Some may opt to place it on the record player itself, but any flat surface where the underside of the record will be protected is fine. If placing it on a counter, for example, be sure to place the album sleeve underneath the album to protect its other side.
Place a few drops of surfactant on the record album's surface. Make sure that you only use a surfactant that's labelled specifically for record album use. The drops should be scattered across the record, but use the surfactant sparingly.
- Use the record cleaning brush by brushing away from the center of the record in a circular motion. This brush is going to effectively plow away dirt and debris from your precious record. The surfactant helps to clean and gather this debris. Continue to brush the record in a circular motion away from the record's center until you reach the end of the record. You'll then want to carefully remove the dirt or lint that has accumulated on the brush, then start the brushing process all over again. Add additional surfactant as needed.
- Repeat the process on the other side of your record. Use less surfactant for relatively clean albums and more for really soiled ones. Repeat the process as many times as necessary. If dirt and grime persist, you may need to obtain a record cleaning machine. You may also opt to take it to a professional or vintage record shop that may have one and be willing to clean your records for a reasonable price.