Do’s & Don’ts of record cleaning
As mentioned in one of our previous blogs, turntables are hot right now and still on the rise! However, the latest generation of vinyl fanatics haven’t grown up with much schooling on how to properly take care of vinyl, specifically cleaning their prized LPs. The importance of cleaning records lies with the fact that a dirty record will damage the stylus, cartridge, & vinyl and negatively affect the sound quality.
Therefore, time and time again, we are asked about the best way to clean records. Our best, overall advice to cleaning and caring for vinyl records is to take a conservative approach.
Here are a list of simple do’s and don’ts for vinyl cleaning:
• Clean a record with a carbon fiber brush before and after play. It is the best way to keep your records clean and sounding great. A carbon fiber brush is only meant to brush gently over the surface. They are not meant to enter the grooves of the record. This is the last line of defense from the pops and ticks of a static charge on the record. I know we all have a somewhat romantic opinion about hearing the vinyl “pop“, but that isn’t what the studio engineers wanted you to hear when the record was produced. A properly tuned system and clean operation ensures you hear what they recorded, nothing more, nothing less.
• If you are looking for the ultimate heights in acoustic clarity, buy a professional record cleaning system. These are available at Wilson Audio for around $600.
• Make sure that a cleaning cloth is lint free.
• Use quality products like LAST and Vinyl Style cleaning solution.
• Be careful not to get fluid on the labels, as they will cause the paper to wrinkle.
• Use a microfiber towel or chamois to dry, or simply let fluid evaporate.
• DON’T use rubbing alcohol to clean a vinyl record. It takes away the shine. It also will damage 78’s.
• DON’T be rough while cleaning. Less friction is better. Be gentle with your albums
• DON’T use a turntable or stylus that is in bad shape, it will damage your record.
Cleaning vinyl records will keep them sounding great for a very long time, and isn’t that the charm of this great medium?
Come Join the discussion at our retail showroom in Metairie, LA. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Stay tuned to our Listen Blog for more turntable advice!