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I. Use 90% proof isopropyl alcohol, which can be bought at any drug store. Don’t get rubbing alcohol as it contains oil.
A. Fill a spray bottle with the isopropyl alcohol.
B. Spray alcohol on a soft washcloth or microfiber cloth.
II. View your record under a 100 watt desk lamp in an otherwise dark room to see the vinyl.
You don’t want any ambient light because it masks the true condition. Hold the record with one hand without touching the grooved surface and use your chest as the anchor.
III. Wipe the record and don’t be afraid to rub fairly hard to clean off fingerprints and smudges.
A. This works for vinyl LPs and 45s.
B. Don’t ever use alcohol on 78s, as they’re made from shellac. To clean 78s, use a damp soapy wash cloth, then rinse. Try to keep the water off the labels as much as possible. Stack in a dish rack to dry.
IV. What about record cleaning products?
A. Amoeba sells them and they’re fine, but not as thorough or as inexpensive as this method.
B. Record Washing Machines, such as the VPI, are definitely a step up, but are more for audiophiles. They are generally expensive, time consuming and cumbersome, but they do a better job of sucking dirt out of the grooves.
V. After cleaning, store your records in a plastic outer sleeve.
A. Regular sleeves are fine.
B. Japanese resealable mylar sleeves not only look great but they seal up. This protects your vinyl against one of its five natural enemies, which are:
2. Water – Resealable sleeves can protect against water