How To Make Cleaning Fluid for Vinyl Records

While many people have moved on from vinyl records to the compact disc or CD, some people prefer the authenticity and somewhat rustic audio coming from records. This is why some people still hold on to their prized collections of vinyl and why some labels still produce new music using records. However, there is one thing that a CD and a vinyl record shares in common, they smudge and acquire dust. Fortunately, if you have a record collection at home, there are myriad solutions that could help you maintain their condition. Here are some suggested cleaning solutions for your record collection.

  • Option 1. This solution consists of 3 ingredients, distilled water, rubbing alcohol, and liquid detergent. In a spray bottle, pour distilled water, about 3 parts will do. Add one part alcohol followed by 3 to 4 drops of the liquid detergent. Seal the spray bottle and shake. This will mix the ingredients to form a potent cleaning solution. Spray the solution onto your record and wipe it down with a clean cloth or rag. Make sure to work the solution into the grooves on the record to remove any lodged dust, dirt, and grime. Once you are done wiping, wash the records in a bucket of distilled water. The reason why you use distilled water is because it does not contain minerals hence, no mineral stains.
  • Option 2. This solution is similar to the one previously mentioned but instead of rubbing alcohol, you will be using denatured alcohol that you can find at your local drugstore or hardware supply store. Add half a quart of the alcohol and a quart of the water into a bowl. Drop in some liquid detergent. Mix the solution until suds form. Soak a clean rag into the mixture and squeeze to release excess moisture. Once the rag is nice and damp, wipe the record with it. After cleaning, rinse the record in a bucket of distilled water and dry.
  • Option 3. This is a more potent solution that will surely make your record shiny and clean. The solution starts with an ounce of distilled water followed by 30 or so drops of alcohol (isopropyl). Add in 3 drops of reagent such as Triton X114. Pour the entire mixture into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle before spraying a coat on your record. Allow the solution to set for a few minutes before rinsing it off with distilled water. Dry the record afterward.
  • Option 4. This solution needs no other ingredient except lighter fluid. While this may not be as potent as the others, it will surely get the job done. The best part about it is that you won’t need to rinse the record after. Simply dampen a cloth with a few squirts and wipe it on the record. Let the fluid naturally dry and evaporate. Once the record is dry, you can place it on the player for a spin.

There you have it, four simple solutions that you can make at home. Any of these options will help you maintain a cleaner and smudge-free record collection. Bear in mind that these only work with vinyl records. They won’t work on CDs.


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