How to clean vinyl records with soap and water

Cleaning vinyl records can be quite the hassle since they are delicate and you don’t want any scratches on them. However, to ensure the best sound quality and durability of your records, you need to do proper care and maintenance which also includes cleaning.

Do you know how many people connect pops and clicks with vinyl records?

How to clean vinyl records with soap and water

The dirt and dust that has accumulated in the grooves of your records is the reason. Remove the dirt, pops, and clicks from the grooves to let that inner artist in you never stop growing.

Now there are many ways to clean the records however, you don’t want any scratches on them. So cleaning them with water and soap is a good option. However, the question remains that “How to Clean Vinyl Records with Soap and Water?”

Don’t worry, as, in this article, we’ll be clearing all your doubts.

Can vinyl records get wet

The vinyl records do get wet if sprayed or sprinkled with water. It’s not like they are magically dry unless you put them under a fan or in the sunlight so they dry.

Vinyl records do get wet. It’s important to not let them wet at any cost because water might enter inside the delicate area of the records, damaging the upper layer, and causing irreversible damage. There is one thing, however, and that’s they don’t get wet on their own unless you put water or liquid on them.

Does water damage vinyl records

Do many people wonder whether if water can damage the vinyl records or not? Well, the answer is yes!!! They do get damaged.

The reason why water damages the vinyl records is because when the wet record is touched by the stylus, the stylus spreads the “abrasive sludge” quite deeper into the groove, which does irreversible damage. Not only the sound quality is ruined, but also the crud embeds and dries inside and throughout the record, causing it to weaken and easily break.

Also, if the vinyl record is wet for a short term for example you cleaned it by dapping just a tiny bit of water, it will make it dry faster, resulting in no serious damage.

However, if it’s kept in a moist environment and wet for too long, it will result in molding your precious records. Therefore, dry them as soon as possible to avoid any future damage.

Can you clean vinyl records with water

There is a theory, also a myth regarding vinyl records that if they are cleaned, the cracking sound will reduce, resulting in better quality sound and music. The theory is real, and it happens. However, when cleaning with water, the following are the things you should keep in mind:

  • Do not put too much water on your vinyl records as they will be hard to dry, and will damage the upper layer.
  • You can clean your records with water but by rubbing a slight amount of water on it till the dirt goes off and it dries quickly
  • Do not clean it with water too often, as it will cause it to moist, resulting in molding the records.
  • Sometimes, brushing off the dirt is more than enough
  • Do not dunk your records in water. Just simply clean them.
  • Do not play a wet record. Let it dry before playing.
  • Don’t do experiments by putting toothpaste, or sugary drinks on it to clean it up. Instead, just rub with a wet towel, or tissue using only water.

Therefore, be careful with your vinyl records as they are delicate. And you don’t want your precious music to never play again now don’t you?

Will soap ruin vinyl records

It’s very important to understand that harsh chemicals aren’t good for your records. The harsh chemicals for example a dishwashing soap might cause scratches on your record, making it sound terrible.

If you still want to clean the record with soap? Then it’s recommended to put just a tiny bit of liquid soap that doesn’t have harsh chemicals on a slightly wet sponge, and begin cleaning the label in a circular motion (don’t wet the label). Once that’s done, rinse it off under the light, and let it dry. Also, you can wipe off the water with a tissue. Be as delicate as possible.

Also, there are many solutions available in the market for cleaning records. You can always buy such solutions online. Make sure to check the ratings before you buy.

Can you clean vinyl records with soap and water

Cleaning solutions for vinyl records aren’t always available. Therefore, you have to rely on creating a DIY solution of your own. One such example is the soap and water solution. It’s the most simple, and easiest solution to make. The same solution can be used to clean vinyl records however, there are things you keep in mind before taking the step to clean:

  1. The vinyl records can be cleaned using a soap and water mixture however, it’s best to use soap that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals
  2. While preparing the water + soap solution, keep in mind that water should be warm enough to dissolve the soap but not too warm
  3. Water should be so hot that It causes steaming
  4. If you’re using dish soap, use one like Dawn as it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It has a gentle formula.

Water plus soap is a good mixture for cleaning, however, it’s not much recommended. It’s because only warm water can also do the trick. Just dab a soft cloth, tissue, or towel into the warm water and rub in a circular motion (don’t wet the label). Then dry it off and you’re good to go.

How do you clean vinyl records with soap and water

As mentioned previously, the records can be cleaned using a soap and water mixture. If you want to know how you can clean records with it? Check out the following:

  • Start by brushing off the dust first. Do not put the cleaning mixture directly as it will cause dust particles to get muddy, resulting in spreading dust everywhere on your record
  • Once you brushed off the dirt, prepare a cleaning mixture using warm water combined with gentle liquid soap
  • Now began cleaning with a lint-free cloth, or cotton, or tissue.
  • Clean the records in a circular motion. Make sure to not clean it in a way that causes the record to get wet
  • Now again use a tissue, slightly wet it, and rub in a circular direction to get rid of any left residue
  • Now use cotton and dab it on the record to dry off the water
  • Put it in the sunlight to dry. Or, put it under a fan to dry.
  • Do not put it in a dryer or use a heater to dry it

And that’s it. Following these steps will make sure your records are clean and sound their best.


Maintaining clean records is only half the struggle. Proper storage is also essential. Vinyl should be stored in a cool, dry location. Vertical stacking of records is required.

Never stack recordings on top of one other or lay them flat. Over time, this might cause the vinyl to distort. To keep your records safe, always use plastic covers.

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