Image credit: Discogs
5 Reasons Why You Should Clean Your Vinyl Records
Vinyl records offer a unique listening experience, but they also require care that other formats don’t. If you’ve ever wondered if cleaning your collection was necessary or worth the effort, here are five reasons why it’s a good idea to clean vinyl records.
We only talk about the best gear because we like it. However, when you purchase something through our affiliate links, Discogs may earn a commission.
Image credit: Jurian Kersten
1. Your New Records Are Dirty and They’ll Only Get Dirtier
If you aren’t buying many used records, you may think that these reasons don’t apply to you. Unfortunately, they do. The manufacturing process for records involves a lot of machines and humans, so it’s no surprise that factory-sealed records can have some dust or residue on them. If you want to prevent your brand new records from potentially skipping or having surface noise (now or down the line), you’re going to want to give them a quick clean. Otherwise, your records will never reach their full sonic potential.
Image credit: The Retro Store
2. Enjoy a Better Listening Experience
Many claim to love the cracks and pops often associated with vinyl, but there is a line. Once you cross that line, surface noise can become distracting and downright disruptive. By using a record cleaning brush, record cleaner and cloth, or a record cleaning machine, you’ll be able to fully embrace the warmth and transparency that vinyl and a good set of speakers can provide. Otherwise, the record listening experience may become increasingly frustrating as dirt can work deep into the grooves.
Image credit: James Sutton
3. Spare Your Stylus From Unnecessary Wear
A dirty record can impact other components of your stereo setup, most notably the stylus on your turntable. Your needle picks up dirt and dust and this dirt can spread to other records. The buildup that accumulates on your needle can also cause your records to sound muffled and muddy. If you encounter this issue, cleaning your records will help, but cleaning your stylus will also work wonders.
Image credit: Discogs
4. Extend the Life of Your Records
A dirty record can impact other components of your stereo setup, most If you care for your vinyl properly, you will enjoy a lifetime of listening. Records naturally have a longer life than tapes and CDs, but they aren’t impervious to scratches, humidity, direct sunlight, or dirt. Suitable storage and handling can address most of these issues, but cleaning your vinyl is the only way to cut through the grime. If a record is dirty enough, it may become unlistenable and that LP or 7-inch you love just had its life cut short.
Image credit: Nathan Van Egmond
5. Preserve the Resale Value of Your Vinyl Collection
Taking your records to your grave may sound like a great idea in theory, but selling them in your old age and funding part of your retirement also sounds pretty great. Besides, will you still be blasting those Slayer records when you’re elderly? Probably not, so it may be a good idea to start taking care of those records now. That way, you can get top dollar if you decide to part with them. A dirty record that hasn’t been cleaned may create more back and forth during the selling process or decrease the overall value. Showcase the condition of your records by making sure they are nice and clean.
Despite critical acclaim and a cult following, the Roots’ future was in limbo as they recorded their fourth…
The history of popular music in America has long been driven by the contributions and creativity of African…
By Michaelangelo Matos Originating in 1980s Chicago and soon spreading around the world, house music has become the…
By Chad Clark It has been a year since we lost De La Soul’s Dave Joliceur, the sphinx…
Don’t miss a beat
Subscribe to Discogs’ email list to learn about sales, discover music, record collecting guides, product tips, limited edition offers, and more.