Sometimes, your carbon fibre brush just isn’t going to cut the mustard when it comes to cleaning records.
If you’ve spent time cratedigging vinyl at op shops or left albums out of sleeves at parties, you’ll know all about greasy fingerprints and thick dust that will make your records pop and click like an arthritic limb.
An effective, budget-friendly option for deep cleaning vinyl is a record bath. Easy to use, you can get a Flea Market vinyl record washer at your local JB, or online if your nearest store doesn’t carry them. What you get in the box is specifically formulated vinyl cleaning fluid, a bath, drying rack, and two different sized microfibre cloths.
Situated in the top of the bath are two rollers that can be moved to accommodate a 12, 10, and seven-inch record. Two adjacent velvet brushes slip into the middle of the bath and hold the vinyl in place. Add the cleaning fluid and water (preferably distilled or de-ionised) to a predetermined level before gently slipping the record between the two rollers. Once in place, turn the vinyl for three revolutions in one direction and three in the reverse before extracting it using the provided micro-fibre cloths. Dry the record in a clockwise circular motion before popping it in the drying rack. Once completely dry, the record is ready to be put back in its sleeve or placed on the turntable to be played.
One bath should clean between 30 and 50 records. For an entry level solution, the vinyl record bath provides an affordable way to eliminate those annoying surface sounds that can spoil the listening experience.