Cleaning is necessary if you want your records to stay in mint condition, but the average LP collection is far too big for spending a lot of time on each disk. So let’s figure out a way of making your vinyl record cleaning routine easy and enjoyable without having to rely on untrustworthy and tedious methods.
Quick, convenient, simple – make vinyl record cleaning easy
Do you own a vinyl record collection? If so – perfect, as this means you’re either a long-time vinyl enthusiast who doesn’t believe in wonders of modern audio (and perhaps for good reason) or you’re a newcomer to the world of analogue sound who has been caught by the wave of “vinyl revival”. This emerging trend of people discovering and rediscovering record stores, turntables and the feeling of purchasing an actual physical disk that contains music is certainly inspiring for many audiophiles. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which factor contributed the most to the birth of this movement, but nevertheless, it’s here and hopefully it’s here to stay.
Now, regardless of who you are as a consumer of music (an experienced audio connoisseur or a complete novice who just happened to buy a couple of records), exposing yourself to vinyl will open up your view of sonic perception. After using streaming services to listen to music, putting vinyl on for the first time feels like a person with poor eyesight putting on glasses after having spent years without them. The experience is, pardon the pun, eye-opening (although we suppose that in this case “ear-opening” is more appropriate). Perhaps after opening up this whole new world of sound you’ll understand why your grandpa kept saying that “music ain’t what it used to be”. It certainly isn’t, and many would argue it’s gotten worse (but that’s a debate for another time).
Anyway, audiophilic rants aside, vinyl records are great and all, but they do have one significant drawback compared to digital music, that being their… well, physical existence – as in they are actual physical objects that can be broken and spoiled in an impressive amount of ways. It’s understandable, since back in 1940s (when vinyl was first introduced as the primary material of records – hey, remember shellacs?) people didn’t really care about unimportant things like cleaning or environmental safety (or world wars, apparently). Still, their physical flaws and even just the way they work make vinyl record cleaning and preservation them a puzzling topic.
See, vinyl record cleaning doesn’t work the same as cleaning other ordinary things – household cleaning products are concentrated chemicals designed for scrubbing floors and washing dishes, but not dealing with something as delicate as vinyl. Not that it’s fragile (one of the reasons for PVC’s introduction for record pressing was that shellacs were too easy to break), but it’s quite sensitive, and our ordinary cleaning supplies just aren’t made for this task.
OK, so why not just buy some products specifically for vinyl record cleaning?
Of course, but the problem becomes about which particular thing you need to get. There are all kinds of products of varying levels of effectiveness on the market, and choosing the right thing can be quite difficult.
Well, these things gather dust just like any other object, so might as well buy a record brush and be done with it, right?
Yeah, that’s something we’ve heard before. Not a bad idea by any stretch, mind you, but the “be done with it” part is worrisome. Yes, getting a record duster for your weekly brushing is great, but that’s not enough: with time, you’ll start to notice more and more noise and pops when an LP is played. Without any other cleaning measures, a brush/duster can do more harm than good, as your brushing motions will lift the first layer of dust up, but push the rest of it down into the grooves, where the duster won’t be able to reach it. Again, there’s nothing wrong with using it – but it won’t work all too well on its own.
Does that mean I need to acquire a vinyl record cleaner? Seems quite expensive, but if it’s worth it…
You certainly could, but it has a specific purpose. A vinyl record cleaner will likely come in handy if your collection has been abandoned and neglected for several months or years (some people just inherit a large vinyl archive from their relatives, who just forgot about it) and you need some serious “firepower”, but it’s a bit redundant otherwise: using a machine for regular cleaning takes a lot of time, which is a scarce resource these days. To sum up this point, you’ll probably need to buy a vinyl record cleaner eventually, but it’s not a pressing matter unless your LPs are a complete mess.
So I need something that is more convenient than a machine but is also more versatile than a record brush, correct?
Exactly. We thought the same way and created Easy Groove Spray&Wipe – a safe LP cleaning solution that was designed to make vinyl record cleaning easy and effortless. Its name is pretty self-explanatory: spray the liquid on one side and then wipe with the included LP cleaning cloth of premium quality; repeat the process on the other side. Plus, we’ve also included a record duster of our own for free, which, along with everything else, makes up a full set that will make vinyl record cleaning a pleasant and very straightforward procedure.
Furthermore, Spray&Wipe’s special chemical formula is what really makes it the ultimate safe LP cleaning solution. First of all, it’s antistatic. This is important because static charges that occur when an LP is played can interfere with the signal and as result, the audio quality will be worse. Spray&Wipe eliminates static almost instantly (static dissipation time is less than 0.1 seconds). Secondly, it’s antibacterial – any harmful bacteria or fungi intending to turn the depths of your LP’s into their habitat will be eliminated. Finally, it is applicable to any record format – from really old shellacs to fresh-off-the-press LPs (new releases need to be treated to remove a grease-like agent that they’re covered with after pressing). With all these features included, Spray&Wipe is an all-purpose product for your needs and is a must-have for any audiophile.
As is evident from the article, vinyl record cleaning turns out to be more complicated and troublesome than it might appear initially. However, many audiophiles view cleaning as a way of establishing an almost metaphysical collection with records: tactile sensations of gently holding one or taking it out of its sleeves make your brain bring up memories and feelings it links with that particular LP. So treat them with love and care, and they shall treat you back with their unmistakable tone and soothing audio waves.