Do you possess one of the rarest antique collections of vinyl records? Surely there must be a dire need to clean them often to restore their good health and keep them sparkling clean. For those of you, who think cleaning the records is just for looks, you are probably caught up by a myth. Cleaning vinyl records also help to restore their efficiency and improve sound quality. If you have been asking the question too often, how to clean vinyl records at home? Here is the answer for you.
Steps to Follow for Cleaning Your Vinyl Records With Vinegar
There are multiple commercial cleaners available for cleaning vinyl records, but for music lovers who pamper their vinyl music records as their kids, cleaning them with vinegar is the best option. Vinegar is milder than commercial cleaning agents yet effective. Vinegar is an easily available home ingredient, less expensive, and super-efficient for this task.
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Here are some basic steps you need to follow when cleaning vinyl records with vinegar:-
- Before you employ any wet cleaning solution for cleaning your vinyl records – be it plain water, cleaning agents, or vinegar, removing the dust from the records is a mandate. If you truly want to keep the records efficient and in good health for a long time, regular dry cleaning with a soft microfiber cloth can be really helpful. While planning for a deep wet cleaning too, you must follow this step.
- If you directly apply vinegar on a record that houses plenty of dust in its grooves, cleaning would be messier. For cleaning the dust, PVA Glue is the new hero. PVA glue has to be applied thoroughly all over the record surface. It will solidify over the record and every angle particle of dust present on the record will stick to it. Once sufficient time has elapsed, you need to simply pull out the glue film and that is all.
- Assuming that your record is now completely free of dust and particulate dirt, we move on to the wet steps for cleaning. The first step is to prepare a mixture of vinegar and distilled water. The ratio will be 1:1. Many people prefer adding a few drops of mild liquid dishwashing soap in this mix which undoubtedly gives good results. But that is not mandatory. Alone vinegar and water can discharge their duties well.
- Whenever we talk about cleaning vinyl records with vinegar, it becomes necessary to mention that one must avoid the use of chili vinegar or any other flavored versions of vinegar. It is plain white vinegar you need to use for the best results, effective cleaning, and good health of your vinyl records. White vinegar has 5% acetic acid which is typically a great cleaning agent. Many people use rice bran vinegar or apple cider vinegar because they think these are better in terms of effectiveness. But that is a myth. One must use only and only plain white unflavored vinegar for cleaning vinyl records.
- The water that you mix with vinegar for preparing the cleaning solution must be distilled water and lukewarm. Do not pour boiling water over the vinyl records. Chilled water also won’t work well for cleaning. Heat the water before use but only up to a certain temperature. Also, do not burn yourself in the process of cleaning records.
- Make sure that there is no residual water on the vinyl record after cleaning is over. Wipe the records properly with a soft, clean linen cloth and store the records properly. Using vinegar as a natural cleaning agent may create an overall acidic environment over the record that is a great place for the growth of fungus. Ensure proper storage to bid farewell to fungal growth.
Why is Vinegar the Best Cleaning Solution for Vinyl Records?
5 top reasons for choosing vinegar as a cleaning agent for vinyl records
- Vinegar is easily available and you don’t have to scrounge the market for getting it.
- Vinegar is inexpensive and easily available in our kitchens. Cleaning your vinyl records with vinegar will not burn a hole in your pocket.
- It is green and does not cause any kind of toxicity. You can use it multiple times and efficiently for cleaning vinyl records.
- Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties. It has a pH of 2.4 that kills bacteria efficiently. So, your records remain pathogen-free.
- Vinegar works extremely well on heavy oil. So, even if your record is full of grease and you haven’t cleaned it for a long time, vinegar will work well
Disadvantages of Cleaning Vinyl Records with Vinegar
Does using vinegar have everything good about itself? Well, the answer is No. It is not all good with vinegar. Because vinegar is acidic, it promotes the growth of mold. If you live in an environment where molds grow easily, using vinegar can be problematic. However, proper storage post-cleaning will eliminate much of the problem.
The second problem of using vinegar for cleaning vinyl records is that, since it is acidic, vinegar corrodes away the aluminum parts of the records. You can avoid this corrosion if you thoroughly wash the record with plain lukewarm water after cleaning with vinegar and then wiping off the record properly. This simple additional step will keep the records better for a long time.
In a nutshell, vinegar is one of the most effective cleaning agents for vinyl records. It is far better than the commercially available cleaners. Using vinegar for cleaning records is very easy. Since vinegar is easily available in our kitchens, it is convenient to use. You can use any commercial cleaner and vinegar simultaneously. It is more effective, and easy to use. In fact, it is better suited. Though it is very easily available in your home, you can do cleaning anytime as per your convenience. Now, you can understand how to clean vinyl records with vinegar. So, what are you waiting for? Start cleaning your vinyl records with vinegar quickly and easily.