Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to clean vinyl records

Our record collection has been steadily growing, with the newest additions being three Beatles records our friends Jon and Emma gave us a Christmas gift.

The same night they gave those to us, Jon told us about a way you can clean records using glue! Wood glue or just Elmers white glue works best I guess, and we had some of the latter, and decided to give it a try!

Our first test subject was our beloved Everly Brother's record. Some of our favorite songs on that one skipped pretty bad, so we were excited to hear how they would improve with some cleaning.
Once we were finished, one of the songs still skipped, because of a scratch, but the rest played perfectly! 

So we thought we would share this fun cleaning technique with you, and this time record a before and after sound clip so you can hear the difference.

Going through our records to find who else needed some help, we came across our Gary Lewis and the Playboys record.  Yes, their group name sounds kind of sketchy, but they have a lot of really fun songs. And here's some fun trivia for you: Gary Lewis is the son of the famous comedian Jerry Lewis.

When we bought this record, we were disappointed by how badly it skipped, even though it didn't look scratched hardly at all!

Maybe all it needs is a good cleaning?

So, this is what you do:

1. Squeeze an even, but thin layer of glue over your record.

Use a piece of cardboard to smooth it out.

See how close the glue is to the edge?

Don't do that.

The glue came out faster then I thought it would, and I put too much on. So when I turned the record player on, for the spinning to help it dry faster (a tip we learned the first time), glue started spinning off the record. 

Yeah, not good. 

Once the glue is completely dry, all you have to do is peel it off, and there you have it! It pulls all the dust and dirt out of the little grooves, and the sound quality improves quite a bit.

Oh crumbs...

It doesn't sound any different. There must have been another problem with the record that caused it to skip.

Ok, who else can we use for a demonstration? How about the Monkees!

Now to record a sound clip so you can hear how bad it skipped before.

First try: Skipped almost every line of the song, but didn't record.

Second try: only recorded 16 seconds and not any of the parts that skipped.

Third try: Recorded the whole song, but it didn't skip at all until the very end! You won't believe this record even had a problem! :)

We promise, this did work the first time we tried it. :)

After repeating the process on the Monkees record, it still skipped...but it was less crackly. 

So, we we don't have any amazing before and after sound clips of how this works miracles on cleaning records, but we have had some sucess, and if you give it a try, let us know how it works for you!


  1. Thanks for the tip, I love records.

    1. You're welcome :) Records are really fun.

  2. Really interesting! We recently found my grandparents collection as its their 50th wedding anniversary coming up we wanted to play a few on their old turntable :D Thanks for the tips gals!

    1. That's fun! Some of our records are from our grandparents, and it was fun to see what they listened to.

  3. I didn't know that Jerry Lee Lewis had any sons let alone one that plays (or played) music. I'm glad the glue worked to clean records, do you think wood glue would do a better job?

    1. Oops, just Jerry Lewis, not Jerry Lee Lewis. :) Wood glue might work better, it would be interesting to try.


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