How Often Should I Clean My Vinyl Records?

How Often Should I Clean My Vinyl Records?

Craig Walker |

Cleaning vinyl records is an essential part of maintaining their condition and ensuring optimal sound quality during playback on your record player.

The frequency of cleaning depends on various factors, including how often you play your records, environmental conditions, and how you store them.

Man Cleaning Vinyl Record With Legend Vinyl Complete Care Kit

Here are some general guidelines for cleaning vinyl records:

  1. Before Initial Playback: New vinyl records often have manufacturing residues, dust, or static buildup. It's a good practice to clean them before the first playback to ensure the stylus encounters a clean surface.

  2. Regular Cleaning: For records in regular rotation, especially those played frequently, it's advisable to clean them regularly. A general guideline is to clean records every 5-10 plays or when you notice an increase in surface noise, pops, or clicks.

  3. Storage Conditions: Records stored in dusty environments or exposed to high humidity may require more frequent cleaning. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the surface and within the grooves, affecting playback quality.

  4. After Long Periods of Storage: If a record has been stored for an extended period, it's a good idea to clean it before playing. Dust and contaminants may settle on the surface during storage.

Read More: How To Clean Vinyl Records

Other Things To Consider

Whilst cleaning and handling your vinyl records it's also important to consider the following.

  1. Visual Inspection: Regularly inspect your records for visible contaminants, mould, or damage. If you notice any issues, clean the records before playing.

  2. Cleaning Method: Choose a suitable cleaning method based on your preferences and budget. There are various options, including manual cleaning with a record cleaning kit or cleaning solution or by using a record cleaning machine.

  3. Handling Practices: Minimise direct contact with the playing surface. Always handle records by the edges and avoid touching the grooves. Clean hands before handling records to prevent transferring oils and contaminants.

  4. Stylus Maintenance: Clean the stylus regularly using a stylus brush or a specialised stylus cleaner. A clean stylus contributes to better playback and reduces the risk of transferring contaminants to the record surface.

Remember that prevention is key to maintaining clean records.

Store them in protective sleeves, keep the turntable and its surroundings clean, and avoid smoking near your vinyl collection.

Read More: How To Store Vinyl Records


The frequency of cleaning may vary based on individual circumstances.

Some audiophiles clean records before every play, while others may do so less frequently.

Assess the condition of your records and use your judgment to determine the appropriate cleaning schedule.

Always follow recommended cleaning practices to avoid damaging your vinyl records.