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How To Clean Your 78 Records

Dirty, dusty records play scratchy. Playing them also scratches the record by working the dust and grime into the grooves of the record acting as an abrasive. Records that are not scratched can be cleaned with very little effort and time. The results will give a better sounding record, one that will make the record last longer and also give longer life to the needles.

Materials Required to Clean Records

Dishwasher detergent - a mild, good brand without any ammonia or form of acids. A very soft brush made of camel hair (a baby's hair brush is ideal). Some soft, colourless wax. Some soft towels, or soft absorbent cloths. A double kitchen sink or double laundry tubs.


Mix 1/4 cup of the detergent in about 6 to 8 inches of tepid or luke warm water (not hot). With a swab of cotton batten or a small piece of soft cloth, wax the label on both sides - it's made of paper and the detergent will take the colour out of some labels and if let to get too wet will loosen the label - making sure that no wax gets into the grooves of the record.

With the soft brush dipped in the detergent and with the record on a level surface on a towel, brush the grooves in a circular motion softly to loosen the dust and grime. Turn it over and repeat the process. Then rinse the record in clear, luke warm water in the second sink, dry the record with a dry, fluffy towel using a circular motion following the grooves and set it on edge in a wire record holder until perfectly dry. Then insert it in a sleeve or album to prevent forming of more dust or grime.

Do not use glass cleaners, Fantastik or any of the painted surface cleaners or laundry or dishwasher machine detergents. The record is made of shellac and some cleaners will soften or eat into the surface of the record.