How to Clean Vinyl Records With Alcohol

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Things You'll Need

  • 90% isopropyl alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth

While CDs and iPods have taken over the music industry, the traditional vinyl record carries a history as well as value for popular, hard to find albums. Since most vinyl records are aged, with this passed time comes dirt, residue, and other elements that have accumulated on the record. This can deteriorate the overall quality and appearance of the record, making it important to find a cleaning solution that will safely clean and restore the shine of the vinyl. Alcohol works perfectly in this instance.

Moisten a microfiber cloth with warm water and a drop of dish soap. The microfiber cloth will prevent scratching, while the dish soap will cut through residue and oils.

Wipe the cloth gently over the record, making sure to stay away from the label, which can easily peel and deform when in contact with moisture.

Pour enough isopropyl alcohol onto a cloth to moisten one corner, and rub gently over the record. Use a 90% concentration, which will work perfectly for cleaning the vinyl surface.

Wipe the record once more with a damp cloth using water only. This will remove any remaining dish soap or alcohol residue.

Allow to air dry or wipe with a clean, dry cloth.


  • Never use lotions or lighter fluid to clean your vinyl records. Also, allow your records to dry completely before playing, as playing a wet record can damage both the record player as well as the record.