How to Make a Record Cleaning Solution

Tulpehocken Water, Biocompare

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • Reagent
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Lighter fluid

If smudges and dust are visible on your records, it's possible to clean records without damaging them. The most important thing to remember is not to grind surface dust into the grooves on the record in the process. Start by dampening a cloth with water. Gently wipe in a circular motion in the direction of the grooves to remove surface dust and dry with a soft cotton cloth. Then use one of the following to make a record-cleaning solution.

Combine three parts distilled water with one part rubbing alcohol and a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Wipe the mixture on the record, going in the direction of the grooves. Rinse with distilled water and dry thoroughly.

Add 1/2 qt. denatured alcohol to 1 qt. distilled water. Add a few drops of liquid dish detergent and mix gently. Dampen a clean cloth with the mixture, and wipe onto the record. Rinse and dry.

Fill a 1-oz. spray bottle halfway with distilled water. Add about 30 drops of isopropyl alcohol. Add three drops of a reagent like Triton X-114. Put the cap on and shake well. Spray onto to the record, rinse and dry.

Use four parts distilled water mixed with 1 part isopropyl rubbing alcohol and seven or eight drops of liquid dish detergent. Wipe onto the record, rinse and dry.

Make a 50/50 solution of distilled water and denatured alcohol. Add a drop of detergent. Mix gently and apply to record. Rinse and dry.

Combine three parts distilled water, one part denatured alcohol and a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Gently wipe, rinse and dry.

Squirt lighter fluid on a clean, soft cloth and gently wipe the record surface. The lighter fluid will evaporate, so the record doesn't need to be rinsed.


  • Use soft brushes or record cleaning rollers regularly to prevent dirt buildup.