How to Clean Vinyl Records With Windex

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Most music aficionados own vinyl records for obvious reasons. However, dirt and dust often affect its effectiveness adversely. It could damage the quality of the sound and, in unfortunate events, destroy the record completely.

On the other hand, we always have our readers’ back, and that’s why we will be explaining how to clean vinyl records with Windex. Read on to find out!

How to Clean Vinyl Records With Windex

Windex is a commonly used glass cleaner, especially when the dirt gets stubborn. However, most people don’t know about this cleaning product because it also works on vinyl records. If you are an owner of some and would appreciate knowing how to go about it, read on.

This article focuses on how to clean vinyl records with Windex.

Assorted vinyl records

Step 1: Gather All the Necessary Things

This job will require you to have some things for it to be a success. They are:

  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Warm water
  • Brush
  • Windex

There are things to keep in mind when selecting these items. For instance, too hot or too cold water will do more harm than good. Its importance is to rinse off the Windex cleaning solution after use.

The brush will be quite useful when removing dirt from grooves with ease. However, the bristles have to be soft so as not to damage the records in the process. When you find a place hard to reach, do not hesitate to grab the brush for the job.

One can’t insist enough on the importance of using microfiber cloth and not the other pieces of clothes. Vinyl records are pretty sensitive to the extent that some pieces of cloth can easily damage them. Fortunately, microfiber is too soft to spoil the records and is great for cleaning mother of pearls and drum sets as well.

As for the Windex, remember that it is quite harsh, making it better than using soap. It will require extra effort, but it is worth it from safety to effectiveness any day.

Nevertheless, don’t use one that contains alcohol or ammonia lest you regret thinking about cleaning the records in the first place.

Step 2: Wipe the Vinyl Records

Don’t dive into using your vinyl right away. The best way to go about it is to grab a brush and get rid of excess dust. It is also perfect when eliminating static.

Step 3: Give Your Vinyl Records a Simple Cleaning

Yes, still not time for Windex. You need to take a microfiber cloth and clean the vinyl record’s grooves. While at it, keep in mind that gentleness is key because scratches can compromise the sound quality or even damage the record completely.

Close-up photo of vinyl record

Step 4: Spray Windex on Your Vinyl Records

Due to its harshness, it is always essential to ensure that you use as little cleaning solution as possible. 

Upon spraying a little on your vinyl record, use a microfiber to spread it on every inch of it. 

Remember to be gentle because the records are rather super sensitive. Continue wiping the record until every drop of Windex dries up. Besides being gentle, you should also do it circularly.

You might notice dirt or debris left behind as you do so because some parts are tough to reach.

Spraying more Windex won’t help, which is why you shouldn’t be tempted to make that mistake. On the contrary, grab your soft-bristle brush and eliminate those right away.

Step 5: Rinse Them With Warm Water

Last but not least, rinse it with water. Ensure that the water is lukewarm and also use much of it during rinsing.

You can also watch this short video to know more about the cleaning process.

Why You Should Clean Your Vinyl Records?

You have reasons to prioritize cleaning your vinyl records. They include:

  • Extending the amount of time you can play the records before they get damaged completely.
  • For property maintenance which plays a significant role in determining its durability.
  • To remove mold and other stuff from new records, which are common and should be removed before using them for the first time.
  • It can be a remedy to a damaged record sometimes.

How Often You Should Cleaning Vinyl Records

It would be misleading to give an exact number of times you should clean your records. Instead, ensure that your needs and the specifications of the vinyl records manufacturer should guide you.

Nevertheless, under these circumstances, cleaning them would be a smart move.

  • Upon hearing a hissing sound, pop sound, or crackle, it is time to clean them. They are a clear indication that your records need cleaning right away.
  • Obviously, you need to clean them if one can see the dust on the vinyl records.
  • Last but not least, always ensure that you clean one before adding it to your collection. After all, you have no idea about its maintenance before acquiring it.

The bottom line is that cleaning the records regularly is essential for their proper maintenance.

Gray turntable and vinyl records

Tips When Cleaning Your Vinyl Records

You definitely don’t want to destroy your vinyl records in the name of cleaning them. That’s why you can’t afford to ignore some things. Check them out!

  • Always hold the edges of the vinyl records to avoid destroying them. It is recommended that you pick the record using both hands.
  • Lay the vinyl records down on their sides once you pick them.
  • Acid and oils often found on your hands are pretty destructive since they erode their protective layer.
  • Cleaning vinyl records with Windex is a suitable option in extreme cases such as track skipping and sound breaking. This actually works great for cleaning discs as well.
  • When using the Windex cleaning solution, wearing protective gear, including hand gloves and face masks, is essential. They ensure that their harsh ingredients don’t get to you since that could be really unfortunate.
  • You can always clean the records regularly with water and a piece of cloth to avoid too much accumulation of dust and dirt enough to destroy your record.
  • Never forget to be as gentle as possible.
  • Always rub the record with the soft cloth and in circular motions.

Things to Do After Cleaning Your Vinyl Records

  • Dry your vinyl records completely before playing them. That’s because failure to do so will lead to the needle rusting, and that’s bad news for sure.
  • Store them in their sleeves. They guarantee their safety even when you are on the move. Additionally, you can always remove the records with ease when you intend to play them, and you can rest assured that they will still be intact when that time comes, no matter how long the period will be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Clean Vinyl Records With Windex?

Yes, you can use the cleaning solution comfortably without having to worry about any damage. Despite that, it can be unsafe under these circumstances.

If Windex contains alcohol or ammonia, or when you spray it on the record instead of a soft cloth first. This is not about safety parse because it often damages the label and not the record failure to be gentle or not using circular motions when cleaning.

Is Windex The Only Way To Clean Your Vinyl Records?

No, that’s far from the truth. Other ways include using a brush, plain soft cloth, soap & water, or white vinegar. However, when dealing with tough stains, Windex is a sure bet.

Black vinyl records on black vinyl records


At the end of the day, your vinyl records will need cleaning. So why not go for a method that won’t disappoint? That’s where the Windex cleaning solution saves the day even when the stains get tough.

Remember that knowing how to clean vinyl records with Windex can avoid incidents that could destroy them as you try to do right by them. Remember the dos and don’ts at all times for durability and longer playability.