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Professional Record Cleaning


Record Cleaning – Why is this a vital part of the service ?

Remember EMITex ? – that 2 sided cloth that had a Brillo pad lookalike on one side and a soft velvet feel on the other ? All designed to clean those Vinyl records from the mid 60’s onwards. In reality instead of taking the muck off of the record it forced it further into the groove – engraining the dirt for prosperity. And if you ever used that Brillo side …..the consquences could be irreversible , as well as ugly to look at.

For years the Audio community knew that the only effective way of cleaning a record was to play it and to keep the stylus as clean as possible. And indeed this was good advice for most as long as you kept fingers and bodily fluids away from the disc. The stylus acts as a very fine profiled broom that was able to shift much of the dust and muck from most of the groove – at least onto the next groove or if you were lucky attaching itself to the stylus to then be lifted clear.

Other swore blind that the answer was to treat the static that attracted the dust in the first place. A number of options emerged usually involving Zapping the disk with anti-static particles – or smothering the disc in a fluid to prevent the clicks. This latter method was particularly nasty as it put a permanent layer of gunge into the bottom the groove – providing the stylus the impossible of getting to the bottom of the it and hence an inability of playing much of the music it contained.

As a long term Audio nut ( aka an Audiophile ) I have tried all of the above and more – and still found dirty records and clicks and pops emerging – no matter how vigilant I was in handling the disks.

SO what is the solution ?

The groove of a record is created on a master disk by a cutter reacting to the sound signals being feed to it. In microscopic terms it creates lots of peaks and troughs , left moves and right moves and a combination of all these . Any obstruction caused by dust , finger grease or other bodily fluids ( including Ben Truman’s Party Seven beer cans!) will form an obstruction that will prevent the full groove to be read by the stylus and hence the full sound to be reproduced by the record playing system.

It is imperative therefore to ensure the grooves are regularly cleaned and all debris dislodged and removed. This does not mean pushing it further into the groove – the approach effectively advocated by EMITex !!.

The only effective way to do this is with a Professional Record Cleaning Machine. These machines allow the grooves to be washed , debris loosened and then completely ‘sucked’ off of the disc . Not an easy task and therefore not a cheap machine to buy . The best machines out there are supplied by suppliers such as Loricraft and Keith Monks ( there are others ) and cost lots of money to purchase ( circa £13-1500) but are industrially made and contained very powerful motors and vacuum pumps . Cleaning a record properly – using the right fluids to wash them thoroughly and then drying them properly takes time and therefore money .

But the results are worth it !

Fortunately much of the past misuses of your favorite albums can be eliminated with a professional clean . The results are not subtle – many clicks and pops will disappear , the sound will improve its dynamic range and more of the artists original intentions will flow through. For many records a clean will restore that music that has been lost probably since day one of ownership .

For those collecting vintage and rare records from markets , shops or on line a professional clean will enable you to enjoy the full extent of the music – in many cases as well as if it were purchased new.

Indeed new records also benefit dramatically from a clean !! For years manufacturers have coated their disks with a lacquer to prevent things such as mold. Get rid of it and again the music improves dramatically.

How can I benefit from this type of cleaning ?

Easy – either buy your own machine or engage with Grade1Records to clean them for you !!

All of the records we sell over £10 in value are cleaned before they are despatched. You can ask us to clean them below that price for a small premium. See our record cleaning prices here.

However if you have a collection of valuable records that you would like to get the best from then contact us and we will quote you for a bulk cleaning service. This is an extremely cost effective way of getting the best from your investment in Vinyl.

All cleaned records are placed in new inner sleeves – the type that DO NOT scratch your record on the way in and out of the cover !!

And best of all a cleaned record reduces dramatically the build up of static – and hence helps prevent further damage as soon as it has been cleaned !!

Our Cleaning service is very cost effective – please contact us on for a speedy quote .