Best vinyl record cleaners 2023: Keep your vinyl collection in prime condition

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Man blowing across a vinyl record

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1. Product guide
2. Buying advice
3. How we choose products

If you love collecting vinyl, then having grubby grooves just won't do. After all, what's the point in spending a fortune on a Beatles LP, only for it to sound like Paul McCartney singing with his head flushed down the toilet. The best vinyl record cleaners can free you of such problems, working to return your precious albums and singles to almost shop-fresh condition.

In this buyer's guide, we've picked our favourite vinyl-cleaning products to help you make a buying choice that suits your specific needs and budget. Here, you'll find everything from crap-busting brushes and vinyl washing machines, to gadgets that'll work with your vacuum cleaner to literally suck your records clean. Intrigued? Then step this way to see our list of recommendations.

Paul Dimery author photo
Paul Dimery

Paul has spent the past nine years testing and writing about gadgets and technology for the likes of Louder, T3 and TechRadar. He might not have the wealth or the looks of Tony Stark, but when it comes to knowing about the latest cool kit, including record players and vinyl gadgets, Paul would surely give Iron-Man a run for his money.

Best vinyl record cleaners: Product guide

Best vinyl record cleaners: Buying advice

Man cleaning his vinyl collection

(Image credit: Big Fudge)

How to choose the best vinyl record cleaner for you

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

There are a few things to bear in mind when shopping for a vinyl record cleaner. First up, how mucky are your records? If they're just sprinkled with a bit of dust, maybe a dandruff flake or two, then a cloth or soft brush will be adequate. However, if your disc is properly dirty, with grime clogging up your grooves like lorries in the Channel Tunnel, then you'll either need a brush with stiff bristles, or a machine/gadget that'll provide a much deeper clean. 

It's also possible to buy slime-like products such as the Crosley Groove Goo, which can be rolled around your record, picking up bits of debris as it goes – and without leaving a sticky mess behind.   

If the product you're looking at requires you to use a cleaning fluid, then check if it's packaged with some. Cleaning fluid isn't especially expensive to buy separately, but if you're on a tight budget then it'll help if you get some thrown in as part of the price. 

Note, that using any old cleaning fluid isn't advised, so put that bottle of toilet bleach away right now. Speaking of cleaning fluid, if you're not careful you could easily spill some on the label in the middle of your record. To avoid such misery, you might want to buy a label protector – they're cheap as chips and easy to put on/take off. Some products, including the Boundless Audio Record Cleaning Kit featured in this guide, come with one included. 

How can I stop my records getting dirty

This is easier said than done - hence the existence of this guide - but there are certainly ways you can limit the amount of grime that ends up clogging up the grooves on your records.

For starters, learn to handle your records with care. Never touch the grooves, instead hold the record at its edges. If you do get any finger prints or dirt on the playing surface, wipe away gently with a soft, clean cloth.

Storing your vinyl properly is another great way to keep the grime at bay for longer. When you're not playing a record keep it in a dust cover inside its sleeve and in built-for-purpose vinyl storage that's in a cool dry place and away from direct sunlight.

And this is a good tip generally: store your vinyl upright when it's not in use to prevent warping. 

How we choose the best vinyl record cleaners for this guide

Here at Louder, we are music lovers and experts in our field, with many years of music listening and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products when selecting the recommendations for our guides. 

When choosing what we believe to be the best vinyl record cleaners available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are music fans, and we want others to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set and ease of use to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best vinyl record cleaners on the market right now.

Paul Dimery

Paul has spent the past eight years testing and writing about gadgets and technology for the likes of Louder, T3 and TechRadar. He might not have the wealth or the looks of Tony Stark, but when it comes to knowing about the latest cool kit, Paul would surely give Iron-Man a run for his money. As for his musical leanings, Paul likes everything from Weyes Blood to Nirvana. If it's got a good melody, he's on board with it.

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