I have been a vinyl record lover since my childhood and I have a good collection of vinyls. When you collect vinyl records then it’s important to keep them clean and safe. There are many methods to clean vinyl records but there are one debatable method is cleaning with alcohol.
Many vinyl record enthusiasts are confused about this and many times they ask “Can you clean vinyl records with alcohol?”. In this blog post, we’ll explore this topic and at the end of the blog, you will get the exact answer to this question with insights.
Can You Clean Vinyl Records With Alcohol?
Yes, Vinyl records can be cleaned with some specific alcohol like isopropyl alcohol solution. It is important to use very low alcohol concentrations. Its proportion should be 0.5% isopropyl alcohol to 99.5% distilled water.
If you use more alcohol then there are chances that it will damage your vinyl plasticizer’s groove. That’s why some experts are against using alcohol to clean vinyl records. They recommend using solutions (Which are specially created to clean vinyl records) to clean vinyl records.
How Vinyl Records React to Alcohol?
As you read above Excessive amounts of alcohol can damage vinyl records. that’s why you need to understand how vinyl records react to alcohol. So you can keep your vinyl records collection safe from damage.
Damage to Protective Coating
One of the primary concerns when using alcohol on vinyl records is its potential to damage the protective coating. This protective layer plays a crucial role in preventing scratches and static buildup.
Alcohol, especially when used frequently or in high concentrations, can compromise this coating, making the vinyl more susceptible to scratches and reducing its overall lifespan.
Brittleness and Cracking
Prolonged alcohol exposure can lead to the vinyl itself becoming brittle and prone to cracking. This occurs as the alcohol interacts with the chemical composition of the vinyl, causing it to lose its flexibility and structural integrity.
Streaks and Residues
Alcohol, if not applied and rinsed off carefully, can leave streaks on the record’s surface. These streaks not only affect the aesthetics but can also hurt the playback quality. Residues left behind by the alcohol may attract dust and dirt, further diminishing the record’s overall cleanliness.
Now you have the answer about how alcohol reacts on vinyl records. You can use alcohol to clean vinyl records after understanding this stuff.
Types of Alcohol and Their Impact on Vinyl Records
Alcohol can have varying impacts on vinyl records depending on the type and concentration of the alcohol used. Here are some common types of alcohol and their potential effects on vinyl records:
1. Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)
Type: Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used for cleaning purposes.
Impact: Isopropyl alcohol in concentrations of 90% or higher is generally safe for cleaning vinyl records. It helps remove dirt, dust, and grime without damaging the vinyl if used properly. However, using lower concentrations or alcohol with additives can leave residues or cause damage.
2. Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol):
Type: Ethanol is a type of alcohol commonly found in alcoholic beverages.
Impact: While high-proof ethanol itself may not harm vinyl records, alcoholic beverages often contain sugars and other additives that can leave residues on the record surface. It’s not recommended to clean records with alcoholic beverages.
Type: Methanol is a type of alcohol, but it is toxic and should not be used for cleaning vinyl records.
Impact: Methanol can damage the vinyl and should be avoided.
4. Denatured Alcohol
Type: Denatured alcohol is ethanol with additives to make it toxic and undrinkable.
Impact: It can be harsh on vinyl records and is not recommended for cleaning purposes. The additives in denatured alcohol may leave residues that could damage the vinyl.
5. Methylated Spirits
Type: Methylated spirits contain ethanol with added methanol and other chemicals.
Impact: Similar to denatured alcohol, methylated spirits can be damaging to vinyl records due to the presence of additives.
To get more clear views on the use of alcohol for cleaning vinyl records you can watch this video :
Ready to Buy Alcohol Solution for Cleaning Vinyl Records
If you have a little knowledge about alcohol solutions, then I recommend that don’t use alcohol by yourself to clean vinyl records. You should use ready-to-buy alcohol solutions that will be very easy for you.
Because there is no need to make the solution at your own risk. There are many alcohol solutions available in the market for this purpose.
Here are a few options that you can consider:
1. AudioQuest Record Cleaner
AudioQuest offers a record-cleaning solution designed to remove dust and debris from vinyl records. It is formulated to be safe for use on records without causing damage.
2. Vinyl Styl Deep Groove Record Washer Fluid
Vinyl Styl produces a record washer fluid that is alcohol-based and intended for deep cleaning of vinyl records. It is designed to help remove contaminants from the record surface.
3. GrooveWasher Record Cleaning Fluid
GrooveWasher provides a cleaning fluid that is alcohol-free and safe for vinyl records. It is formulated to be effective in removing dirt and grime from the grooves.
4. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Record Cleaning Fluid
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi) is known for its high-quality audio products. They offer a record cleaning fluid designed to be gentle on vinyl while effectively cleaning the surfaces.
5. LAST Record Preservative
LAST offers a record preservative that is alcohol-free and is designed to reduce friction and wear on vinyl records. It’s not a traditional cleaner but can be used as a protective treatment.
Now we are at the end but as I said you will get the answer with insights about “Can You Clean Vinyl Records With Alcohol” If you want to get more details about vinyl records then I recommend you read these how to restore old vinyl record covers and how do vinyl records work.
Is it OK to clean vinyl records with water?
No, don’t clean vinyl records with plain water! While it seems harmless, water can damage your records in several ways
Does vinegar clean vinyl records?
No, vinegar isn’t ideal for cleaning vinyl records. While its acidity can remove some dirt, it also risks:Warping the grooves, leaving residue etc