How to Clean Vinyl Record Covers? [Proven Methods]

As Vinyl record lovers preserving the pristine condition of your vinyl record collection is not just about the discs themselves. The covers, often adorned with iconic artwork and valuable information, also need care and attention.

This guide, ‘How to Clean Vinyl Record Covers’, provides you with simple and effective methods to clean and maintain your record covers, ensuring they continue to provide a protective and aesthetically pleasing home for your beloved vinyl records.

How to Clean Vinyl Album Covers?

Vinyl records are not just a medium for music; they are also a tangible piece of art. The covers, often adorned with intricate designs and visuals, play a crucial role in the overall experience of owning vinyl. To ensure the longevity and visual appeal of your vinyl record covers, regular cleaning is essential.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean old vinyl record covers safely and effectively:

Before You Start

Identify the Material

Most vinyl record covers are crafted from paper or cardboard, but some may have laminated or glossy finishes. The cleaning method will vary depending on the material, so it’s crucial to know what you’re working with.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Clean microfiber cloth
  • Soft brush (like a paintbrush)
  • Dry eraser
  • Distilled water (avoid tap water)
  • Mild dish soap or commercial record cover cleaner (for tougher stains)
  • Caveats

Normal Cleaning Process

Dust and Debris

Dust and debris are normal issues with covers because wherever you keep your vinyl record covers a few dust will come on that cover. In that case, you should use only microfiber with a light hand to wipe the dust and debris.

Stubborn Dirt

Stubborn dirt is a little bit tough to remove. For stuck-on dirt, use a soft brush with light hand strokes. Don’t do scrubbing because it will scratch the vinyl record covers.

Light Stains

Dampen the microfiber cloth with distilled water (almost dry) and gently wipe the stained area. Avoid saturating the cover to prevent warping or ink bleeding.


Make sure before storing the vinyl record album with cover to air dry completely. Avoid direct sunlight or heat, which can fade colors.

Special Case for Vinyl Records Covers

Laminated Covers

Clean with a damp microfiber cloth, avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the laminate.

Glossy Finishes

Use a dry microfiber cloth for glossy finishes to avoid streaks; refrain from using water or cleaning solutions.

Mold or Mildew

Act quickly if you spot mold or mildew. Isolate-affected covers to prevent spreading. Mix one part white vinegar to four parts water, dab with a clean cloth, and air dry in a well-ventilated area. Consult a professional conservator for extensive issues.


Caveats are important considerations or warnings to keep in mind before attempting a specific action, in this case, cleaning vinyl record covers. Here are some caveats for vinyl record cover cleaning:

General Caveats:

  • Always test on a small, inconspicuous area first: No matter the cleaning method, test it on a hidden part of the cover (like the spine) to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration, warping, or damage.
  • Handle with care: Vinyl covers are delicate; avoid aggressive scrubbing, rubbing, or folding.
  • Avoid liquids near seams and edges: Liquids can soak through and damage the adhesive, causing seams to separate.
  • Be cautious with vintage or rare covers: Use extra caution with valuable or irreplaceable covers. Consider professional cleaning if unsure.

Specific Caveats for Different Methods:

  • Microfiber cloths: Make sure the cloth is clean and free of dust or particles that could scratch the cover.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Use only the white, non-abrasive part. Rinse thoroughly and avoid over-scrubbing, as it can remove ink or texture.
  • Water and soap: Only use lukewarm water and mild dish soap. Too hot water or harsh chemicals can damage the paper or ink. Pat dry gently, avoid soaking.
  • Record-cleaning kits: Follow the product instructions carefully, especially regarding dilution amounts and drying times. Avoid using them on uncoated paper covers.

You can also visit this video to know more about vinyl record cover cleaning :


Caring for your vinyl record covers is an integral part of preserving the visual essence of your music collection. By the above guidelines outlined in this comprehensive vinyl record cover cleaning guide, you not only maintain the aesthetic appeal of these artistic gems but also extend their lifespan.

Whether it’s a gentle dusting routine or a more targeted approach for stubborn stains, the key lies in a delicate touch and the right cleaning supplies.

Don’t forget to explore more helpful vinyl record guides like how to clean vinyl records, can you clean vinyl records with alcohol and should you play a wet record.


How to clean musty record covers?

Air it out first! Sunlight’s your friend here, but lay records flat, covers open, away from direct rays. Baking soda sprinkled inside sleeves absorbs musty odors for gentle refresh.

How to clean cardboard album cover?

Dust gently with dry brush or cloth for light grime. Stubborn marks? Damp magic eraser (white part, circles!), dry thoroughly. Avoid liquids; professional cleaning for treasured pieces.

How to clean vinyl hot tub covers?

Hose off loose grime, gentle soap for stains, then air dry! Easy-peasy for sparkling covers.

Kenneth Haney


Kenneth Haney is an ardent collector and a scholar of vinyl records, with extensive knowledge ranging from production roots to pressing nuances and audio equipment.

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Written By Kenneth Haney

I am Kenneth Haney, an unyielding audiophile and an ardent collector of vinyl records.My love affair with vinyl started at a young age of 15. As a teenager, I found myself enchanted by the distinct warmth and depth that vinyl brought to music. Unlike digital music, vinyl records carry a tangibility, a piece of history, an art that exists far beyond the confines of an MP3 file.


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