The best vinyl record cleaner might be different for each vinyl sound lover. Some use only water and specialized machines while others suggest the home-made or household chemicals are good, too. As to cleaning a vinyl record with Windex, opinions also vary. Windex is a chemical compound, and influences each surface it deals with. This might lead to the gradual erosion of the coating applied on vinyls. On the other hand, other cleaners offered by multiple brands contain chemicals, too. Even tap water isn’t free from chemical compounds and can form the buildups in the vinyl grooves. At the same time, some components are less harmful than others, and the effect of each chemical might be decreased when diluted.
We’ve gathered various pros and cons of applying Windex to your records so that you could make your own decision, what to use on your LPs.
Cleaning Vinyl Records with Windex. Pros and Cons
Windex is good for your LP records because:
- It cleans efficiently dealing quickly even with the hard stains like the ones from oils and food grease. It also can dissolve the old buildups.
- It’s easy to use the spray bottle for not completely soaking the cleaning cloth / brush.
- The liquid dries up almost immediately not requiring rinsing with water.
- It’s cheap and available in multiple stores.
Windex is bad for your record albums because:
- It contains multiple aggressive chemicals including isopropanolamine and ethanol solvent. These components can damage the record grooves over time.
- It doesn’t fit for constant usage, as the fragrance and lauryl dimethyl components might make the small reagent particles stick to the surface and break the vinyl coating.
If you value the benefits more and plan to clean records with Windex, there’s a way to bypass or decrease the downsides. Thorough rinsing of LPs after cleaning and additional brushing with a clean brush usually removes the residue of Windex reagents. Still, it adds a step to the cleaning procedure, and takes your time, too. Besides, as we mentioned earlier, the regular tap water also features chemical residue, so distilled water would be a better fit.
In order to clean your new and old records safely with Windex, follow our short guide.
How to Clean Vinyl Records with Windex
- Protect the labels on vinyls covering them with cardboard circles or special covers.
- Wipe the record lightly with the microfiber or another soft towel.
- Spray some Windex onto the fiber cloth, and wipe the vinyl thoroughly on both sides.
- Check for impurities on the record’s surface and repeat wiping if necessary.
- Take a clean soft cloth and dab it with warm water. Distilled water is preferred. Wipe the record again.
- Rinse the record with clean (better distilled) water to remove all the residue.
- Dry the vinyl on a special rack or another appliance. Preferably in the “standing” position.