How to rehabilitate vinyl records in bad condition?

How to rehabilitate vinyl records in bad condition

Have you taken your old vinyl records out of your basement or your cellar? Or do you enjoy going to flea markets looking for new records to add to your collection?

Unfortunately, in these different cases, sometimes the records are not in very good condition, which will not allow you to enjoy them correctly when listening to them! gives you some tips to restore life to vinyl records in bad condition.

1. Restoring dirty records to their original condition

The main cause of hearing problems when listening to a vinyl record is simply dust and other particles that can become trapped in the grooves, or even mould, according to where your vinyl record was stored. Whatever the kind of residue, there are solutions to restore your LP in good condition.


If you detect dust, fingerprints or any other impurity on the surface of your record, several record cleaning products will perfectly do the job. And this is according to your budget and the number of records to be cleaned.

For a few vinyl records to clean, you may not want to invest too much budget. In this case, you can, for example, use a microfiber brush associated with a small record cleaning solution. The Simply Analog or Tonar brands offer spray products that are effective and very cost-effective.

Simply Analog vinyl cleaner spray + microfiber

If you have a lot of records to restore, L'Art du Son cleaning solution is recommended. Indeed, this concentrated product must be diluted in distilled water. By buying this bottle, you can finally get several litres of record cleaning solution! Furthermore, this product is very efficient and gives full satisfaction in removing all impurities present in the groove.


On old records or records stored in wet areas, mold may develop on the surface of the record. But do not worry, this can be recovered, if you own the proper equipment.

To remove mold, the perfect product remains the record cleaning machine. A manual product such as the Spin Clean Record Washer System could give great results.

However, for an optimal result, the best solution remains the automatic record cleaning machines (ex: Pro-Ject VC-S2 or Clearaudio Smart Matrix Silent cleaning machines). Thanks to a vacuum system, it can remove all mold particles in the grooves, removing also all impurities!

Pro-Ject VC-S2 ALU record cleaning machine


Note that if you have been listening to dirty records, then the stylus of your phono cartridge also needs to be cleaned. During listening, particles in the groove could also have been left on the stylus. Here again, you can find various economical cleaning products in the form of small brushes by Simply Analog, Tonar or Pro-Ject.

TONAR Koolstof antistatic brush

There are also products available in gel form that retain all the impurities by simply (and carefully) placing the stylus of your cartridge (ex: Audio Technica AT617a or DS Audio ST-50).

DS Audio ST-50 stylus cleaner

And after a cleaning session, do not forget to place your clean records in new inner sleeves and to pass a small touch of antistatic brush (ex: Milty Record Brush or Furutech ASB-1) to properly remove all static electricity! Your listening experience will be really improved!

2. Restoring scratches vinyl records

Another phenomenon that can be found in the world of vinyl: the feared scratches... Feared yes, because unfortunately, there is no solution for this kind of damage. Indeed, a scratch induces that the groove of the record has been damaged, thus deteriorating the audio recording at this location. This information will be lost.

However, before "throwing away" your vinyl record because you think it is scratched, we recommend that always cleaning it with dedicated record care products, such as those mentioned above. It is indeed essential to know that when listening, dirt and scratch can merge into the crackling sound you can hear. So it is well worth testing it before you cross out your LP!

3. Restoring warped vinyl records

Awarped record is usually a synonym for bad storage. To avoid this nuisance for your vinyl record, some points are to be respected: do not leave it near a heat source, nor in a too wet area, and place it horizontally. These simple storage tips prevent the record from deforming, so that it ends up warped.

If unfortunately your record is deformed and warped, there are solutions. There are a lot of "homemade" tips on the Internet, but these are relatively hazardous for your record. A record requires a specific temperature to be formed, as well as a specific heating time. Improper "dosing" can damage the surface and thus the pressing. With these techniques, if you want to restore your warped record, you risk damaging it definitively...

Although it requires a significant budget, the most efficient and safe solution is the vinyl flattener, such as the DF-2 by Furutech. This device is specially dedicated to the repairing of warped records: precise placement, perfect temperature and pressure... No risk of damaging your black wafer!

To conclude, if you own damaged or very dirty vinyl records, and you think they are impossible to recover, do not throw them away! As you can see, there are solutions to restore them and bring them "back to life", without spending thousands and hundreds of money... It would be a shame to not try to enjoy your LP again!


We hope that these tips and advice will help to revive vinyl records in bad condition. For more information on record care, our technical service is available by phone (0 810 121 121) or by message.