DIY Groovmaster Label Protector to Clean Vinyl Records

If you’re tempted to run out and buy a $1000 Record Cleaning Machine, then be my guest.  However, you could get similar results for under $10 with a little bit of DIY spirit.  With soap and water and few random parts from Home Depot you could be up and running with the most economical and effective vinyl record cleaning systems.

Here’s what you need:

  • Dawn kitchen soap ($1.65) and warm water in tupperware or plastic bowl
  • 2 1/2″ paintbrush (found one in the garage)
  • Microfiber towels (had one lying around the house, can be found at Walmart for $1)
  • Sink in the laundry room and warm tap water to rinse (almost free)
  • DIY Groovmaster label protector
    • 2 outdoor plastic outlet covers (4″ diameter) with foam weather stripping ($2.85)
    • 2 screw clamps ($1.50)
    • gorilla glue ($3)

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The Supplies

Supplied to build DIY Groovmaster Label Protector

Supplies to build DIY Groovmaster Label Protector

1. Make a hole in the center of the plastic outlet covers

Determine the center of the outlet cover

Place the cover over a "test" record to determine the center of the outlet cover

Drill a hole in the center of the cover

Drill a hole in the center of the cover

Repeat the same process for the second outlet cover

Repeat the same process for the second outlet cover

2.  Using some waterproof Gorilla Glue,  glue the foam “weatherstrip” circles onto the covers, and let it dry for a couple of hours (I let it dry over night).

Use Gorilla Glue to attach weatherstrip foam

Use Gorilla Glue to attach weatherstrip foam

3. Once glue is dry, tighten the screws through the holes in the outlet cover into the black clamp handles.

Make sure you have the right size screws to fit through the spindle hole of an LP

Make sure you have the right size screws to fit through the spindle hole of an LP

Tighten the screws into the black handle clamps

Tighten the screws into the black handle clamps

4. Your DIY Groovmaster Label Protector is now ready to protect your labels for washing.  (You can always clean off any extra glue, I was just being lazy).  With the Groovemaster in place protecting the label it also acts as a handle for holding record during cleaning.

Insert the DIY Groovmaster through the LP spindle hole

Insert the DIY Groovmaster through the LP spindle hole

If you use the right sized screws the Groovmaster with hold without even clamp the back side.

If you use the right sized screws the Groovmaster with hold without even clamp the back side.

Attach the back size until the screws can no longer be turned.

Attach the back size until the screws can no longer be turned.

5. Clean record with brush dipped in warm water with a little Dawn soap.

Dip the brush in soapy warm water and run it in the direction of the grooves.

Dip the brush in soapy warm water and run it in the direction of the grooves.

6. Rinse with warm tap water (avoid using hot water, you don’t want to warp the record) and then towel dry (IMPORTANT – use a no-scratch microfiber towel that is commonly used on cars).

Rise with warm tap water, and towel dry with Microfiber cloth.

Rise with warm tap water, and towel dry with Microfiber cloth.


7. Air dry for an hour using dish rack.

Air dry in a dish rack for an hour to two before playing the LP

Air dry in a dish rack for an hour to two before playing the LP

There you go, with about 20 minutes of actual working time you could be listening to sparkling crystal clear vinyl for under $10.


Notes: I should mention that I used the plastic outdoor outlet covers (someone else I’ve seen used the metal ones).  I found the plastic ones to be easier to screw the holes through.

For the black handle/clamps I got mine at a Home Depot. They were in the nails and screws section in one of those turnstile/compartment racks. Then you have to find the screws to fit separately.

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