Best is to use steam, rinse, air dry.
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I tried that years ago and stopped it. When you can't afford anything, it is better than nothing but no comparison to a Record Cleaning Machine.
Surface scratched disturb the eye but have no influence to tracking, the diamond is deeper in the groove. Let's say, a cloth is ok to remove surface dust but it can't reach deeper into the grooves. The key is the removal from the fluid btw. not the step before.
Right before playing them, I use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface of my records after they've been cleaned with my Nitty Gritty or by steam cleaning. I'm too lazy to clean my records with the Nitty Gritty every time I listen. I just fold the cloth a different way every few sides and then replace it with a freshly laundered one (no fabric softener or drier sheets used.) Works way better than any specialty record brush I ever bought and I've bought plenty of them over forty years.