Cleaning Records

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How do you clean your vinyl?

I used to have a Discwasher set w/ the fluid and brush and kept everything nice, but now I'm lazy and really only go after the deep thrift-store grime. I use a cotton pad and rubbing alcohol, working clockwise from the outside, but I know there are better ways and I don't want to damage the grooves on these dogs any more than they already are.

\edge of the\ Ape Oven (herb albert), Monday, 20 July 2009 16:17 (ten years ago) link

a hire a cleaning lady.

ian, Monday, 20 July 2009 16:28 (ten years ago) link

I just pop them in the dishwasher and run it on "pots & pans"

there is no there there (elmo argonaut), Monday, 20 July 2009 16:37 (ten years ago) link

tbh i use one of those soft cotton clothes as well, though i dilute the alcohol with some distilled water, though i think that's more to stretch the alcohol than protect the record? just don't use alcohol on 78s!

for dust i like one of the soft carbon-fiber brushes. the one with the long soft bristles--very good for getting dust out of the grooves & cat hair off the surface etc.

you COULD invest in a cleaning machine but they're loud & take up space & are expensive, so f it really.

ian, Monday, 20 July 2009 16:46 (ten years ago) link

i used to just use an alcohol/water mix with a discwasher, but now that i am cleaning, like, hundreds of records a week i use those record cleaning cloths and i usually just dampen them with water. which isn't ideal, but i just want to get the surface crud off and i figure people who buy stuff can clean them better if they feel like it.

scott seward, Monday, 20 July 2009 16:48 (ten years ago) link

Once I inherited like 15 Dylan bootleg LPs, and they were quite dirty (even moldy in some cases). I used warm water with just a touch of dish soap and a cotton cloth. Once I finished scrubbing 'em with the cloth, I rinsed them to remove soap residue. Our dish rack worked great as a drying rack.

Trickiest part of that for me is avoiding water on the inner labels.

sleeve, Monday, 20 July 2009 17:42 (ten years ago) link

well known i'm sure, the unemployed OCD enthusiast's guide to vinyl cleaning.
http://www.musicangle.com/feat.php?id=54&page=0

"There is one additional step you can take to make this cleaning regimen even more effective. Obtain a supply of triple distilled water (Triple distilled water, available at some pharmacies, is not easy to come by: when I tried to obtain some in NYC, the pharmacist accused me of being either an abortionist or an intravenous drug user. In fact, it requires a doctor's prescription in New York. Perhaps it is easier to obtain where you live, either at a pharmacy, or a chemical supply house. You could use plain distilled water, but be careful: if it hasn't been properly manufactured, you could leave a residue of noise, depositing minerals in the grooves, thus defeating the entire purpose of this complex, time consuming procedure"

fakeducks, Monday, 20 July 2009 18:04 (ten years ago) link

i has a loricraft

matt preston's cravat rack (electricsound), Monday, 20 July 2009 23:04 (ten years ago) link

a hire a cleaning lady.

do you make her wear a uniform?

tokyo rosemary, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 02:31 (ten years ago) link

i make her wear nothing.

ian, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 02:46 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

haha.

good answer

Death Cabron For Cutie (admrl), Monday, 20 December 2010 03:04 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Has anyone tried woodglue? I have a record that looks ruined but I played it and it played without skipping but with lots of noise. I ran out of the solution that came with the brush. So diluted alcohol is the best way?

JacobSanders, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 19:56 (seven years ago) link

yep, diluted rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth that won't leave fibers in the grooves. you'll be amazed at the difference, should remove most of the noise except for actual scratches. i've been playing all these records from 1972 that I thought were trashed but now sound heavenly.

llurk, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 20:06 (seven years ago) link

diluted by how much exactly?

sleeve, Thursday, 23 February 2012 04:20 (seven years ago) link

I tired it toady with a very dirty record. I used one third alcohol with the rest water. The record cleaned up nicely, and a lot of what I thought were scratches weren't, but the surface noise is still there. Are some records just lost to surface noise?

JacobSanders, Thursday, 23 February 2012 04:32 (seven years ago) link

i'd use this before wood glue

http://recordrevirginizer.com/

Are some records just lost to surface noise?

yes imo but some people hate it more than others

a proper mechanical clean can totally transform a record though

the majestic ned? (electricsound), Thursday, 23 February 2012 05:40 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, ask around at record stores, see if anyone has a cleaning machine.

Will the waveform be unbroken? (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 23 February 2012 06:06 (seven years ago) link

Has anybody tried this? http://www.spincleanrecordwasher.com/

I'm pretty sure I will end up with one eventually, but my nitty gritty still kind of works. I can't ever afford to spend that kind of money again, even though it makes all the difference.

warren harding (Zachary Taylor), Thursday, 23 February 2012 07:00 (seven years ago) link

i hate them

the majestic ned? (electricsound), Thursday, 23 February 2012 07:13 (seven years ago) link

Some records just suit scratches/noise, in moderation.

VU's "WLWH" mono, for instance.

Mark G, Thursday, 23 February 2012 12:27 (seven years ago) link

I only get mine cleaned if they're totally gunked, and then I go to a second hand record shop and pay a pound per record.

emil.y, Thursday, 23 February 2012 12:29 (seven years ago) link

That's a good idea, I'd never have thought of doing that.

nate woolls, Thursday, 23 February 2012 12:45 (seven years ago) link

If any Londoners want to split the cost of a real record cleaning machine with me, I'm down.

I've done the research and everything.

It appears this is the one to get: http://www.kabusa.com/ev1.htm

Same as the Nitty Gritty but cheaper, even with shipping costs.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 23 February 2012 13:23 (seven years ago) link

Has anybody tried this? http://www.spincleanrecordwasher.com/

I'm pretty sure I will end up with one eventually, but my nitty gritty still kind of works. I can't ever afford to spend that kind of money again, even though it makes all the difference.

― warren harding (Zachary Taylor), donderdag 23 februari 2012 8:00 (7 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i hate them

― the majestic ned? (electricsound), donderdag 23 februari 2012 8:13 (7 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I love them. I found one of those in an antique shop 10 years ago, it carries date stickers from 1957 and it works fantastic. It's a bit of a hassle maybe, but it's hassle I like going through. Clamping, spinning your records one by one, then letting them dry "en groupe". I think the drying rack of mine holds 10 records - I went through most of my record collection (a little over 200 back then I think) in batches of 10, sometimes 20, per night. All dust is removed, the records shine and if a record still crackles or plops it's a hopeless specimen. A small percentage of the records has labels that are a little wider than the clamps will cover so the edges of the label will get wet - all were fine again when dried, but maybe some labels are more vulnerable (esp. when they're old?) so be careful.

willem, Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:54 (seven years ago) link

four years pass...

recently bought a Audio-Technica AT6012 brush kit and holy cow, my records love it. This thing picks up 99.99% of surface dust on the first pass. recommended!

brimstead, Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:07 (two years ago) link

well known i'm sure, the unemployed OCD enthusiast's guide to vinyl cleaning.
http://www.musicangle.com/feat.php?id=54&page=0

https://web.archive.org/web/20071008065324/http://www.musicangle.com/feat.php?id=54&page=0

brimstead, Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:15 (two years ago) link

The key to the Orbitrac’s superb effectiveness is its pads which change from pure white to sickly yellow as they absorb groove contaminants. The Orbitrac’s pads are replaceable. Other hand brushes are nothing more than highly effective grease applicators, spreading unwanted substances from one disc to the next.

brimstead, Monday, 15 August 2016 01:02 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

a bunch of my records need a good thorough cleaning due to my former punk rock lifestyle. wish i could rent out a vacuum machine. guess i'll start practicing cleaning by hand on the irredeemables with ye old h20+c3h80

brimstead, Thursday, 17 November 2016 19:24 (two years ago) link

Soap will do ime

niels, Friday, 18 November 2016 17:41 (two years ago) link

I use this now:

https://www.amazon.com/SPIN-CLEAN-STARTER-RECORD-WASHER-SYSTEM/dp/B002UKSZUU

not sure why electricsound hates them, they work for me

sleeve, Friday, 18 November 2016 17:56 (two years ago) link


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