Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!

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Hantra

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« on: 30 Jun 2003, 01:27 pm »
All:

I am interested in learning new methods to clean my vinyl.  I am not sure that I am cleaning as well as I can.  I have just been using tap water, and dishwashing detergent, and rinsing with distilled water, and alcohol.  

So, how do you do it?  I want details!  

Thx!

B

JoshK

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #1 on: 30 Jun 2003, 01:32 pm »
Good topic Hantra.

So far I haven't nailed my method down yet but I did purchase a used VPI HW16.5 record cleaner and some hunt brushes.

Hantra

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jun 2003, 01:48 pm »
I've always wondered how well those work.  Are they worth it?  Some folks say that you have to clean like normal, and THEN use it.  What's the point!?  

Let us know what you think. . .

B

JoshK

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jun 2003, 01:57 pm »
I have a fellow U of Chicago alumni vinyl products dealer that I have become chums with.  He is a chemical engineer by training that like many, got into the industry because he was a music/audio fanatic.  Even when I don't buy things from him (which he usually gives me great deals) he gives me his advice and opinions on things.  He has been in this hobby for many multiples more than I have and has tried all the methods out there.  Of course he now sells the VPIs, so his opinion isn't totally unbiased, but he has sold virtually all the products out there and has only kept selling the things he actually believes in.  He is a die-hard VPI vacuum cleaner fan.

His rationale for why he likes them has to do with the vacuum.  He believes that it is the best way to get all the stuff off the record once it has been cleaned since inevitably any cleaning method leaves behind residue. But he told me that if my collection wasn't more than a hundred records it would be a hard sell for even him. Mine is nearing 300 and with my love of finding good records in NYC which is a haven of good records both new and used that was the clencher.

I'll still probably give my dirtier records a good once over before I put them on the machine.  I have noticed that even many of my "new" LPs have a fair amount of dust on them from the covers themselves or the manuf. process.  I have heard many like to clean their new LPs with the machine too.  I think I agree with this.

duff138

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #4 on: 30 Jun 2003, 02:56 pm »
disc doctor miracle cleaner and brushes
hunt brush


This combo is very affordable and does an incredible job.  Sometimes an anti-static gun helps too.

I've used a VPI cleaner too.  For $1 I can get a record cleaned at the local shop.  It's definitely a lot quicker than the Disc Doctor.

hmalbrt

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #5 on: 1 Jul 2003, 07:30 am »
I use the KAB EV-1 Cleaner, a manual, wet scrub set-up designed just like the Nitty Gritty record cleaning system except that the user supplies the vacuum cleaner.  This item is sold by Kevin Barrett at KABUSA and is a remarkable value.  I use it with Nitty Gritty solution, the supplied velvet applicator and a VPI-style nylon brush.  I've seen many of the other commercial vacuum-style cleaners in action and I can't imagine that they work any better than the KAB EV-1.  Highly recommended.

H. Albert
Bangkok

jqp

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #6 on: 1 Jul 2003, 11:08 pm »
One reason that I am not a vinyl guy is the way an audiophile in college played his albums.

He used some kind of Kodak photgraphic fluid to wet the entire record and rested a 3 o4 4 inch brush across all the tracks...not for cleaning, but for playing each and every LP. After the LP played he set it against the wall to dry. The concept was that this way the LPs never even got dirty. The solution was supposedly practically residue-free (I am sure ther is always some residue) and did not harm the vinyl. I still remember the dark glass bottles with yellow labels and all the LPs leaning against the wall...

JefferyK

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My record cleaning routine
« Reply #7 on: 2 Jul 2003, 06:57 pm »
Tons of stuff about record cleaning on Audio Asylum.

Meanwhile, here's what I do:

- Rinse the LP off under running tap water
- Soap up each side with a sponge and dishwashing detergent
- Scrub each side with a paintbrush
- Rinse each side under running tap water
- Pat dry between cotton towels

Dishwashing detergent can leave a slightly dulling residue, so before I play the record after cleaning, I go over each side once with a cotton ball moistened in isopropyl alcohol (91%), let it dry, then go over each side with a carbon fiber brush. From that point forward I just dust the LP with the carbon fiber brush before playing.

Excellent results. Have elimated ALL surface noise on most of my LPs.

WARNING: Isopropyl alcohol can chemically react with vinyl, making it less flexible. Use sparingly. I have not found any other product that gets vinyl as spotless, though, and have not had any problems.

P.S. I have heard vacuum-cleaned records, and I am not convinced that vacuum cleaning is more effective than thorough hand cleaning.

jqp

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #8 on: 2 Jul 2003, 07:05 pm »
I was thinking about this a little bit more and I believe that the Kodak fluid that he used was toxic, and not available to the public. I think you had to be a photo lab to get it. He had some connection.

beat

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #9 on: 5 Jul 2003, 05:03 am »
I rigged my little wet vac to squirt distilled water with a dash of denatured alcohol in it onto the record. I then rub it in a little with an old discwasher velvet thingy and suck it up with the vac. It leaves the surface nice and shiny and seems like it gets a lot of junk out. After that I only use a carbon fiber brush and an anti static gun. I would like to put a few drops of photo flow in the mix but have heard pros and cons so I have shyed away.

michael w

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #10 on: 5 Jul 2003, 12:09 pm »
Quote from: Hantra
I've always wondered how well those work.  Are they worth it?  Some folks say that you have to clean like normal, and THEN use it.  What's the point!?  

Let us know what you think. . .

B


Hiya;

The VPI is a manual machine so you have to apply the fluid and clean the record by hand and then use the vacuum to suck the debris off.

I'm lazy so use a Nitty Gritty which is fully automatic.
Put the record on, pump some fluid, scrub, vacuum.

A record is cleaned and ready to play in under 5 minutes.

Both machines are very effective.

And NOISY.

Only real vinyl fanatics do a hand clean then a machine clean and fuss about with pre-washes, post wash rinses and other laborious rituals.

Personally I would rather spend the time listening to music than fussing over surgical-like record hygiene.


cheerio

Tonto Yoder

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #11 on: 5 Jul 2003, 12:29 pm »
Quote from: jqp
One reason that I am not a vinyl guy is the way an audiophile in college played his albums.

He used some kind of Kodak photgraphic fluid to wet the entire record and rested a 3 o4 4 inch brush across all the tracks...not for cleaning, but for playing each and every LP. After the LP played he set it against the wall to dry. The concept was that this way the LPs never even got dirty. The solution was supposedly practically residue-free (I am sure ther is always some residue) and did not harm the vinyl. I s ...


When I had a Thorens TT in the 70's, the manual listed "Wet" playing and "Dry" with slightly different numbers for VTF or anti-skating (or both??)  I thought the concept was to cut down friction or heat or something, damaging LP's less.  I tried wet playing a few times, but all the wet LP's around the room became a pain.

Carlman

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #12 on: 15 Jul 2003, 03:18 pm »
I use the "Discwasher" with the fluid and brush inside the handle.

Three drops on the leading edge, rub the juice across the edge with the bottom of the bottle of fluid.  Then, rotate the record three times going through the juicy side, then pivot the velvet to the trailing edge and spin the record 3 more times with the dry side.
Ta-da! clean record.  

If I had  to do more, I don't think I'd bother.  Plus, if I had to rinse off records in my sink, I feel certain I'd drop it, get coffee grounds on it, or otherwise harm the record somehow.  Plus, all my older records are so scratched up, it doesn't matter.

I like the older black velvet better than the newer brown.  I think it does a better job.

Doc Jr 8156

My Cleaning Method
« Reply #13 on: 15 Jul 2003, 03:48 pm »
Hi,

My cleaning method combined some of the techniques here.  First, I wash the record under running tap water.  Then place it on my Record Doctor 2 and with my concoction of Lab Grade Alcohol, distilled water, few drops of clear Dawn detergent and few drops of anti-static fluid. I spread the fluid with the record doctor brush until the LP side is fully coated.  Then, I use a natural fiber art brush (soft) at approximately 45 degrees angle and rotate the LP manually until small bubbles forms on the top of the LP.  Don't be afraid of these bubbles, these bubbles "lift" the dirt with them and you can literally see that the bubbles turned from white to brownish in color.  After about 10 rotations, I turn the Lp aroud and vacuum the cleaned sides till dry then wash it again with just a combination of alcohol and distilled water this time without brushing.  Voila! clean as a whistle and as quiet as the LP can get.  Hope this helps.

lcrim

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #14 on: 17 Jul 2003, 07:26 pm »
I was in Princeton Record Exchange (NJ) yesterday and asked how they cleaned the thousands of records they get in for resale.  They laughed at me when asked  which record cleaning machine they use.
I was told that the only method they use is isopropyl alcohol (91%) and paper towels (lint free.)  Start from the center and go around the records to the outer edge.  
It doesn't seem anal compulsive enough.

Hantra

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #15 on: 17 Jul 2003, 07:28 pm »
That doesn't work. . .

I did that the other night to one, and I made it WORSE.  It got MORE noisy after I did that. . .

B

DSR

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time to spill your vinyl cleaning secrets.
« Reply #16 on: 30 Jul 2003, 07:23 pm »
Having been a cleaner of vinyl for  umpteen years the subject has been done to death on numerous BBs.  A Vacuum method is almost essential as m ore damage can accrue from bacterial fungus than any cleaneing agent.   So make sure they are dry before putting them back in the inner sleeve which probably put some of the dirt on the Lp in the first place????  The general answers to cleaning depends on what made them dirty.Distilled water will remove some unwanted  items and leave the vinyl partially clean. A blend with Isopropyl alcohol and Kodak photoflow and or antistatic additives which in itself are detergents  also helps also  TAP WATER IS TOTAL NO NO due to its chemical / calcium content and WILL  make the vinyl noisey :o . Other chemicals which occasionally are used   Vinegar (acetic acid) and ammonia neither will damage vinyl in small quantities or
 at low temperature.The statement that IPA damages vinyl is WRONG. :evil:  (Chemist)
 Washing in IPA or solution as stated will in fact dissolve certain contaminents and spread them evenly over the disc and then the Alcohol evaporates leaving the crud spread nicely.hence the need to vacuum the solution away and the Moth cleaner which suchs from below seems the correct approach.YES ITS VERY VERY NOISEY>
 You should not play vinyl WET several reasons but migration of fluid up the stylus shank to the suspension is an important factor. :nono:
 THE SUBJECT not mentioned is MRA   mould release agent which is a silicone based compound left on the vinyl at pressing.This is most often a problem and the only chemicals which could break it down are now banned and the remainder damage vinyl.   :oops: Hunt and Goldring Magic were two of the well known items.          HOWEVER  I am about to test
 a new product which states it does breakdown remove this item and if
 I see a response will report findings in several days time.Source UK.

 FINALLY   Lubricants  You may have heard of these  SQualin Oil ....This definitly works but is a thick viscous substance but  it can be applied with a  solvent (isoparrafin family) Not liked by commercial sellers as it appears to make the Lp less shiney.And thats what the customer wants?...D S R

  :evil:

hifitommy

Re: Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #17 on: 10 Aug 2003, 04:41 pm »
Quote from: Hantra
All:

details-i use a vpi rec wash brush, i wet it, put a tiny droplet of dawn on my finger and rub it across the brush, it lathers up nicely.  

I wet the record with the filtered water from the under sink filters.  I soap up both sides of the record and scrub in hand about 20-30 degrees at a time all around both sides of the record.  

i rinse the soap off under the filtered water rubbing fingers across the grooves until i dont feel the slipperiness of the dawn anymore.

THEN i use the sink dish sprayer vigorously (makes a watery mess) to get the last vestiges of the dawn out of the grooves.  dry with a couple of paper towels or terry towel.

wave it around for a bit to finish drying and put on the platter, use the carbon fiber brush to get any fibers off and PLAY!

i had a nitty/advisor machine but the fan impellers self destructed.  POS!  my next rcm will be a vpi!!!  meanwhile, this method has proved to be more than adequate.

andyr

Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #18 on: 11 Aug 2003, 12:15 pm »
Guys (and gals, of course, 'xept I don't think there's many of them out there in audiophile land), sorry ... if you don't have the "real thing" then you make do with inferior substitutes!!

The "real thing" is a wet/vacuum cleaner - VPI, Nitty Gritty ... doesn't matter - even the original Keith Monks (from the '80s, I believe).  If you can't afford one of these then you use brushes ... stand them up against the radiator to dry ... etc. etc..

If you CAN afford one of these fantastic devices ... then you get a very efficient and easy-to-use LP cleaner.  And if you listen to vinyl then you NEED one of these things!

The next point of contention then becomes ... what mixture do you use to clean the LPs with??

Yes, you can pay mucho dollares for proprietary cleaning solutions but I'm afraid I use a simple one - 50% isopropyl alcohol / 50% sterile, non-pyrogenic water (used in surgery).  Both of these you have to buy from a chemist ("drugstore" in the US).

Happy cleaning!

Andy

Bob A (SD)

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Okay. . Time to spill your cleaning secrets!
« Reply #19 on: 25 Aug 2003, 01:01 am »
Pretty basic but effective:  Disc Doctor system for deep cleaning, store in new anti-static poly or poly lined paper sleeves,  Nagaoka CL-152 before play, and if the humidity mandates an Audioquest anti-static brush once over.

Bob A

Here's a link to a Japanese site showing the Nagaoka CL-152.  
http://www.otaiweb.com/player/acce.html
I've seen these go for between $80 and $115 on eBay.....Gesh -:(