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Author Topic: Cleaning your records.  (Read 4515 times)
Steve F
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« on: September 24, 2015, 09:30:06 AM »

I've been picking up old records, and they need cleaning.

How do you do it? What makes a good cleaning solution? Henry?  I won't ask Ed. He had a big pile of old records I doubt ever saw cleaning, or maybe playing.
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Henry
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 11:30:07 AM »

Hey Steve, I use a Spin Clean and their solution. 

If you're in a bind, a one quart spray bottle consisting of IPA and and a tablespoon of Dawn dish washing detergent is good.  Spray the record, spread the solution parallel to the grooves with a soft 2-3 inch wide paint brush.  Then rinse in the sink and have a dish rack nearby.  You can dry the record with a soft cloth.  It works well.  Ed gave me that method.  And somehow it doesn't damage the label.

I like the Spin Clean, it's relatively inexpensive compared to the noisy $600 vacuums.  Crude but effective.
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vrod
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 07:41:28 AM »

I have noted excellent results with a solution of distilled water, ethanol, and a non-perfume  dish washing soap. I have used this for years without any harm to my records. The ETOH(ethanol) kills mold and mildew on the vinyl while the dish washing fluid removes lipids from the record. I have never noted any harm to the labels with this solution. As a rule of thumb ALWAYS keep your lipid laden fingers from from your records!
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Steve F
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 08:38:16 AM »

Henry & vrod,  Thanks guys. My own records are always in good shape. Some of the stuff I've found, well ugh.  I've always wondered about the spin clean, seemed clever.
My son refurbished an old nitty gritty and uses a formula similar to yours vrod.
I considered building an ultrasonic cleaner, but I've read that they aren't as good as first made out to be. Maybe they run too low of frequency or wrong solutions.
How hard can it be to clean a record?
I'm visiting my son in the Chicago suburbs. We took a day to shop for records, and scored a few nice ones. I also brought my naked truth with me for a loan for a couple of months until my next visit.
So my son is having fun swapping out the NT, a TS GG modded by our friend Buzz with a pair of Quicksilver monoblocks and a speaker prototype by yours truly. Oh, add in a AR turntable with an old formula 4 arm and a M97 shure  cartridge. He has better sound than a lot of people with very expensive systems.
steve
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Steve F
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2015, 06:24:53 AM »

vrod,
 Why ETOH? I spent some internet time on cleaning solutions and IPA is commonly used. (Some solutions were complex and could be used to clean driveways!) Some people stated IPA can have hardening effects on vinyl records. Also does the dish soap also act as a wetting agent? Lots of people use photographic wetting agents which are designed to leave a coating on film. Finally, what proportions are in your mix? Thank you.

steve
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Luddite
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2015, 05:19:39 PM »

Some people stated IPA can have hardening effects on vinyl records. Also does the dish soap also act as a wetting agent? Lots of people use photographic wetting agents which are designed to leave a coating on film.

steve

Hi Steve,

It's not only isopropyl alcohol, but any alcohol which isn't good for vinyl records. There's lots of people who use alcohol in their DIY cleaning solutions, and some commercial fluids have alcohol in them. I like to defer to the experts with something I value as much as my LPs, and the guy who developed the Disc Doctor http://www.discdoc.com/ cleaning fluids is a chemist. He could have added alcohol (It's certainly cheap enough), but he didn't, because he doesn't think alcohol is good for vinyl records. I'm going to assume he did more chemical analysis homework on the subject than us amateurs could. 

I use his Miracle Record Cleaner, because I believe in rinsing after washing (see below).

As for the surfactant (photographic wetting agent), some guys use Kodak Photo-flo, but I have an audio book (Good Sound, by Laura Dearborn) with a quote from Kodak, recommending it NOT be used on records.

The point is, you have to do what you're comfortable with. I bought a quart of the Miracle Record Cleaner a long time ago, and it's lasted forever. No, I have yet to clean all of my 3000+ LPs, but probably done 40% to 50% of them, and am just about through my first quart. Cheap peace of mind, for me anyway.

My methodology is to rinse the dust off used records under running water in the sink (I have a label protector). Then I brush on the Miracle Record Cleaner and let it sit a few minutes. I brush it again, then rinse it off with the sink sprayer. I follow that with a distilled water rinse, and dry it with a record vacuum machine, but only because I already have one.

If the record has mold or mildew on it, I'll use an enzyme cleaner (Sporicidin, diluted with distilled water) to remove that. Then the record goes into a plastic inner sleeve, never back into a paper sleeve. By the way, I clean my records like this once. After that, they get a swipe with a carbon fiber brush both pre and post play, then back into the protective sleeve. There's no need for another wet clean. 

I hope you find a method you're comfortable with!
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Steve F
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 10:55:04 AM »

I'm going to continue doing my homework.

I'm pretty sure photo flo is not appropriate for records. I doubt if it is harmful, but it might have a tendency to gunk up a stylus.

Thanks to all and I'll be sure to post when/if I learn more.

steve

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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 08:17:56 PM »

The best use of Photo Flo is in public fountains, a couple gallons at a time. Second best use is as a wetting agent for film. Trust me, I know Smiley
Ed
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2wo
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2015, 09:46:07 PM »

A few gallons of Photo Flow in a  fountain?

Perspiring minds want to know...John
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"...there was a knock on the door and a voice shouted "Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms" and I thought it was a delivery"
Ed Schilling
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2015, 11:25:26 PM »

Imagine foam, more than you can imagine Smiley Use a bucket to make it quick....a five gallon bucket with a few gallons works well, I've been told. I reckon it's best used on a college campus Smiley Almost as much fun as a legal silenced .22 Smiley
Ed
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Steve F
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 06:13:22 AM »

LOL. Dishwashing liquid works beautifully too... In fountains.

Ilford's wetting agent is supposed to not deposit residue. Personally at the tiny amounts needed in solution, a non fragrance dish soap should work too.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 06:20:02 AM by Steve F » Logged
Steve F
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2015, 10:50:16 AM »

My Spin Clean arrived today. I'll clean up a couple of records tomorrow and report back.

Steve
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jimcant
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2015, 01:39:23 AM »

My Spin Clean arrived today. I'll clean up a couple of records tomorrow and report back.

Steve

Hi Steve,

I have used a Spin Clean for some time as well and found it very useful, especially in combination with vacuum extraction of surface liquid.
I have since moved on to Melody Mate record cleaner in conjunction with Osage brushes, followed with vacuum. I always use a distilled water final rinse as well.
I use an old beater turntable to do this on.
Somewhat labor intensive but I think my regimen works well.



And just for laughs, thought I would add this pic Wink Ed knows the back story Huh
It's not all bad. I am just a bit scared to contribute because I know how keen you guys are on your firearms Grin



Cheers,
Jim








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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2015, 08:08:01 AM »

Hey Jim, you need to finish those speakers! They are missing the top, bottom, backs and sides.........hahahahahahahah.

Don't be shy around here, as far as I know there is only one cranky ass that posts....and I am trying to be less cranky Smiley
Ed
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Steve F
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2015, 10:54:01 AM »

Hi Jim,

Melody Mate?

Steve
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