Cleaning records

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Scottr1966, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I have done a lot of research and finally settled on a cleaning method I'd like to run past you guys to get some feedback. I have a new Record Doctor Vacumm and the method is as follows:

    Clear the dust with a lint free cloth

    Spray on the cleaning solution (TTVJ Audio Vinyl Zyme - regular strength for not so dirty and extra strength for dirtier records)

    Spread with MFSL cleaning brush (damped before use and no pressure except for the actual weight of the brush)

    Allow this to then sit for 30 seconds to 3 minutes

    Spray on warm distilled water

    Spin on RDV one revolution and place in plate holder to air dry

    I read somewhere to only spin once to avoid creating static.

    One other question...when I first got back in to vinyl I purchase a 16oz bottle of Spin Clean solution. It was an impulsive buy as I don't have a Spin Clean unit. I've read a post where someone asked a water to solution ratio for this to use with a RDV unit. Can I do this or should I maybe list this bottle on ebay and stick with the solution I'm currently using?

    Thoughts on all this?

    Thanks!
    Scott
     
  2. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    Besides a sink, some Liquid Dawn and distilled water all you really need is this;

    Groovmaster | Label Saver Record Cleaner »

    I keep a bottled mixture of 1 part 91% isopropyl alcohol/2 parts distilled water nearby after final distilled water rinse. A little on a clean cloth to wipe down both sides and speed up the air-drying process.
     
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  3. Dan Stroborg

    Dan Stroborg Member

    Location:
    UK
  4. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Thanks for the replies guys. I'll read up.

    Scott
     
  5. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    One thing is for certain. Opinions and methods abound.
     
  6. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Scott, the one thing I think that has to be done: The record needs to be vacuumed dried and not air dried. I think that so much stuff is still left on the record after the water evaporates that it tends to leave the grooves somewhat uncleaned.

    Here's what I do; it sounds crazy but works like magic. You take those felt pads that go on the bottom of furniture; they are very soft. You drill a hole in the bottom of a plastic cup and attach a big square of this felt pad on the bottom with a hole run through it, with a drill. Drill the pad as well. Now take your vacuum cleaner hose and place in the cup. Turn on the vacuum and it will suck up the water through the holes and you can clean and dry/polish the record at the same time with the felt pad.

    Before this step I use one drop of dish washing soap in 500mL of water, and wash the record with this simple solution rubbing with a soft sponge. Then I use a rinsing sponge with distilled water to clean the solution off. Then I go through the above vacuuming to finish it all off.

    I then play the record on an old turntable so the needle can loosen up any residual stuff.

    No machine has ever cleaned a record better than this method, IMO. It's all elbow grease and the results speak for themselves.
     
  7. I've been using a formula I discovered on Vinyl Engine two years ago. A solution of tap water, a bit of 91% isopropyl alcohol and the magic ingredient: 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner. I spray about three squirts on Lp and wipe in a circular motion several times with a microfiber cloth. I then rinse with another bottle of plain H2o and alcohol and wipe again with microfiber cloth in circular motions. Let dry a few minutes.

    The fidelity will kick up over 40% and you'll notice less surface noise. I use this same solution to clean my stylus along with my Onzow Zerodust dip.
     
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  8. Waxfreak

    Waxfreak Forum Resident

    Sound a lot like Windex (ammonia, water, alk, eter glicol) which I dillute with 80% distilled water. Works like a charm and there's no soap to be left unrinsed. Rinsing generously with distilled water is of the essence. But tap water leaves a LOT of residues, esp hard cristalline mineral salts that will affect the sound. It would seem you're cheaping out on the most important ingredient, no disrespect intended.

    :righton::wave:
     
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  9. quicksilverbudie

    quicksilverbudie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    VPI MW-1 Cyclone RCM> 10 mins per side

    Milty ZeroStat vinyl surface.
    Wipe gently with record cloth over label/surface removing dust/debris.
    Milty ZeroStat vinyl surface.
    Blow compressed air (short burst) over vinyl surface once the record is on the platter removing the last bit of dust/debris.

    Disc Doctor brush #1 few drops of VPI fluid with 91% isopropyl alcohol added with a couple of drops of Rona Window Cleaner
    (alcohol based), 2 caps of white/clear vinegar. 75/25 distilled/alcohol mix
    Gently scrub back/forth motion (per disc doctor instructions) around 5-6 times.
    Leave Disc Doctor brush #1 on the surface and let the platter rotate 4-5 times in both directions.

    *Vacuum forward 2 times/reverse 2 ½ times*

    Disc Doctor brush #2 few drops of Disc Doctor fluid.
    Gently scrub back/forth motion (per disc doctor instructions) around 5-6 times. Remove foamed fluid with DD brush.
    Leave Disc Doctor brush #2 on the surface and let the platter rotate 4-5 times in both directions.

    *Vacuum forward 2 times/reverse 2 ½ times*

    Add distilled water to a last applicator and apply to vinyl surface let rotate 3 times back/forth.

    *Vacuum forward 2 times/reverse 2 ½ times*

    Add distilled water to Cyclone brush, apply to vinyl surface let rotate 3 times back/forth.

    *Vacuum forward 2 times/reverse 2 ½ times*

    Last Record Preservative added, let rotate 4-6 times to buff off any residue.

    Milty ZeroStat vinyl surface.

    Remove cleaned LP



    works for me>

    sean
     
  10. I used to use distilled, Wax, but I was out one day and used plain old tap. The records sounded better with tap so I continued using it. Btw, according to Washington, D.C, our area has some of the best and cleanest water in the nation...so they tell us.:laugh:

    I always say, try it on an old, thrift store record first. You got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Of course, this ain't no magic wand either, I'm totally aware of it. If the record has gashes and a zillion hairlines scratches all over it, NOTHING is gonna make it sound better except a new copy.
    :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    Waxfreak likes this.
  11. Here's the method I use and I'm happy with results I've attained, but I recognise there may be better options. I should say that while I'm diligent, committed and a firm believer in the record cleaning process, I don't get obsessive about it.

    1. Brush LPs with my SuperExstatic record brush to remove surface dust.
    2. Spin-Clean with Distilled water and SC solution. Rotate 4 times in both counter and counter-clockwise directions.
    3. NG 2.5Fi RCM with MoFi Super Record Wash for second cleaning.
    4. Spin-Clean with distilled water only for rinse.
    5. NG 2.5Fi for vacuum drying. I use 2 rotations only to reduce the possibility of adding static.
     
  12. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I am taking it all in including the link posted above by Dan. There's a lot of info there from members as well as this link which I find insightful...

    http://thevinylpress.com/cleaning-and-archival-standards-of-care/

    I do want to keep it simple but effective and I don't want to overdo it.

    Scott
     
  13. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    here's my technique using a vpi 16

    1. homemade cleaner (very diluted tergitol, no alcohol or wetting agents added, they definitely leave residue) - scrub for a few revolutions with record clenaing brush
    2. vacuum off 2-3 revolutions - doesn't need to get completely dry
    3. distilled water - scrub for a few records with second mofi brush
    4. vacuum off 4-5 revolutions or so, you can tell when it's done
    5. zerostat gun before playing

    This produces quite satisfactory results for me
     
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  14. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Just wanna add a quick note qne question here. I use the RDV to pull off the fluid and THEN let the now damp record air dry. Is this not sufficient? Also, since I have the RDV unit, do I need to scrap it and go with a more powerful tool as Chemguy suggests? Bringing our large vacumm cleaner in to my listening room seems like a lot to me. Does the RDV not have enough sucking power to do the job?
     
  15. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Shampoo/conditioner? No joke? I'll repeat, methods abound!
     
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  16. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    I have just one piece of advice, based on my complete ignorance of advanced chemistry and materials science:

    Don't listen to the DIY kitchen cleaner dishwashing liquid Walt White home laboratory wannabe suggestions, and instead use proven, professionally devised, purpose-built cleaners — unless you're a lot less ignorant than I am.
     
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  17. Yes. I thought it was a joke myself till I tried it. It actually works. Just cleaned a UK Revolver with it. Sounds fabulous.
     
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  18. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I must say the shampoo/conditioner idea is intriguing. I've got a few beat up records I could try it out on.
     
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  19. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Nodding my head
     
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  20. If supermodels and I trust it on their precious scalps, how's it gonna harm one old record.:laugh::agree:
     
    sami likes this.
  21. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Well I eat Olive Oil almost daily. But using it to clean my records isn't a good idea. :)
     
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  22. Alcohol probably isn't a good idea either since I drink it everyday.
     
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  23. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Haha. We're going off the rails here now . I've been doing more reading here and there between chores and doing some listening. Not only is the vinyl spinning, so is my head from seeing the vast numbers of mad and not so mad methods out there. . With the method I described in my initial post, my records seem pretty clean, no static even when pulling them out of my Nogaoka anti-static File N 102 sleeves. No residue that I can see or detect sonically. However, I don't have a top of the line system but it's not too shabby.

    I do want to upgrade my TT as soon as possible. I'm on a limited budget right now but that may change significantly in the not too distant future. I do have some records with some loud pops that I have cleaned multiple times but I've yet to resolve them. Could be damage to the grooves but I'm not sure. Maybe some of them will get better with more spins.

    One thing I know I need to improve is cleaning my brushes as well as the cleaning strips of my RDV. Currently I have two MFSL brushes, 1 for old vinyl and 1 for new. Do I need to keep these brushes separated like this or can I clean them and use 1 for the initial wipe for spreading the fluid and the other for use on the same record during the rinse step? Not that I've been using a brush for the rinse step but if I were to do so, would this be okay? I'm just not sure if I should brush after spraying on the warm distilled water just before vacuuming. Perhaps I'm thinking out loud here but I'm leaning toward sublemon's method since it's pretty close to what I'm doing now.


    The only thing I lack is a zerostat gun. So, sublemon, doesn't my method seem pretty close to yours? Does anyone here see anything "wrong" with my current method and if I add another brush run for the rinse then vacumm again? I don't want to belabor this but maybe one more round of replies and I'll move on.

    Much thanks!
    Scott
     
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  24. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Agitation with solution. I read that the fibers of a microfiber brush are too large to really get down in to the grooves so the idea is to simply spread with the brush and not really apply anymore pressure than the weight of the brush. I've also read some people use the word "scrub". Maybe I need to spend a little more time on dirtier records (maybe those ones with the loud pops) "scrubbing" by using the same method and technique but more revolutions and back and forth motion, with the grooves of course. Thoughts on this?
     
  25. Scottr1966

    Scottr1966 Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I will add that I must be doing something right as I have gotten sonic improvements after cleaning which are comparable to several of the review videos of various cleaning methods and systems I've seen on YouTube. Thanks for indulging me.
     

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