Record Cleaning Equipment

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by jshaide, Jan 23, 2023.

  1. jshaide

    jshaide Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Binghamton NY
    I'm sure there is something in existence here, but I could be a little not savvy, so I'll make my own.

    I have a little extra money coming my way and I need to buy a new receiver. But I want to also get something to clean my records, and I see people say very broadly that they gave their records a clean, etc.

    I'd like something simple, affordable, but reliable. What do people use to clean their records?
  2. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    Vacuum-style cleaner (like Okki Nokki, VPI Cyclone, etc)

    Goat hair brushes


    Distilled Water

    Carbon fiber brush for before playing

    Some way to clean stylus
    OldandBroken likes this.
  3. nolazep

    nolazep Burrito Enthusiast

    A $10 USB plasma arc "candle lighter" for getting rid of that pesky static electricity

    Magic eraser for stylus cleaning
    benny likes this.
  4. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    Depends on your budget but this has been popular and affordable.

    HumminGuru all-in-one ultrasonic vinyl record cleaner
    bloodlemons, dee, Mazzy and 2 others like this.
  5. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Scientist's have opinions too

    Nylon brush, meet squeeze bottle(s) of different simple ISO and/or distilled water, then let me introduce you to the Discwasher or AT 6012 to mop up.

    The whole mess cost me in upwards of $25... actually I have like three AT discwashers, sometimes I take two passes on the mop/dry stage. Not sure if that reaches the "affordable" mention in the OP.

    That's it. I'm fortunate to have a GT-2000L turntable though as my spinning cleaning platform though, high torque motor that doesn't get bogged down when cleaning... it doesn't even blink. If I had to clean the LP in a sink or tub or something like that by hand, I'd go back to an RCM then.

    But you'll get a lot of RCM recs, but it's a choice, not a requirement. And I do understand the pull toward them, developing a good hand cleaning technique takes the right platform, and time to develop. I just prefer the flexibility of cleaning an LP different levels depending on what I'm looking at. In both the RCM or hand cleaning regimen, it's about the operator and the process, not the tool.

    So I won't be surprised if you end up with a machine, maybe even one for $99 that you're cursing as you fiddle with it, clean up tubs... and have to have a place to do it that you don't mind spilling a little water!
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  6. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Lillington NC
    No need to spend a lot of money.
    1. A squeaky Clean for $125
    Squeaky Clean Vinyl Record Care
    2. A wet/dry vacuum. The 2hp Armor All for $61 at Amazon.
    3. 3 brushes from Record Doctor at $20 each, so $60 at Amazon
    4. Some distilled water ($1 a gallon), spray bottles ($1 each), and whatever cleaning solution you want to make up yourself or purchase pre-mixed. (prices vary)
    5. Read Neil Antin's paper, Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records and you can get a handle of mixing up your own solution, proper techniques for cleaning and anything else you can imagine about how to properly clean records.

    So for about $250 you will have everything you need to clean records like a champion. The results will be equal to those if you were to purchase an RCM for $500 to $2,000 or a Ultrasonic for $500 to $5,000.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
    todd141, bever70, Radio and 1 other person like this.
  7. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    Alright4now and bloodlemons like this.
  8. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Lillington NC
    I'm curious. At $438 for the unit with adaptors for 10" and 7" after all is said and done, customs, taxes, shipping what's this thing cost?
  9. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    We used to use tap water and dish soap and it worked just fine.
  10. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    I am not sure. I only know of several people that bought one. Many were during the startup pricing deals. I have a different US tank that can clean 6-12 at a time.
    I found one of these used for 1/2 price and have been really happy with it.
    CleanerVinyl: Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaning Systems

    In addition, for the OP consideration, I used this one before. Just sold it.

    KAB Electro Acoustics
    vinylvin likes this.
  11. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    My glass coffee pot carafe is covered in hardwater deposits so I stick with distilled.
    condorsat, Big Blue and Mazzy like this.
  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Scientist's have opinions too

    Me too, but some have tap water that's pretty clean due to location, source or filtering :) so they might be able to get away with tap... distilled adds no TDS or minerals though, which is the "best" though IMO.

    Since at certain times of the year my TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) coming out of my tap can be in the 500's, and there's a lot of chlorine in our water in Phx area, I'm with you use Distilled.

    But there are places where the TDS comes out of tap is low, but still even spring water has minerals, many times calcium.... but sometimes in low amounts depending where you live and the source of your tap.

    Plus, heavily stripped RO water you get at the water store or even the "purified" water sold for drinking is very low in TDS, you'd probably never notice the difference from distilled. The purified water can measure real close to zero on TDS (and mineral) as does a heavily filtered RO.

    I have a lever espresso machine and other gear that I don't use tap in for the same reasons, calcium build up. Plus coffee tastes better with "good" water, if I use my tap water here it's "blech" (actually, my "blech" coffee is still pretty good, but I notice a difference... )
    Phil Thien likes this.
  13. hman

    hman Forum Resident

    Northport, NY
    I use a Record Doctor V and I love it.
    Russ_B66 likes this.
  14. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    I have to admit I am considering a Degritter if my Okki Nokki ever dies.

    I’m assuming the Degritter would take the place of the Okki Nokki and the goats hair brushes and cleaning fluid.

    will need to research.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
  15. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    IME, you want something involving a vacuum. You wanna get the crud up off the grooves and then suck it away.
    lazycat57 and lazydawg58 like this.
  16. zbarbera

    zbarbera A stereo's a stereo. Art is forever!

    Did that guy sed to sell on eBay? I got on just like it years ago. Moved up to a Record Doctor. I'm happy with it for keeping records clean.

    BUT for particularly dirty records, I do a lot of thrift shop digging, I invested in a pair of these. Use a 20% off coupon and you're good to go. Just the right size to cover a label. Warm running water, a couple of drops of dawn followed by a distilled water rinse (we have pretty hard well water) then drying on the Record Doctor and even the dirtiest record becomes squeaky clean. From there out I maintain the cleanliness on the Record Doctor.

    Simple and effective.
    blackhawkskid6 and lazydawg58 like this.
  17. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Lillington NC
    I guess you are asking about the guy that sells the Squeaky Clean? I don't know if he was selling on ebay or not? He's in Canada I do know that. As far as the records pulled from barns, thrift shops, basements etc. what I do is spray my pre-cleaner (first clean) all over one side, completely saturating it, and then vacuum it off, no brushing at all the first time. This gets all the surface dust, dirt, grime off without pushing it down into the grooves.
    zbarbera likes this.
  18. zbarbera

    zbarbera A stereo's a stereo. Art is forever!

    Yeah, must be the same guy. I seem to recall it coming from Canada when I got it off eBay years ago.

    I find being able to use the sprayer in the sink really gets every bit out. When I have a particularly dirty album it take multiple cleanings with the Record Doctor (same with the Squeaky Clean when I had it) and the needle would still pick up grime. But a good initial cleaning in the sink and I never have a problem.
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  19. Soulsanista

    Soulsanista Well-Known Member

    Oakland, CA
    I've experimented with shop vac setups but I found the process to be cumbersome since I live in a small space. Now I have a setup that takes up no more space than a turntable, in fact it's sitting on top of a turntable (with dustcover) that I'm not currently using just a couple of feet from my main TT. I love that everything is in reach of my listening setup so I can enjoy records while I clean. That setup is a spin clean and the HumminGuru ultrasonic record cleaner that I recently bought from Turntable Lab. My process is to do a hand clean in the spin clean with Tergikleen, ditching the brushes that come with the the spin clean and instead using a corner painters brush and scrubbing by hand in the spin clean, next I move it over to the HumminGuru and let it do it's thing. In both steps I use distilled water or RO water (whatever I have on hand). What I like about the HumminGuru is there are no hoses, the water pumps into an internal basin that you just pour back in when you do the next record unless it's excessively dirty. Nice and compact.
    lazydawg58 likes this.
  20. tryitfirst

    tryitfirst Forum Resident

    In my opinion you don't need expensive fussy noisy machines, all you need is a bottle of this - apply, allow to dry, and peel:

    ...and maybe splash out on one of these to neutralise static:
    - Google Shopping

    The advantages of this method are
    - no expensive box
    - no ugly box
    - no noisy box
    - no box maintenance
    - no alchemy
    - no abrasion
    - no residue
    - records absolutely clean as a bastard
    - satisfying

    Most people don't recommend this method because they haven't tried it.
  21. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses?

    And because it’s terrifying…
    tryitfirst and lazydawg58 like this.
  22. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    South West, UK.
    Risk of damage and almost certainly will leave some deposit behind requiring proper cleaning with one of those noisy devices.
  23. Teraphoto

    Teraphoto Forum Resident

    Hi, never tried so I don't have any bias against or pro this method but I've some doubt:
    a) are you sure it leaves no deposit or residuates on the disc surface? I mean "do you have objective evidence it doesn't..."?
    b) are you sure the glue goes deep into grooves to remove dirt inside?
    c) there are particles stick to the disc surface so to need mechanical action to remove: may the glue remove such dirt?

    Anyway the important thing is the method is right for you.
  24. Wayne Nielson

    Wayne Nielson Forum Resident

    My House
    I use the Audioquest Anti-static carbon fiber brush. No fluids needed. Records are noise free, clean, play like tapes. $30.

    I used to be the big fluids and brushes and all that guy, but that has all gone away.
  25. Teraphoto

    Teraphoto Forum Resident

    Good for dust, fibers and sparse particles but cannot do anything against fingerprints, grease and oil contamination or sticky particles.

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