so how do you clean your vinyl albums?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Wombat Reynolds, Jul 28, 2022.

  1. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Just curious. I'm on a vinyl kick lately and we have a ton of old albums - so I went googling to find the "best" way to clean and prep for play. HOLY COW there are a bunch of different ways and a lot of disagreement!

    I had to start somewhere, I didnt know nothin' from nothin', so I went with this guy first - but I'd like to find out how you guys clean and prep yours -

  2. hman

    hman Forum Resident

    Northport, NY
    I initially clean with a Record Doctor V. Then, every time I play a record, I use a brush to freshen it up.

    BTW, BOC wrote "Astronomy" in my little town.
    TwiceFan and Wombat Reynolds like this.
  3. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    that looks really interesting but out of my price range - perhaps one day - thanks!
  4. coolhandjjl

    coolhandjjl Embiggened Pompatus

    I use the Kirmuss KA-RC-1 ultrasonic record cleaning machine to clean records that need it. Any used record I buy gets a trip through the Kirmuss. I’m slowly working my way through my old records too. New records don’t get the ultrasonic cleaning unless it sounds noisy. Some new records can be filthy.

    For just regular playing of a record, I dust off the surface first with both sides of the Kirmuss brush, one side is a parastatic pad used first, the other side is carbon fiber bristles used last.

    I do take issue with some of his ideas on the video. Anyone spending large sums of money on collecting records and wanting great sound will eventually need to purchase a record cleaning machine. What he is describing in his video is just dusting off before play. He also drags his brush across the surface, something I never do. I always follow the grooves. He also used his Discwasher pad backwards in one of his demonstrations.

    He doesn’t address mitigating static very well either. Before each play, I use the DeStat III. Some people use a Zerostat, some people use those plasma lighters.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
  5. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Best Coast USA
    I nuke ‘em from orbit.

    It’s the only way to be sure.
  6. drmoss_ca

    drmoss_ca Vinyl Cleaning Fiend

    Me too. 10 kiloton Loricraft followed by 5 megaton Degritter, tactical Destat and pick off the stragglers with a blower brush!
    Texado likes this.
  7. FromMysticStreet

    FromMysticStreet Forum Resident

    A vacuum based cleaning machine is the best from my experience.
    cnolanh, mreeter, sushimaster and 4 others like this.
  8. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    I agree. When I got my Okki Nokki around 10 yrs ago my record cleaning got to a different level. The only thing I regret is that I didn't get a RCM earlier.
    hman likes this.
  9. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    I use a $15 velvet pad, 91% iso, and a lazy Susan. Then I use carbon fiber brushes misted with distilled water to collect anything the stylus rakes out of the groove during play.

    I have lots of nearly silent records the previous owners had tried to clean with various vacuum and ultrasonic machines. They attributed the noise they continued to hear, to groove damage. Lucky for me I guess.

    I also avoid detergents. In fact once I realized I should always clean the record clockwise and never counter clockwise, I haven't had a need for any detergents.
    misterjones and Aftermath like this.
  10. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    My trusty 'ol Nitty Gritty 1.5 RCM for past 21+ years.
    Learned recently the Nitty Gritty Pure 2 is much better at cleaning and controlling static than the Mobile Fidelity Super Record Wash (particularly 180/200 gram albums).
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  11. My older records that I've yet to clean get a turn on a Spin Clean first and then a trip on the Nitty Gritty 2.5Fi. New records go directly to the Nitty Gritty.
  12. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom I hate Billy Joel, Rush, Queen and Trump

    Philadelphia, PA
    I get out some 40 grit sandpaper and that seems to do the trick!
  13. James Phillips

    James Phillips Active Member

    When I got back into Collecting records I started off with the disco antistat but for the past 5 years or so I’ve been using a vacuum based cleaner it’s definitely they way to go, I always do a rinse cycle after with distilled water to make sure no cleaning fluid is left over. Would like to try an ultrasonic cleaner but way too expensive still at the moment.
  14. carefully and thoroughly and sometimes twice.
    Freebird likes this.
  15. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Arizona desert
    I sold my record collection but I started off with a Spin Clean and then about 13 years ago I bought an Okki Nokki. I used the AIVS one step formula 6 cleaning solution.
  16. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Glasgow Scotland
    I've been watching the same channel on You Tube!!!!
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Please don't get advice off YouTube.

    I use a commercial record cleaning fluid with enzyme. That gets put onto the record and I use a manual vac-based RCM. I usually do 2 rinse cycles with plain distilled water.

    There are many, many threads about cleaning records here. Might want to look at those old threads.
    Ray Blend likes this.
  18. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    San Diego, CA
    A KAB EV-1 record cleaning machine, with Nitty Gritty 2 fluid
    DPC and Brudr like this.
  19. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    LG washer. Steam cycle. :shh:
    Big Blue and dwilpower like this.
  20. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Glasgow Scotland
    I hadn't played any vinyl for 20 years. The collection was sitting in the loft. When I retired last April I decided to upgrade my entire system and included a turntable. While doing my research I went online and was astounded at what was posted on YouTube. I quickly decided on which turntable to buy but the "advice" on how to care for your vinyl record collection was off the scale bonkers! Washing up liquid, PVA glue, WD40. Record Cleaning Machines costing thousands of pounds and melting your vinyl in a domestic oven. What had happened to world in the 20 years I'd gone digital? The old adage "a fool and his money are easily parted" couldn't have been truer.
    For me the very idea of buying 2nd hand records sets my teeth on edge- you have no idea what damage has been done, what's lurking under the surface and what damage it might do to your prized Hi Fi system- how to wreck your cartridge in 2 easy steps! In 50 years I never bought 2nd hand, never loaned or borrowed discs. All for very good reasons. QUALITY CONTROL, CARE & RESPECT for my collection. Watching some of these Y Tubers cleaning records that frankly are only fit for making ashtrays and expecting them to sound wonderful is just plain nuts. Spending thousands to clean records that are worth a mere fraction of the investment in that cleaning machine has to one of the craziest decisions any reasonable human being could ever make.
    I set up my new Technics turntable, brought my collection out of storage- took an LP out of the sleeve and with a quick brush after 20 years IT PLAYED PERFECTLY !
    Folks really need to apply some common sense. Care for your collection, store the discs properly and you can forget about spending a small fortune on the snake oil products. Oh and don't get me started on Record Clamps- invest in a pair of stainless steel nipple clamps, you'll have much more fun!
    Freebird likes this.
  21. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Glasgow Scotland
    SNAKE OIL works wonders. I have 40 gallons for sale!
    Lenny99 likes this.
  22. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Glasgow Scotland
    This stuff is just plain bonkers- NONE of it is necessary if you take care of your collection from the start. Basic care is all that's required.
    Hagstrom likes this.
  23. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Clarksburg WV

    I've always used the hand cleaning method. I have a procedure I've adapted that is variable. It works fine. I clean, rinse, and repeat....

    There are many ways to clean vinyl. If it works for u economically I'd say your ok.
    Aftermath likes this.
  24. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Glasgow Scotland
    don't forget the gallon of snake oil and a left handed brush to really work it into the groove
    Lenny99 and audiomixer like this.
  25. dwilpower

    dwilpower Forum Resident

    Glasgow Scotland
    I find the hand method can give the most satisfying results. I also keep an old sock handy for finishing off as it can all get rather sticky.

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