best way to clean vinyl records?

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by x calibur, Jan 5, 2012.

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  1. x calibur

    x calibur

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    there's all kinds of conflicting information on the internet. dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning, vacuum-cleaning, steam cleaning, solutions, brushes, etc.

    I want to clean an old vinyl collection so I can digitize it. any advice/experience would be appreciated.
    test
  2. L u c y

    L u c y (Administrator) SWERVE

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    bump ... I have a lot of my pops stuff on vinyl, did you find out XCali?
    test
  3. x calibur

    x calibur

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    ive done some basic research. what's consistent is that wet-cleaning is more thorough than dry cleaning, although you shouldn't get the label wet. distilled water should be used, and lint-free cotton should be used in drying/scrubbing. carbon fiber brushes are effective for cleaning/dusting off.

    records should be stored vertically, and not packed too tightly. never play a dirty record, or a record thats still wet.

    it's just that there's so much information on this online, and 12 different "best ways ever" being argued for. I made this thread to get advice from someone with experience, but I guess it's not active around here.

    ill keep looking, and post my method when I figure it out.
    test
  4. L u c y

    L u c y (Administrator) SWERVE

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    thats more than I knew already, so thanks. Like you I've looked online and found many different tips.
    test
  5. Xabiton

    Xabiton RM Veteran

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    Gruv Glide is the best solution I have ever used but its pricey. I use another solution called DP4 which works well also. You can also used some watered down alcohol and a non abrasive rag if you want. Then just clean the groove counter clockwise. I have been cleaning my records with DP4 mainly since 2005.
    test
  6. ADMBEATZ

    ADMBEATZ Aka NyCe

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    You can use Izotope's Music and Speech Cleaner. It has a nice, easy interface to clean audio and take out hiss, and it was built for things like that. Or if you want to really get serious into an audio track that has some crazy hiss going on then Izotope's RX would be a better choice.
    test
  7. x calibur

    x calibur

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    I appreciate the recommendations.

    I was thinking more of solutions for cleaning the vinyl grooves, but I'll keep the Izotope programs in mind.

    gruv glide looks good. I'm not finding much info on dp4.
    test
  8. Prisca62

    Prisca62 New Member

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    If you have more than a few hundred vinyl records I'm not going to mince words: Use a vacuum record cleaner such as those sold by Nitty Gritty, VPI or Keith Monks. The results are far quicker, safer and superior to anything you could attempt to do by hand as the machine will apply the record cleaning solution, properly scrub the record and finally vacuum the dirt and liquid off leaving you with a dry and pristine vinyl record. It's the only way to truly deep clean a record.
    You can clean vinyl record by your hand too. To begin, lay the record on a clean flat surface such as on a soft towel on a table or place the record on the turntable platter. If you decide to clean your records while they are on the turntable make sure to secure the tone arm so it doesn't accidentally swing across the record as you are cleaning it and do not apply too much pressure on the platter as you can damage the bearings. Also pay attention not to get any record cleaning fluid on the platter or turntable finish. Follow the directions on the bottle, but generally one applies the liquid to the applicator brush and not on the record itself. Take the brush and place it on top of the record and turn the platter counter-clockwise a few times to work the dirt loose. Look at the brush, you should see some dirt or lint on it so carefully remove it and go another round cleaning the record till no more dirt or crud appears on the brush. Since alcohol is the primary ingredient of most record cleaning solutions the record should dry fairly quickly, but do let it air dry before flipping it over to clean the other side or place it back in its sleeve. Before you flip the record over though make sure the surface or platter is clean as the dirty uncleaned side was just there. If you want houshold items to clean them then For light cleaning you can use Isopropyl 90% alcohol or higher. Do NOT use rubbing alcohol or witch hazel as they contain additives that can harm your records. Another option for cleaning dirty records is dishwashing liquid without any moisturizers such as plain Joy or Dawn. It cleans dirty records well, but it's a pain to rinse off thoroughly and you have to avoid getting it on the label. Try not to get the label wet. If it does get wet then blot it dry immediately. Do NOT rub the label. Using normal tap water to rinse off the record is fine provided your water is not unusually "hard." If this is the case then you will want to finish up by using distilled water as a final rinse. Distilled water can be easily found in your supermarket or drugstore. The real trick is to properly rinse all this stuff off your vinyl records and get them dry without scratching them. Drying means using a microfiber type of cloth and blotting the record. Once this is done you can followup with a quick pass with a brush dipped in Isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any impurities that may still be on the record.
    test
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