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Customer Discussions > Music forum

cleaning vinyl records

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Showing 1-25 of 158 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2011 2:24:01 PM PST
Marina says:
anyone use a cd/dvd cleaning and scratch repair kit (Maxell) for cleaning records? thanks.......

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 3:31:17 PM PST
KBIC says:
No, No, don't do it!

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 3:35:29 PM PST
J.Espresso says:
There's no science to cleaning vinyl records. A soft cloth -- cheesecloth works great -- and rubbing alcohol. Don't rub too hard, you just want to remove the dust and dirt, they don't need to be scrubbed. That's it. I've been cleaning my vinyl records for 35 years this way and it works great.

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 3:58:13 PM PST
J Espresso, rubbing alcohol over time will break down the vinyl components!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2011 4:03:28 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 15, 2011 4:06:25 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 4:11:17 PM PST
CliffyG says:
DISCWASHER D4+ Record Cleaning System

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 7:51:12 PM PST
bozokarl says:
I always use a soft cloth and water

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2011 9:04:20 PM PST
J.Espresso says:
Music Luver,
I've not noticed any breakdown on mine, and have been using it on some of the same vinyl LP's since the early 1980's. I started using it when way back, approximately 1981 or so, purchased a "record cleaning kit" consisting of a soft brush and "cleaning fluid" which, when I smelled the latter, recognized it immediately as plain old rubbing alcohol -- although at a considerably higher price. Alcohol is also frequently used for cleaning electronic components.

If indeed there is any deterioration over time, I have to confess that I'm yet to see it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2011 9:40:07 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 15, 2016 12:24:30 PM PDT]

Posted on Jan 15, 2011 10:10:16 PM PST
musicman37 says:
Believe it or not, alcohol removes certain stabilizers from the vinyl. You may not have noticed, but the damage is done.

And Discwasher D4 fluid is not a viable alternative anymore, either. RCA Bought Discwasher out in the early 90s, the brush is the same, but they reconfigured the fluid to guessed it, alcohol! So now I refill my old D4 bottle from my Brita pitcher. This is still a good method to clean lightly soiled or dusty records.

For heavily soiled records, if you're not on a budget, get one of the professional cleaning machines. If money is a problem, I've had marvelous success using warm water (a bit hotter than lukewarm), dish detergent, and a Black and Decker Battery Operated Dishscrubber Brush. It has just enough OOMPH to dislodge heavy soil without scratching the grooves. I've actually made some clicky and poppy records sound quieter with this method.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 5:34:57 AM PST
onsenkuma says:
You've already had some good responses to your question here. Part of the solution is to not let your lps get dirty to begin with. I've used a Discwasher for 30 years, and similar brushes that take distilled or filtered water. Even a new lp needs a once over coming right out of the jacket...

I've also bought a lot of used vinyl over the years, and on occasion I've 'washed' these in lukewarm water in the kitchen sink (cleaned first of course) with a little dishwashing liquid and a cotton facecloth. This is usually a last ditch effort to wring whatever clean sound I can get out of a used record.

I 'clamp' both sides of the lp with the damp facecloth and slowly rotate it a few revolutions. (Unlike a CD, which you clean from the centre out, you clean records radially.) The labels on most lps are mostly paper, so you can't leave them wet too long or rub them with the cloth...

I then set the record flat on a clean cotton bath towel and rotate it slowly while applying some pressure. I've found this the best way to dry the surface. Once you put the cleaned record on the turntable you still have to use a Discwasher or similar cleaning brush to remove any light surface dust and static. Voila! A pain in the butt, yes, but it works...

As Music Luver notes, using alcohol (or detergent) can break down certain 'stabilizers' in the vinyl. Like J.Espresso though, I've never found this to be a problem...

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 6:28:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2011 6:30:51 AM PST
P. Hawkins says:
interesting,but liked onsenkuma suggestion of not letting lps get dirty to begin with! ( yea,I'm an audio buff and have been for years ) -- ( the rest of the post was pretty cool too ) :-) * I will add something: Keep the player and the needle clean and as well! *

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:00:25 AM PST
methanol or ethanol alcohol...can't remember with pure water.
But don't try it, one of them could burn your record.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:01:48 AM PST
I agree about not letting lps get dirty to begin with (be careful with the way you handle the vinyl), your fingers should never touch the vinyl. Warm water with a small amount of dishwashing liquid has worked for me for about 45 years. Keep your records in their sleeves and enclose the album in a protective plastic album cover. My record collection is in mint condition because of this.

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 8:04:27 AM PST
I've found it. It's isopropyl alcohol mixed with pure water.
You can find it on drug stores I guess...

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 3:10:06 PM PST
T. Faircloth says:
go to an optical place( eye doctor or glasses optical place) and get a bottle of the spray cleaner that you would clean your glasses with,it's made for cleaning polycarbonate lenses and it's excellent for cd's, dvd's, and anything that needs special care, get one of their cleaning cloths too, it's soft and won't scratch any surfaces.... optician

Posted on Jan 16, 2011 4:35:14 PM PST
cw says:
on vinyl records I would recomend Phantone record cleaner I used to use rubbing alcohol but found that Phantone works better as for 78's only use Dove dishwashing soap and an unsed eye liner brush but do not get the labels wet a for the Phantone do not play the record until it is dry

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2011 4:51:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2011 4:52:35 PM PST
DK Pete says:
..another thing, cleaners notwithstanding...any albums that you have which come in a paper inner sleeve...replace the sleeve with a polyethylene or polyethylene LINED paper sleeve (of course, if the sleeve has artwork and/or liner notes, just hold on to it and keep keep it tucked inside the album slot). Many people don't realize that ,no matter how hard you work at keeping the record clean, pulling it in and out of a paper sleeve causes multiple hairline scratches on the vinyl which-over time-will affect the playing quality.

Posted on Jan 17, 2011 12:03:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2011 9:25:45 AM PST
Don says:
With a name like Faircloth, I would certainly take our optician friend's suggestion on cleaning fabrics!

Edit: okay, change those last two words to fabrics used to clean records with!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2011 4:41:21 PM PST
T. Faircloth says:
just know about eyes ...but I tried our spray cleaner at work and it did ok, so I keep using it....just don't use it on contact lenses..

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 6:24:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2011 6:31:37 AM PST
SGs&Strats says:
After running out of the bottle of Radio Shack record cleaner i bought 20 or so years ago, i stopped by the local record store a couple of months ago and bought a container of something called Groovy Cleaner...hadn't heard of it before, but i trust the store where i shop,,,$9.95 for what looks like a 3 or 4 ounce container (no quantity listing,,,it does say it contains alcohol, which i guess most cleaners do).
It's sold by Bags Unlimited Inc., Rochester, New York.

Gave it a real test not long after buying it. I picked up a used copy of Kingfish, an album by a band Bob Weir was part of in the mid '70s that needed some TLC (had it on 8 track and have thought about off and on since all my tapes were sold in '77).

I could have bought a really clean used copy from the regular stock for $3.99, but decided upon a dirty but unscratched copy for $0.49 from the closeout section with a cover that needed some repair. I gave it an application of Groovy Cleaner using my Radio Shack Discwasher cleaner copy (wood base, velvet type fabric over foam rubber) and the old dirty vinyl turned out great with no noise in the grooves, either.

I was actually surprised how well it turned out.

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 8:19:16 AM PST
FE Green says:
I have cleaned old records with a quarter size dab of distilled vinegar for years and they continue to play beautifully.

I have some CDs that are skipping so I hope that cleaning them fixes them. Thanks for the tip on eyeglass cleaner.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 8:31:47 AM PST
A big used vinyl store in Denver that has been around a Long time advised me to use only water. It seems to work just fine.

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 9:13:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2011 12:17:38 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 11:16:49 AM PST
J.Espresso says:
"a small spray bottle of water and 40 grit sandpaper should do the job"

-- LOL, but why just water? Wouldn't some kind of paint remover or turpentine be more effective?
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  69
Total posts:  158
Initial post:  Jan 15, 2011
Latest post:  May 16, 2016

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