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Q: Cleaning old vinyl LP records ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Cleaning old vinyl LP records
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: seattle-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 16 Jul 2003 19:05 PDT
Expires: 15 Aug 2003 19:05 PDT
Question ID: 231863
When cleaning old vinyl LP records is there anything wrong with using
just plain water and a small amount of ordinary dish cleaner like
Dawn?   I know there are lots of "how to clean old records" sites out
there, but what I'm specifically looking for is some confirmation that
it really isn't very complex.  Thank you.
Subject: Re: Cleaning old vinyl LP records
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 16 Jul 2003 20:53 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi seattle,

Simply put, yes you can.  I found many references to more exotic and
expensive methods, as I'm sure you have too.  However using simple at
home mixtures appear to be quite safe for the lp.  Make sure the
jackets are clean.  And a clean stylus is important also.


From Collecting Records

Cleaning your collection

"For basic cleaning, wipe records with a moist antistatic cloth. (If
the cloth dries up, don’t use it.) If your records are very dirty or
moldy, use a moist cloth with a few drops of dish soap on it to gently
clean the surfaces. Then run the record under lukewarm water, being
careful not to get the label wet, and pat dry with a soft cloth.
The jury’s still out on whether or not alcohol will harm your records.
Some sources say never use it, while others claim it’s perfectly safe,
if the concentration is no more than 70% (i.e., rubbing alcohol). The
choice is yours but you may not want to try it out on that $10,000
Dylan LP."

Vinyl Days Caring for Your 80s Vinyl (Updated info October 15, 1999)

"Okay, let's get ready to clean those bad boys. I have always used a
mixture of 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and
distilled water. Some recommend a similar solution, but using a
denatured alcohol and filtered water, since both have fewer impurities
in them. Mixtures of mild detergents (like baby shampoo) with water
may also be used in small amounts, especially if the album is
particularly grimy. Take a soft, clean and lint-free washcloth and
apply your solution in a circular motion following the grooves. When
the album is thoroughly cleaned dry it off with a soft, clean towel.
Try not to get the labels wet, as they may bleed, and be certain, NOT
to touch the playing area of the album. Only the edges and the label
are fair game. Before you start, be sure to wash your hands to remove
impurities and dirt from them. Another trick I have done for albums
that are particularly gruesome (this is not for vinyl purists at all)
is to use a dish washing liquid like Dawn lukewarm water and soft
bristled toothbrush. Wet the edges of the record and the toothbrush
and then load the brush up with soap. Follow in the grooves of the
record all the way around and then rinse the record thoroughly. Dry it
off with a soft, lint-free cloth and I guarantee you will improve the
listening quality of the record twicefold."


Enjoy The

Vinyl Cleaning Formulas

"For all you vinyl junkies out there, i have gathered a few suggested
cleaning concoctions from the internet and other mailing lists i
belong to. i offer NO responsibility for these formulations. Quite a
few dudes swear by certain one's. Me? Well, being too lazy i just buy
Nitty Gritty or VPI's stuff.

   distilled water            alcohol                 detergent
1)      1 part           1 part isopropyl              none
2)      1 part           1 part isopropyl      a drop of Triton X-100
3)      1 quart         1 pint denatured        10 drops Photoflo
4)      3 parts               1 part               a few drops
5)      3 parts           1 part rubbing            a few drops
6)      4 parts           1 part ethanol                some   

If you have any doubts though you want to save a few bucks, then may i
humbly suggest you simply buy solutions like "Genie in a Bottle". The
Audio Advisor carries "Genie in a Bottle" last i checked. OH, and
don't forget to use your Hunt EDA brush! Remember: a clean needle is a
happy needle."


The following information is from The Record Doctor (which is an
advertisement for a $200 machine!)  But the article does say you can
use a home brew:

"Any smoo knows that a clean record sounds better than a dirty one.
For the past 25 years, I faithfully handled my LPs by the edges and
used a record brush before play. After play, I immediately returned
the LP to the protection of the sleeve. My records looked clean, but
many of them exhibited egg-frying sounds and occasional clicks,
especially during quiet passages. These sounds are largely due to
static electricity and microscopic particles lodged in the grooves:
grease, smoke residue, dust, mold, etc. This coating of muck also
results in a lost of fidelity: rolled off highs, lackluster mids, etc.

I started wet washing with a record brush and a home brew solution of
water, alcohol and a dash of dish soap. After cleaning, I noticed
improvements in clarity and a reduction of the noise floor. Alas,
there were still sonic blemishes lurking in the grooves. Then I
discovered wet vacuuming LPs with the Record Doctor II. Those
microscopic particles were sucked away and the glory of analog sound
revealed: sparkling highs, glowing mids, kickin' bass, and zippo
surface noise."


The next article is from How to Clean LP Records and CDs The
accumulated ‘net wisdom’

"The Kitchen Sink method Supplied by Peter Larsen


Disc cleaning brushes, preferably those with a lot of hairs.
Allergy safe dishwashing liquid
Moderately warm water
Clean and preferably many times used and washed towels
Vinegar, as chemically clean as possible

1) wash LP's in moderately warm water with a few drops of dishwashing
2) rinse under lukewarm tap
3) dry with first towel
4) rinse in slightly acidic water (this is vital! - prevents calcium
stains and "pearls off of the surface")
5) dry with second towel
6) rinse with alcohol and a second disc-brush, the purpose of this is
not to remove dirt, the record should be clean by now, but to remove
7) dry with third towel
8) let record dry completely before returning it to its sleeve"

"General advice
Handle records carefully to avoid fingerprints 
Don’t put them on dusty surfaces 
Keep your turntable mat clean by washing it. If you have a felt mat
vacuum it instead.
Keep the record inner sleeves clean 
Use antistatic sleeves if possible 
Use a dust cover on the turntable to keep dust off. Some leave this up
while playing because it can be microphonic, others find this is not a
problem depends on the unit."


Google Search
"clean vinyl lp"  "water and dish soap clean vinyl lp"  "easy method
clean lp's"

Best regards,


Clarification of Answer by tlspiegel-ga on 17 Jul 2003 07:02 PDT
Hi seattle,

Thank you for the 5 star rating! :)  I enjoyed doing the research on
your interesting question.

Best regards,

seattle-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Nice work!  Thank you tlspiegel!

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