Cleaning Vinyl



The No.1 rule of record cleaning is to avoid that the dust reaching the bottom of the grooves.
In other words we should take extreme care to NOT worsen the situation.

There are poorly cleaned records which are only apparently dust-free. Actually the dust has been moved
from the surface to the bottom of the grooves where it is more harmful and difficult to remove.

Dust and debris that have accumulated over time are the cause of irreparable damage to the vinyl when contacted by the stylus during play. It has been shown that this contact produces a mini-explosion of sorts, known as a conchoidal shock-wave.
This incident literally "blasts" a hole into the groove wall, creating permanent, irreparable damage. This small hole reveals itself during each and every successive play as a tick or pop, and nothing short of buying a new record will eliminate it.
The only way to prevent this catastrophic damage is to make certain that the grooves are scrupulously clean before stylus ever touches vinyl.

A lot of devices have been developed to avoid this problem. Among these are the carbon fiber brushes (Decca-style)
and some self-adhesive rollers.

Some of these carbon fiber brushes have the handle made out of a conductive material in such a way that
static electricity can be easily moved from the record to our body and then grounded.
This trick works thanks to the conductive properties of the carbon fibers.

When the dust combines with moisture, fingerprints and other agents it's time to take a shower.

The market is overcrowded with dozens of magic fluids that promise to be the ultimate solution (pun intended)
to our cleaning problems. Normally these magic bottles don't come cheap. So audiophiles all around the World
have started to make their own cleaning fluids at home at a fraction of the cost of the official ones.


The following recipes are for a 1 gallon (4 liter) solution:

Laura Dearborn's recipe
Distilled water Alcohol Detergent
3 parts 1 part isopropyl 1 drop Triton X-114 or Monolan 2000

Don Roderick's recipe
Distilled waterAlcoholDetergent
4 parts1 part isopropyl (91%)7-8 drops dishwashing detergent w/o additives


After washing the record with one of these fluids it is wise to rinse it with pure distilled water. This way any remaining particles of dirt will be washed away from the grooves.
Then you can dry the record using a soft chamois leather or a soft cotton cloth.


The Disco Antistat

is a simple and effective set for record cleaning.
It offers lasting anti-static protection by way of the Disco-antistat mixture,
a special solution that removes dust and grime groove-deep, without residue,
and without damaging the record's label.



Price about 60,00 euro for the Knosti Disco Antistat Manual Record Cleaner
and 20,00 euro for the Knosti Disco Antistat Fluid.


Once you have cleaned your collection, you must address proper storage techniques. LPs should be stored vertically. Be certain that records are not left at angle, as warpage is likely to occur.

I also strongly recommend that you treat your collection to both inner and outer sleeves. Internal sleeves should always be used to replaced the paper sleeves commonly found on LPs. I prefer rice paper, or poly-lined paper sleeves that use a rice-paper like liner material. Additionally, an outer sleeve will not only protect the record jacket, but reduce the influx of dust.

Here you can buy LP Record Sleeves and other useful accessories

Build your own high quality, easy to use record cleaner

 



Links to Test Records:

VinylEngine
DecibelHiFi
Garage-a-Records
Dacapo-Records
Audiophile-Vinyl
Dedicated Audio
Analogue Productions (I'm using this one)