Record cleaning

Re: Record DEEP cleaning; when ultrasonic isn't enough

Postby audiom3 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:24 am

Packgrog wrote:I have a couple of truly stubborn, nasty albums that I'd like to clean up, and I'm curious to try some new things on these that would not be necessary with 99% of albums.

First off, has anyone found a way to remove mineral deposits from record grooves from when someone rinsed an album in tap water and drip-dried it, leaving visible discoloration in the grooves themselves. I've tried every solution in my arsenal on one album with this issue, even diluted distilled vinegar (though only for about 30 seconds), and as yet nothing has worked. Any other ideas?

Secondly, what about the grimiest of thrift shop/second hand finds, with hand prints on the grooves underneath the layer of thick dust. Even after a 50 minute ultrasonic cleaning session (106F, TergiKleen dilution of 10 drops per gallon distilled water), followed by multiple rinse/scrub passes on a vacuum RCM, there's still quite a bit of visible contamination. I'm all out of enzymatic solution, but I'm tempted to try either a diluted Simple Green Crystal wash on the vac RCM or the 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner in the ultrasonic trick. Any ideas of what else might help get rid of potentially 50-year-old fingerprint oils safely out of the grooves of a record?

When I come across really nasty records, I soak them for 5-10 minutes in warm water. a few drops of dish soap and about 20% white vinegar. I bought a couple "record UFO's" to protect the label for this reason. It works very well and has never harmed a record. I'm no expert but I believe vinegar cuts through mineral deposits. I then rinse the record in distilled water with my Spin Clean.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby madrac » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:19 pm

yes, vinegar will cut through deposits left by tap water. I'd assume it will work on vinyl like it does for the coffee maker or glass shower door.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Golear » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:40 pm

Hot water should improve the cleaning action of soaps.
And I've seen a Michael Fremer video where he used a hand-held steam cleaning device to get a lot of the debris off an LP that was in a flood.
Also, leaving the hot soap in contact with the LP may also be beneficial.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Packgrog » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:06 am

I run my ultrasonic machine at about 105F, so I'm looking for vinyl-safe cleaning solutions beyond what hot water can help with.

I have tried distilled white vinegar for cleaning, but I've been wary of using much of it, or letting it sit for too long on a record, for fear of the acidity breaking down the vinyl itself.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Golear » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:50 pm

A usual LP cleaning cycle might be too short. I'd submerge the LP (or at least the dirty part) under high temp. for 30 minutes or more.

[NOTE TO ADMIN: I don't mind if you censor what follows.]

Alternatively.... and I hesitate to contribute this idea.... because it could be dangerous.....

Squirt some butane on the offending patch from a can of cigarette lighter fluid. It works on some gunk, but I'm sure it's not going to work on all kinds of gunk. I'm no authority on its effects on vinyl - but it didn't seem to hurt my LP.

Usual flammable gas/liquid precautions apply - don't do it around a heat source, a naked flame or cigarette. And ground yourself so that there's no static electricity.


(Someone's going to make a butane LP cleaning machine.... I just know it.)

But note: at some point, it will be easier to buy another LP.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby Mr_Putty » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:18 am

Just curious, are citrus bicycle chain cleaners a possibility? Or any of the simple green cleaners like Advantage 20x, Shaklee basic H, or Oregon's Finest usable with an ultrasonic? I have used a Basic H mix much stronger than recommended with good results, manually with a distilled water rinse, but still want cleaner results.
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Re: Record cleaning

Postby mflaten » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:57 pm

I have a 6L China manufactured VEVOR ultrasonic cleaner and I am trying to find a fitting that attaches to the valve. I could use information as the size of the female fitting which requires a male fitting. Is it metric or English? I want to put a 3/8" barb to connect a hose.

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