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z038
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How do I clean my albums?

I am sure I will eventually want to buy a record cleaning machine, and I know they are available at a wide range of prices from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, but for now I will need to clean my albums manually. The problem is, it's been so long since I've done it that I don't recall how.

What is a good basic set of manual cleaning supplies that I can start out with, and how do I use them most effectively?

Jan Vigne
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Re: How do I clean my albums?
z038
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Re: How do I clean my albums?

Thank you Jan. That is exactly the sort of information I was looking for.

lionelag
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Joined: Apr 18 2007 - 9:40am
Re: How do I clean my albums?


Quote:
I am sure I will eventually want to buy a record cleaning machine, and I know they are available at a wide range of prices from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, but for now I will need to clean my albums manually. The problem is, it's been so long since I've done it that I don't recall how.

What is a good basic set of manual cleaning supplies that I can start out with, and how do I use them most effectively?

If you trust your diy skills, it's fairly easy to *build* a record cleaning machine. The vacuum, remember, is for getting the goop off the record. It's your manual scrubbing that does most of the work, unless you shell out for a machine that does the scrubbing for you as well.

I put together a system with two Mobile Fidelity brushes (which are similar to the Disc Doctor ones), some cleaning fluid, a set of replacement pads for the brushes (which I cut up and glued to the lips of the vacuum), and a $30 wet-dry dustbuster type vacuum. I put the cleaning fluid on, scrub thoroughly with the brushes, then vacuum off the stuff, carefully, with the dustbuster. I doubt it's as good as a VPI, and I'm sure a $2000 machine can clean circles around it--it's still a lot of work, and you have to watch your pressure and angle with the dustbuster to avoid scratching the records, but it does an extremely good job, if I do say so myself, especially for the $70 or so outlay, including the vacuum. It's made some filthy, scratchy records from my childhood or from garage sales quite listenable again, and looking at the surface of the record with a jeweler's loupe, it looks like the dirt is gone. Your mileage may vary, and I wouldn't use it to clean a record that I'd paid more than $20 or so for, but until my record collection is big enough to justify spending $250 on a Nitty Gritty Record Doctor, it's quite sufficient.

z038
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Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Oct 7 2007 - 12:30am
Re: How do I clean my albums?


Quote:

Quote:
I am sure I will eventually want to buy a record cleaning machine, and I know they are available at a wide range of prices from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, but for now I will need to clean my albums manually. The problem is, it's been so long since I've done it that I don't recall how.

What is a good basic set of manual cleaning supplies that I can start out with, and how do I use them most effectively?

If you trust your diy skills, it's fairly easy to *build* a record cleaning machine. The vacuum, remember, is for getting the goop off the record. It's your manual scrubbing that does most of the work, unless you shell out for a machine that does the scrubbing for you as well.

I put together a system with two Mobile Fidelity brushes (which are similar to the Disc Doctor ones), some cleaning fluid, a set of replacement pads for the brushes (which I cut up and glued to the lips of the vacuum), and a $30 wet-dry dustbuster type vacuum. I put the cleaning fluid on, scrub thoroughly with the brushes, then vacuum off the stuff, carefully, with the dustbuster. I doubt it's as good as a VPI, and I'm sure a $2000 machine can clean circles around it--it's still a lot of work, and you have to watch your pressure and angle with the dustbuster to avoid scratching the records, but it does an extremely good job, if I do say so myself, especially for the $70 or so outlay, including the vacuum. It's made some filthy, scratchy records from my childhood or from garage sales quite listenable again, and looking at the surface of the record with a jeweler's loupe, it looks like the dirt is gone. Your mileage may vary, and I wouldn't use it to clean a record that I'd paid more than $20 or so for, but until my record collection is big enough to justify spending $250 on a Nitty Gritty Record Doctor, it's quite sufficient.

Good ideas, Lionel. I recently found this DIY Record Cleaner article and I'm going to build one like it. It'll be a lot less expensive than buying a commercial record cleaning machine.

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