You are here

Log in or register to post comments
manniesmith
manniesmith's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 30 2005 - 5:40am
LP cleaning

What's a good home-brew LP cleaning fluid?

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: LP cleaning

Seventy cent bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol for very very occasional wet cleaning. A vintage Le-Bo magnetic record cleaner for dry cleaning before playing. Sure you can get other liquid type cleaners but buyer beware. You may end up paying $15 for 8 oz of 70% rubbing alcohol.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: LP cleaning

It should be noted that some vinyl enthusiasts do not recommend alcohol for cleaning records because of the possibility of causing damage.

The following article has recommendations for cleaning:

http://www.musicangle.com/feat.php?id=54

The thread below has some DIY recipes:

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=80391

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: LP cleaning

Interesting...


Quote:
Editor
Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: LP cleaning

http://forum.stereophile.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=9424&an=0&page=5#Post9424

I've tried both 91% isopropyl alchohol and Everclear and can find no real difference between them. If you want to use alchohol, I would suggest you either buy what fits your budget, with the Everclear being several times more expensive than isopropyl, or buy what makes you feel best about trace level contaminants with the Everclear being less likely to harbor impurities. I use very little alchohol when I think it is required and cannot hear a difference with or without the alchohol. Unless you are cleaning some very persistent crap from the disc, I think you'll find the warm water/surfactant recipe will do just as well and will have no risk of harming your records. In most cases the alchohol is used only as a drying agent. If you are using a vacuum cleaning machine correctly, you shouldn't require additional drying agents.

One thing I've seen most people do wrong when cleaning a record is to use too little fluid. The water is what will clean the disc by loosening, lifting and suspending the crud until it can be vaccumed or rinsed off. Use sufficient amounts of fluid to cover the entire disc with the idea being you have enough to lift the dirt off the disc and hold it in suspension until it can be vaccumed or rinsed off the disc. I drench the disc with fluid and keep only the label area dry. Use just enough surfactant to allow easy spreading of the fluid over the disc. If you follow the cleaning cycle with a plain distilled water rinse, you will easily see the difference a few drops (and only a few) will make in whether the water spreads across the disc or puddles up into globs.

One change to the thread I linked; I have started to clean the records off the machine and on a terry towel. I clean one side at a time, flipping the disc to wet and clean both sides before transfering a wet record to the vacuum machine. This gives me more control over the disc than risking I will push too hard slightly off the machine's ceaning pad and the disc will scrape the edge of the vaccum machine. If the records are exteremely dirty, I will have several towels to change out. Otherwise the towel absorbs a bit of the fluid and lets me clean more discs between draining the fluid from the machine. I use one towel for the intial cleaning procedure and a second towel for the rinse cycle.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: LP cleaning

I have also replaced my daily use record cleaning brush with a simple microfiber towel. I only use the carbon fiber brush if there is static on the record. After a good cleaning and storage in a decent inner sleeve static is seldom a problem even during the winter months.

Logan
Logan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:22pm
Re: LP cleaning


Quote:
Seventy cent bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol for very very occasional wet cleaning.

Do NOT use "rubbing alcohol" for record cleaning. The solvent in this stuff is isopropanol (or isopropyl alcohol or more correctly 2-propanol) and this plus distilled water is fine. But rubbing alcohol contains other ingredients which may clog up your grooves, and should be avoided.

Note too the urban myth that alcohol-based cleaners such as isopropanol or ethanol (pure ethyl alcohol) are bad for your records. This appears to be a hangover from the days of shellac 78s, which do dissolve in ethanol. PVC and current additives do not dissolve in alcohol at room temperature under normal cleaning conditions.

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: LP cleaning

At another web forum, there are those who use carpenter's wood glue (I think it's like Elmer's) to clean LP's.

They put a good "peelable" layer on an LP, let it dry, then peel off the glue, leaving (what they claim) a pristine clean LP.

Maybe I'll buy a garage sale disc and try it, but I'm very dubious!

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: LP cleaning

I think the threads that I've read about that technique recommend the white Elmer's type... the yellow carpenter's version is much more brittle (I've used it to fill gaps in one of my table tennis blades.) If you try this, be sure to make a glob that hangs over the edge to serve as a tab to facilitate peeling. Personally, I'd stick with a record cleaning machine or Hunt brush.

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: LP cleaning


Quote:

Do NOT use "rubbing alcohol" for record cleaning. The solvent in this stuff is isopropanol (or isopropyl alcohol or more correctly 2-propanol) and this plus distilled water is fine. But rubbing alcohol contains other ingredients which may clog up your grooves, and should be avoided.

I'm confused. You seem to reverse your opinion somewhat in that paragraph. So, like I asked, would 91% drugstore rubbing alcohol diluted heavily down to about 25% alcohol with distilled water be a good idea? We all (mostly me) agree now that drugstore 70% rubbing alcohol is not the best cleaner for an LP. But it's not the worst. Like Elmer's glue.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: LP cleaning

I do not want to put my hand on fire but i remeber reading in several magazines that only 97% oure alcochol (hence the drugstore,which i quess is the only place to find such pure one) in,as you correctly stated,at the analogy of 25% alcochol 75% distilled water and ONLY on heavily soiled records,otherwise,avoid alcochol.

Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: LP cleaning

Drugstores sell 91% isopropyl. Everclear is 97%. You'll pay exhorbitant prices for anything more purely distilled than Everclear and won't hear the difference.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: LP cleaning

Everclear ? Sounds like something you clean windows with !
Oh and i made a mistake.It is 96% not 97% and i was talking about "safety" not being able to hear any difference.I've read numerus reports and debates over the subject and 50% say alcohol is bad for vinyl and other 50% say it is not.
Personally,i am not interested to find out if this is true or not,since i allways purchase VPI concentrated RCM fluid and its ok,but if i am going to use alcochol,i'd go for the purest i could find just to be on the safe side and use it at 25% with 75% distilled water and only when necessary,ie on heavily soiled records or in records that are impossible to clean otherwise.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading