How to clean vinyl?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hi There,

I'm very new to the vinyl scene. I have about 10 records so far (all second hand) from charity shops. They have a lot of dust on them and obviously they hiss and pop in places.

How do people keep their records nice and clean?

Can I use a standard microfibre cloth (the kind found in supermarkets) or do I need a record cleaner brush?

Money is no object, and I on a fairly tight budget right now, but any suggestions on what I should do would be very appreciated.

Thanks!
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
156
30
18,620
chebby said:
+1

Does a good job, and I'm now using my own solution too rather than paying nearly £20 for the replacement cleaning fluid.

One tip though, don't do what I did when I first got mine. The filters were all together in the drain off and I didn't realise, so when after use I was filtering off the fluid, it was going through all 5 filters rather than just 1


.
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
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Hi Matey,

Ok, so money's a bit tight? When you can afford it, The DISCO ANTISTAT cleaner is great and costs £35 from Amazon HERE.

Until you an get that though, do this:

1: get some deionised water and some dishwasher rinse-aid from the supermarket (both should be down the laundry detergent aisle). Add about 10 drops of the rinse aid, per litre, to the water. Pour some of the solution into a jug.

2: Place a tea towel onto a work surface and place the record to be cleaned onto it.

3: Using a kitchen sponge that's been dunked in the solution (don't use the scourer side though
), clean the first side of the record, in a circular motion, following the lines of the grooves.

4: Using a microfibre cloth, or, even better, a window cleaner's scrim if you can get one, dry the record by, again, going in the circular motion.

5: repeat for the other side.

6: Bingo, you have great, clean records!

A couple of things that you do need to get, if you haven't already are a STYLUS BRUSH (to remove dust) and a CARBON FIBRE BRUSH (to keep the records tip top once you've cleaned them)

N.B: the first time you play a record after you've cleaned it, check the stylus at the end of each side. If there's any debris on it, use the Stylus brush, in a back towards the front motion, to remove it.

There you go mate. Enjoy yourself!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Wow. Thanks very much to the both of you for such quick replies.

So, these cleaning devices are actually any good, then? I have to say, I *love* the sound of vinyl. It just sounds so much more natural and clearer than CD. The hisses and pops are very annoying though. I guess these are just dust on the record?

is there anything I can use as a quick and cheap solution to remove most of dust? I was think about a microfibre cloth, perhaps.

I'll have to wait until the end of the month (or even next month) to invest in a record cleaning machine. Just spent all my money on a Project turntable! :)

Thanks again.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Bretty,

Thanks for the informative reply. I'm off grocery shopping today, and we already have dishwasher rinse aid, so I'll pick up some de-ironised water.

I don't have a stylus brush or a carbon fibre brush. I'm very new to this and still a bit naive and ignorant.

Will playing my dusty records break my record player?

Will cleaned records sound mint?

Thanks again.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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DIB said:
chebby said:
+1

Does a good job, and I'm now using my own solution too rather than paying nearly £20 for the replacement cleaning fluid.

One tip though, don't do what I did when I first got mine. The filters were all together in the drain off and I didn't realise, so when after use I was filtering off the fluid, it was going through all 5 filters rather than just 1


.
This suggestion caught my eye (out of academic interest), as I never found a satisfactory solution.

I had "soft pile" hand held cleaners, ones on an arm that rested on the record, anti-static guns, anti-static record sleaves and even a "tacky" roller. All were pretty useless - one ended up letting the stylus do the cleaning and then removing the fluff with a brush.

The only effective device was a Keith Monks cleaning machine (expensive) - did I read somewhere they are still being made? If so, a record store might have one that you could pay to use.

It is ironic that an answer has been found 20 years after giving up vinyl. :(
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
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lambda said:
Hi Bretty,

Thanks for the informative reply. I'm off grocery shopping today, and we already have dishwasher rinse aid, so I'll pick up some de-ironised water.

I don't have a stylus brush or a carbon fibre brush. I'm very new to this and still a bit naive and ignorant.

Will playing my dusty records break my record player?

Will cleaned records sound mint?

Thanks again.
Don't worry, mate. You've come to the right place. There's loads of peeps here that can help you get to grips with this vinyl mallarky. I was just like you seven months ago. I didn't have a clue about anything TT related.

While you're at the shops, buy a basic toothbrush, one of the supermarket own brand 30p jobbies. When you get home, cut the toothbrushes bristles down to about 5mm length with some scissors. You can use this a stylus brush until you get a real one.

No, playing dusty records won't harm your player, they just sound poo.

Yes, in a lot of cases, when a record is cleaned it will sound perfect. I've had three or four records that I thought were only good for the bin, they sounded that bad. Once cleaned, absolutely all of the pops and crackles were removed.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks again, Bretty.

I fell in love with vinyl when at a friends house. I was so amazed by the sound: very natural and open, they make CDs sound over produced an over-polished. I also love the idea of the physical beauty of it. The pops and hisses put me off a bit though, so I'm going to try your cleaning tips today.

Can I use distilled water? Is this the same as deionised water?

What is it about vinyl that you love so much? :)
 

Jason36

New member
Jul 23, 2008
427
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lambda said:
Hi Bretty,

Thanks for the informative reply. I'm off grocery shopping today, and we already have dishwasher rinse aid, so I'll pick up some de-ironised water.

I don't have a stylus brush or a carbon fibre brush. I'm very new to this and still a bit naive and ignorant.

Will playing my dusty records break my record player?

Will cleaned records sound mint?

Thanks again.
Hi Lambda,

No playing records wont break your turntable, but you may get a build up of dust on your stylus which will need cleaining off (preferably with a stylus brush, which can be had for about £10.00).

I believe an antistatic / microfibre cloth would be a good interim for cleaning surface dust of your records, but a proper brush is better (again can be had for £10 - £15.00).

I bought my record brush and stylus cleaner from analogue seduction on the interweb and if I remember it cost be about £20.00 for both :)

The brush will clean the surface dust of your LP's, but a lot of the pops and crackles come from dust embedded in the actual record groove and for this you really need to use a liquid solution to remove.

As for quality after cleaning with a liquid solution, I believe it varies from record to record but in some cases yes it can make a huge difference.
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
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lambda said:
Thanks again, Bretty.

I fell in love with vinyl when at a friends house. I was so amazed by the sound: very natural and open, they make CDs sound over produced an over-polished. I also love the idea of the physical beauty of it. The pops and hisses put me off a bit though, so I'm going to try your cleaning tips today.

Can I use distilled water? Is this the same as deionised water?

What is it about vinyl that you love so much? :)
Yep, distilled is the same stuff.

What do I love bout vinyl? Well, firstly, the sound. I have a very decent CDP, but The sound that comes off my 'Dec trounces it. Far more realism. Secondly, I love the feel and look of vinyl and the way you have to invest a little bit of yourself into it. You have to look after a TT and Vinyl if you want to get the best out of them.

It's very addictive. I bought my first TT last August, with the intention of it just being for weekends and my CDP being played during the week. Seven months later, I've upgraded the TT to a Gyrodec, spent £1300 on records and I only use my CDP to play stuff that I can't get on vinyl
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
12
19,195
CnoEvil said:
This suggestion caught my eye (out of academic interest), as I never found a satisfactory solution. I had "soft pile" hand held cleaners, ones on an arm that rested on the record, anti-static guns, anti-static record sleaves and even a "tacky" roller. All were pretty useless - one ended up letting the stylus do the cleaning and then removing the fluff with a brush. The only effective device was a Keith Monks cleaning machine (expensive) - did I read somewhere they are still being made?
Keith Monks machines are still in production on the Isle of Wight and are still very expensive.

When I was buying second-hand vinyl - up until 18 months ago - my local record store* had a twin deck Keith Monks machine (bought years ago from Capital Radio and still regularly serviced and replenished by KM themselves). The results are incredible. I had every single LP cleaned at purchase, even the brand new ones! (New high quality sleeves were always provided too.)

You can see the machine here in this pic.

*They do a lot of trade via the internet and the phone and I can recommend them wholeheartedly. If you buy anything from them, ensure you pay the extra to have it 'Keith Monks cleaned' before they send it to you.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Can you recommend good place for me to buy vinyl? I noticed HMV and Amazon actually have a fairly good select of vinyl to buy new, it seems to be a lot more expensive than CD, however. But if the quality is better and the enjoyment factor is more, then the cost doesn't matter. :)

I have a very very wide, diverse taste in music. What I don't think I will be able to use vinyl for is new classical releases, however, but I accept that I'll just have to use CD for that.

I'm using a Pro-Ject Debut II that is about 7 years old now. I aquired it through a friend of my dads. It has hardly even been used. It seems good enough for me to start on, and it equally sounds as good as my CD player. When my vinyl is cleaned I'm hoping it'll sound a lot better :)
 

Jason36

New member
Jul 23, 2008
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lambda said:
Can you recommend good place for me to buy vinyl? I noticed HMV and Amazon actually have a fairly good select of vinyl to buy new, it seems to be a lot more expensive than CD, however. But if the quality is better and the enjoyment factor is more, then the cost doesn't matter. :)

I have a very very wide, diverse taste in music. What I don't think I will be able to use vinyl for is new classical releases, however, but I accept that I'll just have to use CD for that.

I'm using a Pro-Ject Debut II that is about 7 years old now. I aquired it through a friend of my dads. It has hardly even been used. It seems good enough for me to start on, and it equally sounds as good as my CD player. When my vinyl is cleaned I'm hoping it'll sound a lot better :)
Amazon and HMV are good places to buy new and reissued Vinyl (although HMV is hit and miss on delivery times).....Also have a look at Diverse Vinyl. However there are a fair few companies on the internet selling vinyl. Ebay is also a good place.

Another excellent place for vinyl are charity shops (a lot of mu purchases have cost me no more than 49p, but are in excellent condition and play amazingly on the tt. Just make sure you check the records for scratches etc.

Scouring the charity shops is all part of the fun of buying vinyl, well for me anyway :)
 

Jason36

New member
Jul 23, 2008
427
0
0
lambda said:
Can you recommend good place for me to buy vinyl? I noticed HMV and Amazon actually have a fairly good select of vinyl to buy new, it seems to be a lot more expensive than CD, however. But if the quality is better and the enjoyment factor is more, then the cost doesn't matter. :)

I have a very very wide, diverse taste in music. What I don't think I will be able to use vinyl for is new classical releases, however, but I accept that I'll just have to use CD for that.

I'm using a Pro-Ject Debut II that is about 7 years old now. I aquired it through a friend of my dads. It has hardly even been used. It seems good enough for me to start on, and it equally sounds as good as my CD player. When my vinyl is cleaned I'm hoping it'll sound a lot better :)
Amazon and HMV are good places to buy new and reissued Vinyl (although HMV is hit and miss on delivery times).....Also have a look at Diverse Vinyl. However there are a fair few companies on the internet selling vinyl. Ebay is also a good place.

Another excellent place for vinyl are charity shops (a lot of mu purchases have cost me no more than 49p, but are in excellent condition and play amazingly on the tt. Just make sure you check the records for scratches etc.

Scouring the charity shops is all part of the fun of buying vinyl, well for me anyway :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, in St Andrews there are a couple of charity shops selling vinyl. Their selection can be a bit poor sometimes though, but last week I picked up Mike Oldfield Crises in mint condition for 3 quid!

Thanks for all your help, it's been very helpful for me! Just listening to Bowie "Low" on the TT right now, in fact! :D
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Chebby

Thank you for the info....interesting to know.

Normally when I ask that question you get, "a Keith..what?"
 

shropshire lad

New member
Feb 18, 2010
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I haven't seen any mention of record fairs for sources of vinyl . You can get some real good stuff there .

Unfortunately you are a bit late to try Unknown Pleasures in St. Andrews as it looks as if it has had to close due to excessive rent increases . Which is a shame as it was a good shop . You will just have to get on the train and head into Edinburgh where you will get a great deal more choice .

+1 for the Knosti . It is also possible to get it cheaper than £35.00 ,

Nick
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've just tried the de-ioninsed water method for cleaning some of my vinyl. I have to say that it made about an 70 - 80 % difference in removing the pops and hisses. One record in particular, John Lennon, used to be almost unplayable last week but after I cleaned it it sounds amazing! Some tracks do *still* have some pops on, but I guess old records just have pops and hisses??

I've noticed older recordings (john lennon, led zep) can sound a bit harsh in the upper registers. Is this just the old analogue mics they were using? It could be the fact I'm just using a budget TT (pro-ject ebut 2).

The machine people have been recommending may be a way to remove more of these pops that the DIY method just doesn't. I'll get one ordered as soon as can.

You mention some record shops in Edinburgh - do they have websites?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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lambda said:
I've noticed older recordings (john lennon, led zep) can sound a bit harsh in the upper registers. Is this just the old analogue mics they were using?
Vinyl recordings vary, in the same way as any other format. It's just the worse ones don't sound quite as bad, as they can on CD.
 

shropshire lad

New member
Feb 18, 2010
0
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0
lambda said:
I've just tried the de-ioninsed water method for cleaning some of my vinyl. I have to say that it made about an 70 - 80 % difference in removing the pops and hisses. One record in particular, John Lennon, used to be almost unplayable last week but after I cleaned it it sounds amazing! Some tracks do *still* have some pops on, but I guess old records just have pops and hisses??

I've noticed older recordings (john lennon, led zep) can sound a bit harsh in the upper registers. Is this just the old analogue mics they were using? It could be the fact I'm just using a budget TT (pro-ject ebut 2).

The machine people have been recommending may be a way to remove more of these pops that the DIY method just doesn't. I'll get one ordered as soon as can.

You mention some record shops in Edinburgh - do they have websites?
Try giving the records another clean to see that makes any difference . If there is no further improvement your next step would be to get something like the Knosti AntiStat which would hopefully take away most or all of what is left .

To be honest , I don't actually know any record shops in Edinburgh , but I know there are some there . I'm afraid you'll have to do some research for yourself ,

Nick
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
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shropshire lad said:
+1 for the Knosti . It is also possible to get it cheaper than £35.00 , Nick
Really? that's a good find then, mate. Where have you seen it for cheaper?
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
ooooh that's cheap!! Oh fiver delivery :p

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conrad-Disco-Antistat-Disco-antistat-set/dp/B000BFXIVW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302464082&sr=8-1
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It sounds like people have had good experiences with the anti-stat. Sounds like a good investment.

Thanks again for everyone's comments!
 

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