LP cleaning suggestions ?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by elbeat, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. elbeat

    elbeat Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm curious to what you prefer to clean your records with? Especially first time before dropping the needle, to effectively get rid of the dust from packaging.
    I've tried a bunch of things but not sold on a permanent solution yet.

    Thanks !
    Chris
     
  2. gouis

    gouis Well-Known Member

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    Spin clean.

    Close thread.
     
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  3. elbeat

    elbeat Member

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    I guess I should clarify that I'm looking for a reasonably priced small solution like cleaning solution and brush sort of thing.
    I will eventually get a spin clean hopefully but until then..
     
  4. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    Really, the SpinClean is the way to go, and should be a priority buy, but as the damn things cost both cheeks (for what they are), this'll get you through:

    Carbon fiber brush (you want this anyway),
    A disckeeper-style cleaner (the block with the corduroy microfiber pad)
    Distilled water from the grocery
    A couple Microfiber towels (Target/Amazon/etc)
    And while you're there, get yourself a pack of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean your stylus periodically (YouTube/google how, just trust me. It's a well-spent $2 that'll last you forever)

    Also look into replacing your paper inner sleeves. It cuts down static and isn't just putting paper back onto your records. Look for the sleeve thread around here somewhere if you want brands/options.
     
  5. swamp

    swamp Well-Known Member

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    I'd recommend the Spin Clean as an introductory cleaning method and move up to a vacuum powered machine once your collection grows and you have saved the cash.

    I'd skip anything that is just a solution and a brush/cloth, as, for records that actually need a good cleaning, that will only move dirt around and won't remove as much as you'd hope.

    SpinClean is $80 plus fluid or any other accessories you want to get.

    SqueekyClean is $130 and requires a wet-dry shop vac (an extra $25-50). It's what I use and works great.

    Next up are machines that have the vacuum built in like the Okki Nokki MKII and Pro-ject VC-S which run closer to $500. Note that these machines are SUPER LOUD and will upset your neighbors if you live in an apartment. With the SqueekyClean you can build a custom box/shelf to dampen the sound but that shop vac will be very loud too.

    If you own 20 records and your turntable costs less than $200, def go with SpinClean. If you have hundreds of records and are already down the expensive equipment rabbit hole, get a vacuum powered cleaner.
     
  6. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    It works in a pinch. I still use my disckeeper from time to time if I don't want to break out the SpinClean for one record. Though they're super nice, I've never moved up to a vacuum solution and my collection hasn't burst into flames yet. So if you're new to vinyl, don't sweat it.
     
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  7. thedon0922

    thedon0922 Well-Known Member

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    If they weren't so loud, I'd get one now. Spin clean until I move.
     
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  8. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    Vacuum is on my longer term upgrade list. I'll asses the options more closely once the time comes, but it would likely be an Okki if I was buying today.
     
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  9. gouis

    gouis Well-Known Member

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    Listen, I am not a gear head nor am I anal about my records like many people here. I don't have a $5,000 system. I don't keep them in outer sleeves and I don't replace all the inner sleeves with fancy ones from the internet. So I am not just trying to up-sell you.

    If you have any older/dirty records get a split clean. Even if you buy new records sometimes they need it. Skip buying records for a few weeks if you have to. No half measures, do it.
     
  10. elbeat

    elbeat Member

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    I appreciate your opinions, suggestions and honesty. I have been at this a while and have probably 1000 records and a decent system, nothing to brag about but definitely not introductory. I do usually replace the inner sleeve with the poly ones, and I think that makes a big difference at least with static and not scratching getting them in and out.

    Someday the spin clean will be what I get, but I'm looking for an everyday type handheld cleaning. I have been using the average RCA D4 stuff with an average record brush but looking to jump to a better system.
    From the advice here I think the way I'm going to go is order the spin clean fluid and a MoFi brush/pad. I have a carbon fiber brush nothing fancy and use it pretty much everytime I put a record on. I have been using the ole' magic eraser trick and your right its the best couple bucks I've ever spent towards my TT.

    I think the only reason I haven't jumped to the Spin Clean is the having to do 50 or so records at once. I foresee a day when this will happen, and I agree it's possibly the best option out there for a long term value solution, just wish I could rent one for a weekend!
    Thanks- you guys are Rad, I'm very glad this community exist.

    This has been something I've been meaning to address for a while but today, after waiting for a LONG ass time, I finally get the CC- August and Everything after LPs and they are so noisy from dust and crap right out of the box. My normal cleaning didn't do much to help so I brought it to the forum for advice. I use and really like the Ortofon 2M Red but man does it like to pick up every single pop or crack of dust or high pitched noise and almost spotlight it.
     
  11. Corycm

    Corycm Well-Known Member

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    So used to newbies around here lately, I go into auto pilot.

    One thing to note, is that the SpinClean has a lid. I wouldn't keep it too long but a day or two filled won't hurt anything. You're right though - you don't always wanna do 50 at a time.
     
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  12. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably the most anal cleaner of the bunch. I used a hand held cleaner up until 10 years or so ago, when I bought my first vacuum cleaner. It's the best investment I made in my system.

    A hand held cleaner will clean surface dust, nothing more. It will not and cannot clean the actual grooves.

    My records are silent for the most part- no clicks, pops, stuck grooves etc. Vacuum an album once and you may not have to vacuum it again for years. I don't do anything once vacuumed. Just play it. I'll vacuum again if I get pops (which is your stylus hitting dust/dirt.) Very clean records in good condition can border CDs as far as silence between songs or during quiet passages.

    I'd recommend calling your local record stores. One or more will have a vacuum machine. Take a few favorites and have them cleaned. It's a low cost way to hear the difference. It's not subtle.

    And you are right with your assessment of the Ortofon 2m Red-it accentuates surface noise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  13. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    If I knew of a place where I could use a vacuum cleaning unit and pay for 30 minute sessions, I would totally do that from time to time.
     
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  14. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    They usually charge a couple of dollars per LP.
     
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  15. mcherry

    mcherry Spam Slayer ☠️ & Moderator Extraordinaire

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    Keep in mind the spin clean fluid is meant to be diluted. By a lot. I would not recommend putting that concentrated on a record.

    Also, shhhhh, sometimes I set up my spin clean just to clean one record. No way do I wait until I've got 50.
     
  16. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    That's not cheap, but not offensive either. Especially if they are doing the actual cleaning. But I'm also a little OCD about the idea of dropping off a stack of records for Joe Blow to dumping liquid all over and scrubbing down.
     
  17. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Well-Known Member

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    You can usually wait and watch. Remember, it's not just the use of the machine you are paring for- it's the fluid as well.
     
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  18. displayname

    displayname Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to factor that in. So no fluid, and nothing required from me other than standing by and talking to some guy for a few minutes - that's a fair price. I'd still need to find one in person though. Or just put $5 in a jar every time I have to clean an LP and wait until I can buy my own.
     
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  19. neo_styles

    neo_styles Well-Known Member

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    I know you're looking for something cost-effective, but @HiFi Guy is right; a vacuum-based RCM is going to be one of the most noticeably good upgrades in your system.

    Having been a SpinClean user for years, I treated myself to a Record Doctor V and the 3-step Audio Intelligent method for Christmas and haven't looked back. There was something about the whole wipe-with-a-microfiber thing that always made me think I was putting crud back in after I cleaned a bunch out.

    I also saw the SqueakyClean mentioned above and would wholeheartedly recommend that model, just supplying your own Shop-Vac.

    Either way, there's not much in the way of "cheap" and "effective" when it comes to this. You've got to get down in between the grooves and no brush/solution combo is really as effective as something vacuum-based.
     
  20. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    So reading through the thread, I honestly don't think a different surface brush is going to help and I would definitely say do not use spin clean fluid with out the spin clean. The fluid is designed to keep the debris from you record from floating in the water you are cleaning the record with. If you don't have the bath, you are going to be effectively weighting the debris down into the grooves of your records.

    Also, speaking from experience as I watched my daughter try several brushes, surface brushes all do the same basic thing. As a result, despite what people say about it, the rca brush is just as good if not better than other brushes. If nothing else, it is easier to clean than others.

    If you don't want to save up four records worth of ducks to get the spin clean (that's all it takes, even I can have will power for four records) ask your local shop. Most shops have a cleaning solution and cloth selection. Ask then what they recommend. Spraying and wiping will be more effective than any disc washer system and is probably the cost effective solution you are looking for.


    As for 50 records and the spin clean. I keep the bath set up, no longer than a week at a time. I don't clean more than twenty five with a bath. I clean the records as they come in. I don't get 25 records a week, although that would be awesome. I do have more than a hundred I got in a garage a few weeks back that need lots of tlc. I am Cherry picking the ones that don't have water damage (I'll be getting a new system for that in a month or two) and keep a small stack and make sure I do a healthy five disc session every time. In between small sessions, you rinse the brushes and set them on top of the closed bath. I tried doing big sessions, you'll never clean all your records that way. It is too much of a chore. I have about 700 records currently and have cleaned about three hundred of them. If I pull one out to play that hasn't been cleaned (which is obvious because new inner and an outer) then I do a small session.
     
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