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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Apr Sun 26, 2020 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 17, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 14404
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
I've been collecting 78's since I was about 12. I still love how they look and the fast background hiss just sounds right with vintage jazz. I don't care what the value is. I still grab good common one's any chance I get. I do miss the days when every antique shop and mall had boxes of them. Nowadays I rarely see them. Once I was told by a big record collector/seller that whenever he gets a large collection, he goes through the 78's, picks out a few and the biggest percentage go straight into the dumpster! The one good thing is that even the common stuff, Miller on Bluebird, James on Columbia, Dorsey on Victor, will be much less common than ever in the future and likely will be worth a few bucks!
Having said that, I stack them near the sink, use lukewarm water, wipe with a sudsy dish-soap paper-towel, rinse with another paper-towel, lay the record on a dry dish-cloth, and lightly buff with another paper-towel. I use no clever techniques. It's not necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 28, 2020 12:07 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 24, 2013 10:08 pm
Posts: 1489
Location: Highland & Livonia, MI
I haven't yet done so, but I think a superior way to clean records is with an ultrasonic cleaner. I have a number of them at work, which I use to clean radio parts.


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PostPosted: May Sun 17, 2020 6:50 am 
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Joined: Oct Mon 05, 2009 10:14 am
Posts: 419
78s are indeed goregous!!!!!!!

I love every one of mine!!


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 17, 2020 3:49 am 
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Joined: Sep Sun 15, 2019 9:25 pm
Posts: 202
Location: Kingsport, Tn
Had wax drip on one of my favorite 78's. Apple Blossom Wedding, anyone have an idea how to get wax off shellac safely? I scraped most off with my nail, but of course it's still in the grooves. Haven't played it yet. I'm so upset this happened!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 17, 2020 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Nov Mon 05, 2007 11:08 pm
Posts: 3158
Location: Calgary Alberta
Clean them with wood glue YES I said wood glue.
I tried it on a couple of 78s and it worked fine.
Don't get glue on the lable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gyvipBs6Vs

Dan in Calgary


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Feb Thu 18, 2021 5:50 am 
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Joined: Feb Wed 10, 2021 12:08 am
Posts: 5
Kestas wrote:
I haven't yet done so, but I think a superior way to clean records is with an ultrasonic cleaner. I have a number of them at work, which I use to clean radio parts.


For several years now I have been cleaning vinyl records in an ultrasonic tank with a mixture of distilled water-alcohol-tergitol-hepastat, with excellent success. I follow the ultrasonic cleaning with vacuuming the records.
Obviously the above-mentioned cleaning mixture, containing alcohol, isn't suitable for shellac. I'm very new to the 78 rpm listening, having bought about a dozen old'n'dirty records in antique malls. I cleaned a couple of these 78 rpm records ultrasonically, using a mixture of distilled water and tergitol detergent, followed by vacuuming them. After playing the records I looked with a magnifier at the 3-mil stylus and was very surprised to see A LOT of grey dirt covering the stylus. I thought I'd cleaned the records thoroughly...the ultrasonic should've loosened the dirt off the records' surfaces. I wonder if I should use a different cleaning solution...


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 16, 2021 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sat 02, 2021 12:50 am
Posts: 128
Location: Lady Lake, Fl 32159
I heard that using witch-hazel works. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Apr Fri 16, 2021 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 01, 2020 7:22 pm
Posts: 327
Get yourself a SpinClean and use hot distilled water with the supplied solution. If the records are really dirty, you might have to run them through 2 or 3 times. The hot water will help soften and/or dissolve and remove finger grease, pop, beer etc., and the agent in the cleaning solution will cause all the crap you remove to fall to the bottom of the basin.

I use a microwave to heat just over 2 cups of distilled de-ionized water for 2 minutes until you can still put a finger in it, but it's uncomfortable...

I've used a lot of different ultrasonic cleaners in my career, and I'd not risk cavitation damage to a valuable record by exposing it to ultrasonic cleaning...YMMV...


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Jul Sun 11, 2021 12:25 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 05, 2021 5:28 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Kyle, Tx
Gary Tayman wrote:
Seems we get a lot of threads about record cleaning, but that's okay as it's good advice.

Probably the best thing to use for shellac 78's is mild soap and water. Leave it at that. If the record is vinyl I've had good luck with Windex -- but -- be careful. Use real Windex -- not Glass Plus or some other brand. Amway has a concentrated glass cleaner that, well, works well on glass but will eat vinyl. And remember, Windex is NOT good for 78's, as the ammonia in it can hurt the shellac.

Do you have any Edison Diamond Disks? These are the 80 rpm records that are 1/4" thick. These are celluloid over a fiber base. DON'T use water on these, DO use alcohol on them and try to find a pure alcohol -- not rubbing alcohol which is 70%, and 30% water.

Remember, THIN records use water, don't use alcohol. THICK records use alcohol, don't use water.

There's another method that will probably draw some flack, but I know I'm not the only one who has had success with it. Pledge furniture polish. If you've got a record (either shellac or vinyl) that's really noisy and just won't come clean with the above methods, this really crappy trick DOES work sometimes. I've had a few records that sounded so bad I was ready to toss them -- and this REALLY worked! Spray the furniture polish onto the record and wipe it down. Then play the record -- no, not with your top-of-the-line Grado cartridge with nude hyper-elliptical whatever, but with a round needle with a little heavier tracking. More than likely you'll get 30 seconds into the record and the needle will get all gunked up and will start skipping. Lift it, gently clean the needle. Play a little more and do it again -- until the record has been played through. Play it a second and third time, and yes -- you'll still be pulling the Pledge out of the grooves and cleaning the needle. But it pulls out the dirt with it. Yes, some will nit-pick and say the dirt disturbs the molecular structure of -- yada yada, but I can see no harm in doing this to any record that would otherwise be tossed. I've salvaged several this way.


Well, this pledge idea really works. I have used Spin-Clean, distilled water with dawn soap, and some records with glue (glue works but darn the wait time sucks). So I tried pledge and it made one of my 78 records sound much better, so I did all 24 in my 1100 Wurlitzer jukebox! Even the records that I didn't need to be cleaned, the sounds brighter!

Added bonus, they look better spinning too!

Side note, I have played each of the records 3 times and used "can of air" to push anything coming out of the groves off the needle / record.

_________________
Richard
Kyle, Texas - USA


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning 78 RPM records?
PostPosted: Aug Tue 17, 2021 6:43 am 
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Joined: Apr Sun 08, 2007 6:47 am
Posts: 4963
Location: British Columbia
decojoe67 wrote:
Once I was told by a big record collector/seller that whenever he gets a large collection, he goes through the 78's, picks out a few and the biggest percentage go straight into the dumpster! .


He may be speaking figuratively, since dumping anything costs money these days it's cheaper just to give them away, even if it means leaving a box at the curb. There are also dumpster divers, I've even done so from time to time, though it's usually L.Ps or books I find. I see 78s given away fairly regularly on C.L, usually boxes of them at a time. This doesn't mean they are jazz records, a lot are boring dance, and gospel ones that are so square that it's a wonder you can play them.
In terms of cleaning them washing them with dish soap usually works for me, followed by a rinse in hot water, and drip drying. I think the market for 78s is somewhat limited, like reel to reel taps, and 8 tracks most people don't have the playback equipment anymore.
Regards
Arran


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