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PostPosted: Feb Wed 16, 2011 8:14 am 
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Location: Woodinville, WA 98072
gramophoneshane wrote:
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No, you must NEVER use water on Diamond discs.


This reminds me of a garage sale I went to about a year ago. I live in the (rainy) Pacific Northwest, and the seller put out many Edison Diamond Discs for sale, laying them out on a piece of plywood. There was a light rain that day, and it ruined most of the discs. I purchased some, but by the time I got home, the surface of most of them were bubbled-up! What a shame!

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Jun Thu 30, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Location: Rochester, Vermont 05767
Cleaning shellac 78s: For more than 20 years I have used a laboratory soap* which has no perfumes, colors, hand lotion, etc. and leaves behind NO residue. After wetting the record with warm water, I put a little of this soap on a wet, deep nap painter's pad from the hardware store and rotate it around and around following the grooves. I rinse the record and do it again and then rinse the record very well. I then lay the wet record on a terry towel and fold the other half of the towel on top of the record and gently pat to absorb most of the water then wipe the towel around the record a few times following the grooves. Then the record goes into an old dish drainer to air dry. It works great!

Washing 78s is the best way to reduce surface noise and keep the stylus from doing further damage to the record by rubbing the collected grit of 50 to 100 years against the groove walls.

*This is a special soap used in chemical and bio labs to properly clean glassware for reuse. One brand is Liqui-Nox.

GrnMountainBill, 40+ year record collector


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Jul Sat 23, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Location: Brandon, Vermont, USA
For over 40 years running a record archive, I have done rather the same but maybe more vigorously, - I was brought up in England and used a proprietary surface cleaner - the clear Dettox variety with no nasty chemicals but with surfactants to get rid of the layers of fingermarks and cigarette tar scum..... (on 78s this is). Now in the US I am experimenting with similar products, the Nture Source 'green' cleaner seems fine. But if the disc is one of the 90% with resin-affixed labels I dunk them in a bowl of tepid water with 15 sprays of the cleaner and a tiny dash of dishwash liquid, then rub round the grooves on a flat glass surface (a glass 'lazy-susan' is ideal, as lightly as the amount of muck allows, then a rinse and into the dishrack for 30 mins, then wipe around with a good kitchen towel. Both cleaning cloth and towel should be rough -surfaced to reach into grooves, but really soft and lint-free (a linty cloth will leave more problems than it solves). I personally don't like to play records wet - my school music teacher used to do that.

In fact the same principle CAN be used for vinyl but with far more care and only if the record surface is really bad.
AVOID: wetting water-glued labels (Edison and private recordings etc), and take great care with MATTE-finish labels. They will survive wetting but red labels may bleed dye and the cloth should NEVER touch a wet matte label or it will rip the surface off.

Even Edisons can in fact be cleaned with water and a little soap which is more effective at removing grease than the recommended alcohol, but only by light dabbing and wiping and avoiding like the plague any break in the surface layer. I've cleaned ove 200 Edison Diamond discs (and indeed Amberols) this way with no problems. It is all a matter of taking great care and gradually perfecting a technique. And of course the trick to really preserve ancient records - never play them on a vintage phonograph..


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Sep Thu 15, 2011 12:41 pm 
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I bought a Discwasher system D3 I think back in 1977. It was very popular. I still have/use it. Also have their stylus cleaner. Not sure what is in the the fluid. Has always seemed to work well. IMO


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sep Thu 29, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Location: Parkville, MD
Herb Utsmelz wrote:
I find it interesting that alcohol was mentioned as a cleaning agent for vinyl records. I remember trying that once, about 1977, to clean a Doobie Brothers LP. The result was an ungodly, abhorrent amount of noise.

That was 30 years ago, and it's possible I didn't get the alcohol-to-water ratio right. It's also possible that I make the same mistakes in my modern-day beverages. :roll:

I do not recommend ever using alcohol on vinyl records. Alcohol is an abrasive substance that rearranges the chemical makeup of vinyl records to the point of distortion especially at the end of the LP, and once you have treated a record using alcohol no amount of cleaning with a milder substance will remove the damage done to record grooves by the alcohol. Stick with water (distilled preferrably) and very small amounts of mild dish detergent only if the record is really dirty. If it is not really dirty, water should do the trick. Remember, water evaporates and doesn't leave a film behind like other liquid cleaners do.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Nov Tue 15, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Good Day to All! I hope you're enjoying a pleasant one.

I've been told that the record particles and crap get pushed into the groove... thus the reason for reverse cleaning... cleaning in the opposite direction of needle play. I believe that proper cleaning depends on the dirtiness of your 78s. I've got boxes of truly filthy 78s... I like Dawn best for grease and grime. De-Solv-It for wax gum goop etc... (better than Goo Gone)... it's like Magic... I used it to clean gum, paint, and candle wax off of records that would normally have ended up in the trash... http://www.dtep.com/de-solv-it.htm (I've found it at: Walmart, True Value Hardware stores, and, of course, online).

Resolve is a great cleaner and very safe... you can get a generic version dirt cheap at Family Dollar ("Advanced Formula Carpet Cleaner")... It says "Oxy" on the front and also it says "Protects with JMI Soil & Stain Repellant"... I have no ide what that is but it doesn't seem to harm the records... it may protect them from future dirtiness... doesn't leave your records looking dull, chalky, and/or pasty... I hate that... and the records sound great... Try It!!!

I'll used Dawn, Fabuloso, and other dishwasher or laundry detergents for heavier dutier cleaning... mostly baths and soaks... they don't leave residues and rinse easy... but they sometimes leave the records looking crappy... I'll finish the record with Resolve or that Family Dollar Equivalent...and Rinse, Rinse, Rinse... The records then look and play great. Sometimes I'll soak a record in a bath of whatever... just for a minute or so... then clean around the label with a sponge or microfiber... then rinse and quickly dry thoroughly.

Here's an important point... CLEAN FAST! RINSE FAST! DRY FAST. That's the Key! You could even hose down your machine with a pressure washer if you could then Rinse It Completely... and Dry It Completely... Very Fast... I was in the computer repair business many years ago... Tech Manager / Senior Tech... I literally have hose blasted some truly filthy disgusting systems... but dryed them out real quick with heat blowers... leaving them like brand new... but always gave my boss heart palpitations... I've done the same with other electronics... cell phones that went thru the washing machine for instance... and just recently... flood damaged stuff from a flood we just had here in Owego, NY. FAST, FAST, FAST. Get a Curly Top Blower or equivalent... you'll love it.

I use a very absorbent, cheap, cotten, terry cloth towel, like you find at a bar, hospital, or hotel... then a microfiber towel to get the remaining water out of the grooves... and then a Curly Top Blow Dryer (wide face) to dry the records quickly... that way the labels don't get messed up... and the process eliminates the possibility of water spots/stains ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP4d__6H6OU )

Cheap plain old cellulose sponge, or Microfiber cloths, get into the grooves nicely without scratching off the record material... a very soft micro-tip toothbrush, stencil brush, (or any not too soft / not too firm brush). Natural Sea Sponge I believe is too scratchy. You can use a brush on the tone arm after your records get cleaned. I won't use the tone arm brush on a dirty record, rather, I'll first play the record over and over to loosen up and/or dig out the grooves a bit before cleaning. I go through a lot of needles... but I get the needles cheap so I don't mind. A good Idea is to have a Cleaning Machine... I'm setting up a portable record player, an RCA SES-7 for the purpose of cleaning records... and keeping my Telefunken Verdi mostly for playback.

No matter what... when you play and/or clean a record... some of the record material is going to be removed... even if it's a micro or nano layer... it can't be helped... but you can do your best to keep the "track" of the grooves smooth and clean... like smooth curved trails for your needle to run on... instead of rocky, gravely ones. Envision a needle running along the inside of a smoothe, clean, shiny, groove... ideally, that's what you want.

I don't use Alcohol or any real petroleum products because I believe they do eat up the shellac too much... taking a micro layer off maybe... and they make the records look like crap... that's gotta mean bad. My first try with alcohol... I tossed that test record in the garbage. My job is in the nature of Hotel and Facility Maintenance... I'm familiar with a million types of cleaners, goops, all sorts of cleaning tools... etc... I'm sure you can clean up these old records good without wrecking the "material" of the record, or the labels... preserving... and/or improving... the quality of the sound and/or protecting the record from future dirt/crap degradation.

After a while you can get a real "Process" going on... a groove of your own... like an assembly line rhythm... I usually find that I can get a record cleaned and ready to play... just before or when the previous cleaned record finishes playing... but it really depends on the dirtiness of a record.

Get a bunch of dirty records cheap at a thrift store or classified ad... I got about a thousand records, mostly real dirty, from Craigslist for $20 bucks... then you can experiment with them... just have a lot of spare needles... I think it's the cracks in the records that wreck the needles the most.

Have Fun... whatever you do.

John B.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Nov Tue 15, 2011 8:17 pm 
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Interesting suggestions on cleaning products. I have never tried several of them.

As I said in a previous post some time ago, I am very suspicious of cleaners that smell good and/or are good for your hands. That says to me- additives that are left behind for the human nose or skin. That is why I have been using “laboratory” cleaning liquid that is made to clean labware like test tubes, flasks, and beakers that must be absolutely clean lest an experiment would be ruined by unwanted residue left behind by lesser cleaners.

Also, I don't know of a better applicator than a long-knap painter's pad. They are very, very soft, hold the soapy water well, and get down to the bottom of the record grooves. And they are cheap and available at any hardware store.

So there are my 2-cents thrown onto the table of this discussion again.

Best Regards, Green Mountain Bill
Record collector since 1966


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Nov Tue 15, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Green Mountain Bill wrote:
I
Also, I don't know of a better applicator than a long-knap painter's pad. They are very, very soft, hold the soapy water well, and get down to the bottom of the record grooves. And they are cheap and available at any hardware store. Best Regards, Green Mountain Bill
Record collector since 1966


Sounds like great advice... I'm going to pick up some of those pads today!

I guess my stuff is geared toward the products that are readily available or are already stocked within a person's home... what do you mean specifically by "laboratory" cleaning products... what are the names of these products, and where can you get them, are they readily available... what's the cost, how are they used... should I use latex gloves?

I don't think there's any harm in using non-lab products... I'm pretty sure that rinsing and drying real good will eliminate any residuals... and any residuals that are left behind won't be any more worse or plentiful than the skin, foreign particles, and oils that come off your hands... not to mention the particles, dust, pet hair and dander... and other whatever that gets on them from the sleeves, storage containers, and playing equipment... after all... we're not making medicine, conducting top secret experiments, or cleaning surgical equipment... just playing records.

I believe it's the Ear Test that matters most... if they sound better after cleaning... and don't melt down or disinetegrate... then you're alright... and what's so bad about your records having a pretty scent to them... it sure beats the stink of stale vintage mildew.

I'm even wondering if maybe a spray or two of Scotchguard or PTFE/Teflon wouldn't hurt 'em. I'm going to try it... not on my favorite Tino Rossi records of course, but maybe on some of them polkas that I find too many of in my boxes.

John B. --- Record Collector since... oh... about 2 or 3 months ago... August 2011.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Nov Tue 15, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Location: Rochester, Vermont 05767
Liquinox is the stuff I am currently using. The bottle I have has lasted 3 years so I don't know where to buy it now except that my present bottle was purchased via the Internet after a search for it. I once bought a bottle of it on eBay and paid much less than the lowest cost online because someone had a case of it and didn't have a use for it. It is not hard to find on the Internet.

I do worry about the long-term consequences of using various cleaning products on shellac records. I want my records to outlive me and be in good condition for the next owner too and while I am no chemist, solvents work because they dissolve other substances and I believe that not leaving any traces of them behind to reside in the grooves in perpetuity is a laudable goal. I have seen wax cylinder for sale at phonograph shows that had been sprayed with Amor All and look fantastic- better than new. But what will be the consequence of putting that chemical soup on a hundred-year-old wax recording? I sure wouldn’t buy one that had been thus treated.

So it with that in mind that I use the laboratory soap with my records, a tip that I read long-ago published by someone at the Library of Congress, historic recordings division.

Regards, Green Mountain Bill


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Nov Wed 16, 2011 12:10 am 
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You're Right! Looks like Thee Stuff...

Here it is on Ebay...

Liqui-Nox http://www.ebay.com/itm/Alconox-1201-Li ... 1582wt_902

...$48.00 for a gallon but it's concentrated... and will probably last a lifetime or two...

...more http://www.2spi.com/catalog/supp/liqui-nox.php

Quart Size http://sargentwelch.com/product.asp?pn= ... erralID=NA

...a Google search will get you more...

Thanks for informing me of such a great product to add to my collection.

John B.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Nov Wed 30, 2011 4:27 am 
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Good Day to All!

Best Price I can find online for a Quart of Liqui-Nox is $15.95 + $8.00 Shipping... Total $23.95... can anyone find better?

Thanks,

John B.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Dec Wed 07, 2011 8:03 am 
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Assuming the problem is just dust and not some sort of gunk, I've found that a good way to clean 78s is just to play them a couple of times with a fibre (bamboo) needle. If you don't have a brush on your tonearm, just keep a gentle brush or a soft, dry sponge or microfiber cloth handy. Watch the dust come up out of the grooves when you play, then wipe it away! Plus, you get to listen to music while you do it ;)


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Dec Wed 07, 2011 2:20 pm 
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DaMadFiddler wrote:
Assuming the problem is just dust and not some sort of gunk, I've found that a good way to clean 78s is just to play them a couple of times with a fibre (bamboo) needle. If you don't have a brush on your tonearm, just keep a gentle brush or a soft, dry sponge or microfiber cloth handy. Watch the dust come up out of the grooves when you play, then wipe it away! Plus, you get to listen to music while you do it ;)


Good Day! I don't think I can get a "fibre (bamboo) needle for any of my players... (...can I?)... I do have a tone arm brush (goat hair)...

I've been... little by very little... going through boxes of 78s that I purchased this past summer... and they're all in various states of dirtiness (word?)... some, like you suggest, I'll play several times and clean the brush for each play... but I like the idea of the microfiber cloth... I like the microfiber... it's very soft and I believe it does a good job of getting into the grooves without scratching things.

What do you think about making a small paint brush sized Microfiber Wand (patent pending... kidding!)... using a a small artists paint brush hande... something in the nature of one of those microfiber dust mops... something you can change the microfiber material on... and "dust mopping" your dirty records as they play

I'm also thinking about setting up a portable record player for cleaning records... I have a 1959 RCA SES-7 that I'm going to try after I put it all back together. What do you think about using one of them old 78 only small portable record players... like they had for children... with the big nail head like needles for digging out the grooves on some of the more dirtier records.

Like I said... I have a lot of dirty records and I have to treat them individually depending on how filthy they are... or what's attached to them (wax, paint, etc...). I don't want to use my favorite record player as a record restoration machine. I've been able to bring to new life some really nasty looking records. I'm always looking for new ways, and methods, and ideas about, cleaning them old dirty grooves.

I just plucked an old Silvertone single sided 78 out of one of my magic boxes... I think it's from 1909... it says on it... "The Rosary", has the number 19399 on it... Tenor Solo, sung by Henry Burr Orchestra Accompaniment... it's a beautiful yet somewhat dirty label and the grooves look evenly embedded with... uhhh... dirt... I'm not sure yet how I'm going to treat this one... but I'd like to do a good job... it's over a hundred years old! ...I'm not sure what kind of music is on it, but I think it deserves a new life whatever the case may be... just for having survived so long... what's up with these single sided records anyway?

Thanks for your suggestions, ideas, advice, and know-how.

John B.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Dec Wed 07, 2011 6:32 pm 
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Oh, was the type of player mentioned at some point? If so, my bad for not reading the thread carefully enough.

Fibre needles are for acoustic phonographs (Victrolas and the like), so if you're using an electric model, that's not really an option.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Jan Thu 12, 2012 12:52 pm 
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Well i have found the information here very interesting, so i tried cleaning a couple of lps with soap and warm water, let it dry off
on its own.
What a difference, less pops and crackles and the tracks sound clearer, thankyou.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Feb Thu 09, 2012 7:00 am 
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Location: Lagrangeville New York 12540
I looked at the nitty gritty record cleaner which sounded pretty good but even the cheaper version that you have to crank by hand is expensive. Are they all that they are cracked up to be thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Feb Thu 09, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Timmy1 wrote:
I looked at the nitty gritty record cleaner which sounded pretty good but even the cheaper version that you have to crank by hand is expensive. Are they all that they are cracked up to be thanks.


If I was going to buy a gadget... I think I'd get this thing... as per Amazon...

Spin-Clean Record Washer MKII Complete System

...it looks like more Fun... but really... I think... you don't need no stinking gadget!

I'd do what I do as stated above as far as the elbow work is involved with microfibre towels and rags... and drying them and all that... but with Liqui-Nox as the cleaing solution, if you want to be uber-safe, and if you don't mind the $24/$25 dollar price tag (as also stated above) and don't forget De-Solv-It for that really nasty stuff... I've used it to take candle wax off of old 78's with no problems... just squeaky clean, good looking, better sounding records.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 1:50 pm 
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I found a site which has a cheaper Nitty Gritty which he modified which uses your own canister vaccume cleaner
http://www.kabusa.com/ev1.htm


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 Post subject: Re: How to Clean Grooves
PostPosted: May Tue 15, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Maybe I'm just not enlightened, but I use the washcloth in the bathtub, the nearby soap and whatever dry terry towel is available. All of my shellac 78's are in albums though. Play them all on a restored Motorola 1947 WR-8 wireless phonograph (Thanx West-Tech Services and VOM!)-Gearhead


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