Benefits of Proper Vinyl Record Cleaning.....
I first posted this in Audiogon in 2002.
Reposting for the benefit of the audio community.
Benefits of Proper Vinyl Record Cleaning
This web site has been an excellent source of information and knowledge sharing for audiophile’s worldwide. This analog thread has been created as a product testimonial and instructional guideline based upon my personal experience in cleaning vinyl. I started researching this subject approximately a year ago. Please keep in mind this thread is for the budget minded, and requires a time commitment as well as patience. I ultimately purchased a record cleaning system called “The Disc Doctor” (firstname.lastname@example.org), along with a manual operated vacuum machine called “The Record Doctor II” from Audio Advisor. The instructions for both products are easy to follow and understand. Do not utilize the needle bearing provided with the vacuum machine, it does not function as advertised. Following is the procedure I followed/developed for cleaning my collection of vinyl. Patience is required. It took me 16 hours to clean 105 albums, or 210 sides.
Materials required: Card table, one gallon distilled water, two stainless steel cereal sized bowls with folded over lip, two white terry cloth bath towels with no fabric softener used during laundering, cleaning solution, vacuum machine, new rice paper anti-static record sleeves.
Process sequence: Place one towel onto table. Place vacuum machine on towel on the right side. Fill one stainless bowl half way with distilled water. Add four ounces of cleaning solution to two ounces of distilled water into other bowl. Place both bowls in front of vacuum machine. Place both cleaning pads in front of bowls. Place record on towel, to the left. Dip one pad into cleaning solution; gently scrap on lip of bowl to remove excess. Place pad onto record, and under its own weight, make one revolution. Then in an arc, following the radius of the record, gently sweep the cleaning pad back and forth in approx. 90-degree increments. Perform the “scrubbing” procedure for three revolutions. Place cleaning pad in cleaning solution bowl. Place second towel on record and pat dry only. Dip second cleaning pad into bowl of distilled water, and gently scrap off excess on bowl lip. Follow same procedure as cleaning. Place pad into water bowl. Place record onto vacuum machine, wet side down, per instructions. Four slow revolutions are sufficient to remove all spent solution. Repeat procedure to the other side. Once completed, place record into a new sleeve, and return to its cover. After about 15 to 20 record cleanings, replace both spent solutions with fresh solutions. Its best to call it a day after 30/40 record cleanings.
Results: You will be astounded by the results! Over 95% of ticks and pops will be removed. All frequency ranges will drastically improve. You will be shocked at the new sound quality and very, very pleased. It is well worth your time and effort to perform this cleaning procedure. Note: This procedure will not repair damaged vinyl. Manufacturing defects will not be erased. Good news: This is a one shot process. Future cleaning is not required. Just gently brush record one revolution with dry carbon fiber brush; Hunt makes a nice one.
Total investment: $ 150.00. Monies well spent.