Have you tried the disc doctor's miracle record cleaner? It works very well for me.
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If the fingerprint is not cleaned right away, the skin oils eventually etch the fingerprint into the vinyl. So, in other words, you can't clean it off because what you are really looking at is vinyl that is now gone (in the shape of a fingerprint).
This is my understanding. If somebody can refute it, I've got plenty of used records that could benefit...
My experience hasn't shown that the oil from a fingerprint would cause permanent damage to a record.
for stubborn fingerprints I use 50/50 of non-ammonia glass cleanser/distilled water brushed into the record followed by a steam rinse with a Perfection steamer. Follow this with a steam cleaning as per the steam cleaning thread.
Your record will now be free of fingerprints and sound like new.
I had a terrible issue where all my records got wet and the covers were fused together by mold. After lots of trial an error the thing that worked for me and worked perfectly was glass cleaner (non amonia as noted above). Glass Plus or something similar I believe. It took everything off including the fingerprints and left the albums spotless as they have never been before. Absolutly worked like a charm. Note; All my albums are from late 60's on up which seem to have a softer vinyl than the old albums from eons ago. So I can't vouch for records from the 20's, 30's etc.
Good luck, John
I buy used records, some dollar bins which can have copius fingerprints.
I am new to this type of cleaning, but luckily I started out with something that works well: Mobile Fidelity Super Deep Cleaner. I use a Mofi Record cleaning brush for applying and lightly wiping - I keep one dedicated for dirty records. Usually 2 or 3 washes (the last with their other cleaner: Super Wash) gives me a fingerprint-less record. I bet someones homebrew version of the cleaner would work just as well.
I also use a manual KAB vacuum cleaning machine to remove the cleaning solution. Works for me.
I think it's also possible that some of us have more acidic skin oils than others. I worked in a Mercedes Benz dealership many years ago and I noticed that certain customers would have steering wheels that were absolutely worn smooth, all texture was erased from the plastic. Now these were white collar types, not farm workers with dirt and grit on their hands that could do this. This was definitely not a systemic problem with Benz plastic, only happened with a very few individuals. I also have bought electric guitars in the past that had finger prints etched into the chrome plating on bridges and other parts. So some of us just seem to be able to damage things more than others with our skin oils. I wonder if dermatologists have made any note of this or if this is just anecdotal.
Good point Photon46!
I have super acidic oils and didn't even think about it when handling vinyl. But I always hold by the edges with a single finger -almost dropped one yesterday. Finger prints I am usually cleaning are those already on used records and just a few of mine, I guess.
Almandog, I think you may have posted a response to this tread over in the 'Well recorded..." thread?
I think it may be a chemical reaction of the oil from our fingers to the cleaning agents. When I clean an old used album of finger prints it looks really good but after playing it I see parts of a finger print on the lead in groove and never seem to get rid of them even after cleaning again. Maybe we should use gloves when cleaning till all the cleaning solution has evaporated. I use a VPI 16.5 and it vacumes away the liquid but is it really totally dry?
Isopropyl alcohol removes just about anything and does not leave residue, like sometimes ethyl alcohol. Either one, 70% or undiluted will do.
Alcohol is benign enough at some point being used in some experimental systems as a damping fluid (a brush oozing alcohol was leading the stilus).
Use a cotton ball, lightly soaked. Make sure it is fresh out of a bag, with no dust.
I think it’s also possible that some of us have more acidic skin oils than othersTrue. Often caused by diet, thus reversible. There are reasons bigger than fingerprints-on-records to lower your acidity: the body should be mildly alkaline for peak health.
But back to fingerprints-on-records — I have an old friend who says he’s an ’audiophile; sure has an audiophile system. But every time he handles a record, it’s with full thumb and two fingers, on both sides at once. And he has a great record collection! I keep telling him but he won’t change, drives me nuts to watch.
I put my thumb on the edge, and two fingers under the label. Nothing touches the grooves except the stylus.
I have to say I had never heard of using glass cleaner for fingerprints but I am usually game for anything so gave it a whirl this morning on three older albums that have had heavy prints on them since I got them.
I was very pleasantly surprised to see them ALL be removed, and a load of crud as well that normal cleaning had not removed.
Yes maybe my cleaning techniques need work but nothing has ever touched finger prints in the past so this gets my thumbs up!