How often do you folks vacuum clean your albums?

To all you vinyl people out there: I am curious to know, after you have cleaned an old album, then put it on your vacuum machine (I am using a VPI unit), how often do you reclean it with your vacuum cleaner? I have heard answers from "every time I play it", to "only once, then just a carbon brush".

What I usually do is lay all my lps down on the rug. Then I take out the Kirby vacuum and give them a good dusting,this is done once every week.
only once if it is properly cleaned the first time.
Dear Rsasso: +++++ " "only once, then just a carbon brush". +++++

This is what works for me, of course that if I think that one LP needs to clean again ( two-three times ) over the time then I do it. Remember that the best " clean-machine " is the cartridge stylus so try to mantain your cartridge stylus ( all the time ) in pristine-clean condition.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Schipo- If you think the Kirby is good, you should "hear" my cryo-d Electrolux with a mylar belt and the full battery mod ;~)
Just by coincidence, yesterday, I ordered a Dyson with the new HP inspired direct drive. The wheels are an upgrade to his stock wheels, the HRxW's. I went with the optional Shunyata 35 foot VXE cord that plugs into a RG battery powered power house. I was informed I'll probably need a dedicated outlet, so today I've been working with my Square D representative. Can't wait to get the records laid out on the carpet -- 150 will probably be cleaned in 5 minutes. Probably need a zerostat gun afterwards.
Some of you are clearly not taking this question seriously

I've often wondered if it might be a good idea to clean a record just after playing it? My thought was that the cartridge stylus may loosen up dirt and particles that didn't get removed during the first cleaning.
Good or bad idea?


Tom- Lets see if we can get the guy with the scanning EM to take pix of a record before and after playing to see if that's true.
I have found that for used records what works for me is to give them a good cleaning, play a few times, then give them a light cleaning. Some get a third cleaning. I always use my DIY vacuum RCM. Mine is based on a HOOVER for those keeping score. :-) The other part to cleaning records, and keeping them clean, is to keep the stylus clean. I've gotten in the habit of cleaning my stylus after each LP side with a piece of Magic Eraser.
To Tom,

That was sort of what I was getting at; after a good cleaning, you would think that several plays may result in some microdust in the grooves, or loosen groove dirt, so that another cleaning might add some benefit
I have gone about 3 years now since hitting all mine.. And most albums I have played around 10 times at least in the main rotation which just sound better each time its played and never show signs of needing a cleaning physically or sonically.. But I did originally clean them on a VPI 16.5 with RR Superwash, than hit with distilled water, and then stored in only anti static very thin, lightweight, no paper particle, sleeves, mostly all made by mobile fidelity.. never need anything again accept maybe a quick shot once in a while from these Milty guns and a carbon brush.

And yes just keep your stylus clean after each play resulting in digging up any small stuff that may have stuck to the surface.. 99% of the time I would not know I am not listening to a CD, just because they make no noise..
Once cleaned I think purley careful storage and maintenance will prevent from ever needing a wet clean or vacuum again.
Dear Tom: It seems tome a good idea but remember that micro-dust it will be always present through the inside plastic " box " that hold the record. It is almost impossible to avoid record micro-contamination and I'm not of the idea to clean often the LP that could suffer some kind of damage through those often clean times.

I think that other that that first time to clean it we have to make a clean machine way only when we think it need it: because some ind of distortions, noises or any other thing that are not normal.

What Swamwalker post will be interesting to see it specially if we can/could see it through 3-4 different kind of music records and through 3-4 different kind/shape stylus cartridges.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I remember a thread a year or so ago, in which a 'Goner said he cleaned records every time before playing. I can't remember any response on this forum, leaving me more astounded. Phrases like Obsessive Compulsive, "Get a Life", seem to come to mind. It may be what we should all do, but being of a lazy disposition, I get out my trusty Moth cleaner, when there are more cracks, clicks and pops, than music. It works for me.
Since this appears to be a serious discussion, I would like asking about the Vinyl media-material itself, and if it is then true, that Vinyl over time leeches oils to its surface, thus requiring at some point in the future cleaning again, regardless of even being played?

I have been told by somebody more knowledgeable than I that one cause of mold contaminants on LP's is due to these oils.

This of course is something all together different than what's being discussed, such as "microdust" caused by the Stylus from successive plays, or just plain recontamination from dust-mishandling, etc. Mark
Hmm... I have to clean a record first before I put it on a VPI machine? I would have hoped the VPI machine could do all the cleaning for me, considering how much it costs!

Anyway, I rarely buy LP's in such condition that they would be in need of a vacuum cleaner, but if I did it would be only once.
>>I would have hoped the VPI machine could do all the cleaning for me, considering how much it costs!<<

Don't confuse convenience with performance.

Even the overpriced Monks and Loricraft machines can't do the job as well as manual cleaning.

My collection is testimony to that.
I do manual cleaning of my LP's, with the assistance of the VPI 16.5. It's just there to rotate and vacuum for me. AI's three step proccess with seperate brushes and nozzles for each step. The results are pretty amazing. Yes, a RCM is a costly investment (not nearly as much as the turntables many have here) but I consider it safer then try to use towels, a sink, and a dishdrainer.

I have a VPI machine, yeah it was expensive (and loud), but I can't imagine being without one. Whether machine or DYI, people shouldn't be allowed to play used valuable records unless they have one. It's almost as irresponsible as unsafe sex.
To Chris 383,
I think you will find that probably the majority of people clean a used album before putting it on their VPI machine. Mainly, this is going to keep those velvet pads on the suction tube cleaner a lot longer, and prevent the need to replace them for a much longer time.
Let me see if I've got this right: you spend $600 on a record cleaner and have to clean the records in the sink before using it?
On only my finest albums I use a something that I found at Home Depot. A very low grit wet sandpaper. The finest you can get. You must use ditilled water in order ot prevent water spots. The Dishwasher works good pretty good too because you can clean a lot at once. But you must remove the albums before the heat/dry cycle in order to prevent warpage and you have to use a good soap, something you wuld use to clean you finst Reidel Wine Glasses.
We typically wet clean/vac one time. CF brush before and after each play. Clean stylus properly after each side (very important, especially with modern styli).

Before we started using the new AIVS solutions I used to be able to dredge up a line of fluff after each play, presumably stuff not removed by the cleaning but loosened by the stylus. As often as not we'd have to reclean.

Since switching to AIVS fluids last summer that annoying problem has (nearly) disappeared. On 90% of LP's a post-play CF brushing dredges up - nothing. No line of dust to swipe off the record.

Aside from the sonic improvements, this also seems like evidence that a good wet cleaning/vacuuming with effective fluids need only be done once.

A small percentage of old, oft-played records does respond to repeat cleanings. It's likely that many passing styli over the years (not mine) ground up stuff and deposited against the vinyl walls, making it very difficult to remove. We don't buy obviously soiled records so we don't get this very often, but it does happen from time to time.
To Kitch 29,

It is a whole lot like every woman I ever had in my life telling me I have to wash off the dish before putting it in the dishwasher.
Rsasso: Great discussion. As for me I steam clean & use a RCM . As long as my LPs are stored with new inserts & clear vinyl covers a cleaning can last years with a few sweeps of a anti-static brush before playback. You should consider the addition of steaming to the cleaning process. Big difference. All the best
Well it wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of OCD. I VPI before every 3rd play and give them a Discwasher wipe and static gun shot immediatly after they come off the turntable. Stylus gets a cleaning after every evenings session is done.
I clean with a 1 hp shop-vac, a slot in the crevice tool surrounded by paint pad. First RRL super deep and then super wash for a rinse. Dry enough to play after a few revolutions. Into a new plastic lined paper sleeve.

Does a great job, lots quieter after the cleaning.

Use a Mobile Fidelity felt pad before every play and a magic eraser on the stylus after 3 or 4 sides.

Even right after a cleaning and brushing, if i shine a flashlight on ther ecord spinning, I can see lots of light reflected by dust. Aargh. tempted to try that 100 buck stainless steel brush from mapleshade. I've tried the Zero stat and was never impressed.
Kitch, have you tried not using the carbon fiber brush? It's kind of like using a broom without a dust pan. Or play a few seconds of the record then swipe the record with the brush and replay to see the difference. It would really be best to do this with a record that hasn't been brushed for a longtime, a few months. People that know me well know my disdain for carbon fiber brushes.
Me too. The MF is a felt pad, not a brush. Before and after looks with the flashlight show about 80% of the light-reflecting specs gone after a 'felting'.

Funny thing, tho', almost nothing accumulates on the stylus. Where does all that schmutz go?
There has been a lot of emphasis above about keeping the STYLUS clean as even more important than cleaning the record. I use an Onzow Zero pad before each side of an album, then some Stylast stylus treatment.
Two questions: what do you think of that regimen (expensive)? what do you think about dipping the stylus on some Magic Eraser for cleaning (very cheap)??
I tried the Disc Doctor manual system. I heard absolute no reduction in surface noise. Perhaps you need a vacuum to actually extract the dirt and contaminents from the record.

Has anyone tried both (manual and vacuum)?

BTW, it's kind of freaky how the fluid grabs on to the vinyl. I would have expected a vast improvement.
Rsacco : Do not forget the suggestion to steam clean LPs. That alone will change the sonic landscape , you'll never go back and for good reason.
How do you steam clean an album??
Rsasso : Please review the Deep Steam Cleaning thread detailed below. Lots of invaluable information regarding the Steam Cleaning Method. Any other "Q's" send them.