The MF cloth I use (3M I suspect) on my eye glasses and CD's has next to zero pile and will not reach into the business area of vinyl/LP grooves.
What type/brand of MF cloth are you using?
What type/brand of MF cloth are you using?
I'm using the HomeTex brand, claiming 90,000 fibers per square inch. Mine hands are rough due to the dry weather in Colorado and these cloths actually grab hold of my skin. At Sam's I got 25, 12"X12" towels for under $10 (sorry, I forgot to pay attention to that, I just remember that it seemed like a really good deal).
Here's how I've modified my pre-play routine:
I use the ZeroStat to remove static, then clean the carbon fiber brush with a micro fiber cloth to remove residue from prior cleans, then I clean the record with the carbon fiber removing any visible loose pieces. Finally, I roll the micro fiber cloth and use the thick edge of the roll to clean the record again. This goes pretty quick and the records sound so good that I'm thinking that I don't need to go thru the Disc Doctor process. I'll experiment with that a little to see if there are further gains to be had.
If trying a microfiber, first "scrub" only the smooth, shiny dead wax area of a pristine record that you don't care too much about. If cleaning swirls show up then the rag is not suitable for use. I have tried a couple of different ones and found they both were very rough on the vinyl, but this was a few years ago and the fibers may be different now.
re: carbon fiber brushes - they are not adequate alone, they "herd" the dirt really well to one location but cannot pick it all up, leaving a lot of micro-dust behind. If I use a carbon fiber, I follow it by a sweep with a damp old-school brush to remove the leftovers.
I've started dampening my micro fiber cloth with distilled water. Just a few drops here and there and then put it in a ziplock style bag.
Dampening does two things, it seems to clean even better and it doesn't add as much static. I still follow with the Zerostat, but it's much less needed.
Just to reiterate, I start with the carbon fiber brush and the Zerostad, then I follow with the damp micro fiber cloth and end with the Zerostad. This works very well indeed.
I buy my micro fiber cloth at Sam's Club. The brand is Hometex.
After about 8 months making do with a cotton diaper and sometimes a Discwasher to get lint and dust off a record, I finally spent the $25 to get a Hunt EDA brush. It was better than the diaper as it took the lint off, got down in the groove, and seemed to de-stat the record a bit as well.
About 2 weeks later I got a 25-pack of 16"x16" 90,000 fiber/sq.in. microfiber cloths at Sam's for $10. They work so much better it's not even funny. The Hunt EDA brush just sits now. I still have no static electricity issues.
And when I want to deep clean, such as when I get a noisy record from a thrift shop, I use a handheld steam cleaner and these cloths to wipe 'em down. I often use them in conjunction with a spray-on record cleaner. Since getting some spray-on record cleaner and these microfiber cloths, keeping my records clean has no longer been a hassle or an issue.
Evercare has a lint brush or lint mitt that is a stiff microfiber that i have found works great as a wet brush for records. the bristles are angled and directional similar to the oil discwasher but stiffer. i have found it works great at cleaning deep into the groove. you can find the brush at walgreens.
Ummm...I would definately *not* recommend the Evercare lint brush for use on LPs. I'm looking for a cheaper alternative for the Disc Doc pads, and ran down to Walgreens to see if this would be an acceptable solution.
Before I used this brush on anything of value to me, I did a "damage test" on a blank side of an LP. The brush left permanent swirl marks in the vinyl.
Take this for whatever you will, but I'll be passing on this approach.
Interesting results on the evercare brush. Not my experience but i do not use a lot of force when using any brush. i also have the mofi brush and the microfiber towels and pad that i use as part of my cleaning regiment depending on the circumstances. my experience has been the bristles on the evercare are great at cleaning deep in the grooves. You do not use much force but more of a back and forth motion similar to what you would do with the mofi or diskdoctor brush. I also alway use brushes wet or damp and never dry. If you are getting swirl marks, you are using far too much force.
A flash light during a night session proved to me how useless brushes can be. I use compressed air in a can and a zerostat. I will have to consider the cloth but would really need to find an adequate one. The problem with them would seem to be like the brushes, once static enters the equation the LP will suck dust from the cloth.
I use three microfiber cloths for routine record care. The first, wetted with distilled water, is used to distribute my home-brew cleaning solution over the surface of the LP after a preliminary soak. The LP is then thoroughly rinsed under running tepid tap water (the local water is very soft and clean) and then with distilled water. The second microfiber cloth is used to dry the LP. I use the third for dusting before play as others have described above. Brushes no longer touch my records. And I haven't had a single static problem since I commemced this routine.
A local retailer cleans LPs for $1 a time on a Nitty Gritty machine but I've been moderately disappointed with the results, especially from charity shop buys. Re-cleaning the LPs with the microfiber cloths gives a much better result - near perfect in most cases.
Stringreen & MikeinSac
Thanks you both for the assist. I've tried my own record cleaning solution based some threads here and videos on Youtube but I still have dust in the record grooves. I can see on the stylus that there is a little trail of dust or dirt after playing the records I've cleaned. I'm hoping the microfiber clothes can help. If not I''ll try steam cleaning as well. I saw one members steam cleaning video on youtube. Quite the process.
I'm trying to find a vacuum cleaner attachment so I can use my existing vacuum cleaner to get the dirt out of the grooves. I'm trying really hard to not have to buy a vacuum record cleaning machine.