Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

FYI, I have previously posted a bit of information on cleaning, and I have now complied that and much more into a paper titled “Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records”. Bill Hart of The Vinyl Press who has a keen interest in cleaning vinyl records is hosting the paper. He has written an article on the paper that captures it better than I could, and a link to the article that has the free-download load option for the paper (85 pages) is here: . If you have not been to his site, check-it out, there is a lot of good info, and its well written. While at his site, check out the about-tab and then scroll down and click on System-Notes-Austin-2017. He has a pretty impressive system and near the end shows quite a ‘cleaning station’; using both a Keith Monks vacuum-RCM and KL Audio UCM.

Best Regards and Stay Well,



Drbond, if a “sealed, mint” LP does not respond to the cleaning you’ve already done, I’d give up and either toss those LPs or tolerate them as is. I doubt any further cleaning will fix them. Good money after bad, and all that.

Sorry for being so pedantic, but first of all ALL enzymes are proteins, not just most of them or some of them. In general, enzymes act to catalyze chemical reactions that would happen anyway but happen much faster if mediated by an enzyme. (That's actually the definition of a catalyst; it moves the reaction forward.)  With that in mind, I wondered why enzymatic activity would be beneficial for cleaning an LP.  My guess is that enzymatic cleaners help to break down large possibly insoluble molecules, possibly precipitates that are by definition insoluble, into smaller more soluble molecules, which can then be either dissolved (in water, alcohol, and or with the help of nonionic detergent) and washed away.  What exactly are the substrates for enzymes that one can find in an LP groove, I do not know.


This is what I specifically stated in the book, and I stand corrected on 'generally some kind"

VIII.9 ENZYMES. Enzymes are biological catalysts that are generally some kind of protein. There is the “lock & key” analogy associated with enzymes and cleaning. The particular enzyme must be the right key to unlock (dissolving) the particular soil. There are four (4) basic enzymes used and how each works can be contaminant, time, concentration and surface dependent, and they have to be rinsed.


The enzymes can be irritating to some individuals. Per Guidance for the Risk 
Assessment of Enzyme-Containing Consumer Products (1), “Almost all enzymes 
used in consumer products are proteins which are foreign to the human immune 
system and can act as allergens through a Type 1 hypersensitivity mechanism 
following exposure, typically by inhalation.”. If while handling or using an enzyme 
any breathing irritation or difficulty is experienced stop use immediately and seek 
medical attention if symptoms persist.

VIII.9.1 Proteases break down protein-based soils including blood, urine, food, feces, wine and other beverages. This is the most commonly used type enzyme in cleaners.

VIII.9.2 Amylases break down starch molecules like eggs, sugars, sauces, ice cream, gravy. This is a commonly used enzyme in cleaners.

VIII.9.3 Lipases break down fat molecules like oils and grease. This may work for fingerprints, but mineral-based such as refined/synthetic oils/greases - not so well.

VIII.9.4 Cellulases are used to soften fabric and restore color to fibers made up of cellulose material. They also remove particulate soil and reduce fabric graying and pilling. How well they actually remove particulate is unknown - literature is pretty thin, and likely surface dependent - may work on clothes, but not hard surfaces or very small particles.

If you review the ingredient list of a quality laundry detergent such as Tide - CPID ( you will see various enzymes - good for blood, urine and grass stains.  What does this all have to do with cleaning a record - well unless someone bled on it, used it as bathroom, had sex on it or used it as a frizz-bee, not much that I can see.