"Protocols" of record cleaning

I have recently "re-discovered" vinyl due to the purchase of another TT and was wondering what the "suggested protocol" was for cleaning vinyl ? While i own a VPI 16.5, it is quite honestly still in the box. I have been using the "old standby" Discwasher system in the meantime and it seems to work fine. I am curious as to how often a record should be "majorly" cleaned via the VPI, what the recommended proceduce was, what to use as the cleaning solution, do you "tidy up" with the discwasher in-between "scrubbings", etc... ??? I ( and many others i'm sure ) would greatly appreciate a small "novel" on the subject from some of the vinyl addicts that i know frequent this site. If there is another source for this info such as a vinyl website, please direct me there so as to save us all from coming down with Carpal-Tunnel syndrome : ) Sean >
You might check Listener Magazine November/December 2000 issue, if you can find a copy. There's a fairly large section devoted to just this topic. There's also a fairly wide range of methods used. Most use a VPI cleaning machine, all the time, but some use the HUNT carbon fiber brush between major cleanings (it's used dry--no fluids).
When Michael Fremer was publishing a magazine titled "The Tracking Angle" one of the first issues ran an article describing a cleaning procedure. The procedure was rather involved and extensive and really requires more effort than is necessary for new or well cared for records. The procedure works well for very dirty and occasional deep cleaning. The magazine is no longer being published but you may be able to find a library that subscribed when it was. If not let me know and I will dig out my copy and get it to you. Good Luck, Doug
I use my VPI on every new LP before I play it to remove races of the mold release agents. The LAST Daily Record Cleaner fluid works well for this as it contains quite a bit of alcohol. You can also use VPI's own fluid, adding 25 % isopropyl alcohol to it as recommended in the VPI manual. I normally follow this with RRL record Wash, since IMHO it leaves less residue on the record. After that, a carbon fiber brush is sufficient. I only clean again if for some reason fingerprints get on the LP (very rare). For second hand LP's, I use the LAST Power Cleaner first, then the procedure above. If the LP is very old/dirty, you may have to repeat, and occassionally do it again after you play the LP for the first time.
Generally agree with Alexc although I have Nitty Gritty, just because I do. Keep the DW off your records - I don't care what anybody says. Carbon fiber brushes are OK for a little lint that might pop up, but I have never found one that does not shed. While the fibers may not damage, you can certainly hear them and they can be difficult to remove from a groove even with cleaning. Use the brush gently. No need to clean every time is enhanced by returning records quickly after play to the high quality sleeve (hint, hint) with careful handling (goes without saying?) and trying to maintain a low static low dust environment (more difficult without a dedicated room). Keep your stylus clean - there are other recent threads on this. Keep your turntable mat clean - method depends on material. I have a Platter Matter which I have used for years and wash it with mild detergent and air dry. JMO :)
i have a keith monks record-sweeper (recently replaced my venerable watts dust-bug) - this device is a little brush on the end of an arm that tracks the grooves of a record as the record is playing - it does a great yob of keeping particulate matter off the needle, from the opposite side of the platter, as the record plays. the k-m wersion is an improvement over the dust-bug, as it's all metal, has tiny carbon-fibre hairs mixed in w/the horse-hair bristles, & the base is actually equipped w/a ground-wire, so you can drain the static charge from a record as it is playing. using a zero-stat prior to play also helps this, as does having installed a propor humidification system into your hvac unit! :>)

using the dust-bug & now the record-sweeper, has enabled me to keep my records in generally great condition over the years, w/o using a vacuum record-cleaning machine. when i buy new/use records, i yust wash 'em over the kitchen sink w/mild dish-soap, luke-warm water & a sponge, then dry w/a soft lint-free towel... i think that the discwasher brush does more harm than good, actually grinding stuff into the record grooves...

Try going to the website www.hifiheaven.com and go to the vinyl heaven section. There are some good links there with recommendations for commercial and DIY cleaners and methods. Thanks, Ben
Digging through some of my old IAR's last night, i found Enid Lumley's "guide to record cleaning". It sounds ABSOLUTELY INSANE to me. If anyone else is interested, let me know and i'll post her recommendations. We'll get to see just how dedicated some of us are in terms of what we'll do for the "best sound possible" : ) Sean >