Record is noisier after cleaning:

Hello, I have recently got back into Vinyl and am enjoying it so far except for one frustrating thing at the moment.
I have fielded this question on another forum as well (just so you know), but I thought it couldn't hurt to get some thoughts here as well.

I have the Pro-Ject Xpression III I bought about 12 days ago.
I listened to a new LP of Dave Brubeck's Time Out without cleaning it. It sounded wonderful, very quite, just a couple of pops on side 1.

Then a few days later I got the VPI 16.5. Yesterday I cleaned the very same record using the VPI RCF and brush that came with the machine. I followed the VPI instructions only. I played the record right away after the cleaning and surprisingly it was noisier then before the cleaning. There were many more pops and clicks. The surface noise during the quieter tracks was much higher.

I've been using a carbcn fibre brush before every play and also one of those dry stylus brushes as well.

Afterwards I tried some other ideas. I cleaned the record again but this time after the vacuuming I let it air dry for an hour. It seemed to be quieter then before but still not near the noise free it was before.

I played it again this morning to get a reference and then cleaned it a third time but this time I also rinsed it with distilled water twice and vacuumed it one rotation each time for the rinse. I played it and again it is noisy.

I don't see any obvious dirt or lint on the stylus. Anyway, I played a used clean copy of Oscar Peterson's we get request without cleaning it on my VPI and it sounded very nice. Very little surface noise and I don't think I heard any pops and clicks if I remember correctly. So I don't think my stylus is really badly dirty or anything.

So I am not sure what is happening, why the Time Out LP has become noisier after the cleaning. I am afraid of cleaning my other new records right away until I know what I am doing wrong.

Also, it appears the VPI RCF and brush isn't very popular. Is that correct? Should I get another RCF and brush?


-- Sanjay
You may have added some static to the the LP during the cleaning process. I generally use a zerostat gun after cleaning with the VPI.

I have never used the VPI fluid or brush so I can't really comment on either of those. I've been using the Mofi brushes and fluids.
If you have the Classic Records re-issue on Quiex SV Super Vinyl..that may be your problem. There are well documented issues with many Classic re-issues of poor quality vinyl releases over the past few years. Problems still persist to this day. You likely didnt hear them at first play because of the mold release compounds in the grooves actually keeping it quiet.

No amount of cleaning will get the LP quiet..apparently the issue is in the Vinyl itself. Best to try and get a return on it or chance another of the same LP.
You may have partially dissolved debris or mold release compounds still clinging in places.

If the LP was used (you did not state) and damaged by previous owner, the noise you hear may have always been there but covered up by "cleaning" with a silicone cloth, record spray or other treatments.

I suggest Premier record cleaner for all used and new LP's. Premier is a new Dupont compound replacing (EPA banned) Freon. Anything on the record will be put into solution or removed completely by Premier and then a couple of washes afterward should make the LP not only quieter than before, but better sounding as well.

Exception listed above, that LP is damaged in which case only a new record will make you right.

I also suggest one of the enzyme based cleaners after the Premier. My favorites are the Mobil Fidelity Enzyme sold at Music Direct or Walker Audio.
Thanks. Albertporter it was a new sealed LP.

-- Sanjay
I have had that happen with my VPI. I open a sealed brand new record and play it. It has some noise and pops. Then I clean it and there is a change, but maybe not for the better. However other times I repeat this whole process and it works like a charm.
CONCLUSION: not all records are created equal. It is not the machine or cleaning solution, it is latent flaws in the vinyl like everyone here is suggesting. This has happened to me many times (for better or worse) ever since I got my VPI.
I second what roblanger said, use a Zerostat gun to remove the static.
Not to hyjack the thread but, Freon (R-12) has been banned from being produced in USA for well over a decade. R-134a, the propellant called out on the spec sheet, was around before 1995. Both used in refrigeration and as a propellant in spray cans. R-134a is toxic and if too much is inhaled will do damage to your lungs. Probably won't be too much of an issue cleaning records but, I wouldn't use it.

Just my .02.

I am curious what the actual cleaning solvent is as the R-134a (the propellant of the solvent) will disolve within seconds of leaving the can.
Disc Doctor
Get a static gun, the Milty Zerostat works for me.... it gets rid of almost all pops when I use it........ I thought all the pops were from dirt or dust, now I know static makes a big ugly sound.
If it is still making noise, use a strong record cleaner from Last, Nitty Gritty etc. to lift off the mold release. Then use Last Preservative. Clean again and stop the 16.5 after 1-2 revolutions or dry suction will create static problems. Get the gun as suggested, and don't use the brushes, they have dirt on them. Dirt on the record plus heat means you melt the dirt into the wall of the record....tick...tick..tick. Vinyl quality is an issue too. I have records I have used "Last" on, cleaner and preservative and used the 16.5 and they are still quiet after 50 plus plays. If your tracking force is too high, you are digging a hole into your record also. Most cartridges track about 1.5-2 grams. Also, too light will also damage your records....bouncing around.
Try vacuuming for more than one rotation after applying the fluid. You may be leaving behind some of the fluid that you have applied to the record surface. Let it go for three or four revolutions and see if this helps.

This will likely introduce more static onto the LP; so use a carbon fiber brush afterwards and before playing. Zerostat would be ideal.

In short, I would experiment with different methods of cleaning, but as the responses above suggest, there could be any number of explanations.
Not to hyjack the thread but, Freon (R-12) has been banned from being produced in USA for well over a decade. R-134a, the propellant called out on the spec sheet, was around before 1995. Both used in refrigeration and as a propellant in spray cans. R-134a is toxic and if too much is inhaled will do damage to your lungs. Probably won't be too much of an issue cleaning records but, I wouldn't use it.

Just my .02.

I am curious what the actual cleaning solvent is as the R-134a (the propellant of the solvent) will dissolve within seconds of leaving the can.

This solvent is as active as Freon and was not invented until 2000. I don't think your talking about the same compound. This stuff is EXCELLENT, and safe.

Here is a link to the PDF spec sheet:

Also the ad-testimonial at Music Direct

And last, here is Dupont's page on the active ingredient in Premier, Vertrel CF
As you're well aware, the VPI really does nothing as far as cleaning goes, other than offering a platform to place your record, and then a vacuum to revove fluids, and the suspended nasties. But you have jumped over the highest hurdle, buying the RCM, the rest is relatively easy.

The VPI Brush isn't a bad brush, and being Nylon, it will stand up to cleaners containing enzymes, an alcohols.

Brush Pads from Lloyd Walker, AIVS will be of better quality, and will perform better. Brush Pads from Disc Doctor-Mobile Fidelity work very well too, I'm happy with these, but some do note a larger quantity of fluids being used to initially prime them-wet them. Nice thing about these, the pads are replaceable.

Use one dedicated Brush for each step, and label them, to assure you don't mix cleaners with a certain brush.

Yes, if you've read between the lines, you've gathered I am suggesting a multi-step cleaning process, rather than a one step cleaner. A cleaning process such as AIVS 3-step, you first remove any really nasty dust with a CF Brush, place on Platter, begin with the first Enzyme Cleaner, with Platter Spinning apply evenly with brush that the entire surface is covered, but avoid the label area. Now stop the Platter, and let this product sit for 3-5 minutes on average, (don't ever let any product dry on an LP!). If due to dry weather conditions, and you notice evaporation, apply a little more, and this is easy to do with Platter spinning.

After a period of a few minutes, only then you begin scrubbing, cleaning the LP in a back, and forth motion 8-10 times per section, following the grooves, do 1/3rd of the LP, rotate Platter, to do the next 1/3rd, and so on, until the entire LP has been scrubbed. Only then activate vacuum to remove cleaners.

Remove product, and go onto the next step, with its own dedicated brush, and repeat.

Lastly, will be the Pure Water Rinse. Again, use a dedicated Brush, and some even go as far to insure the least amount of cross contamination, they use a entirely different dedicated Arm Wand, (About $60 from VPI) swapping it out, which takes two seconds, for the Pure Water rinse.

Minumum is one good rinse with ultra pure water, and another rinse per side will not hurt anything, and will insure all cleaning products are gone. Do inspect the LP surface after vacuuming. Two revolutions should get the LP virtually dry, more than this can build static, and less will not remove all the rinse with the 16.5 RCM.

Try keeping your Platter clean, when doing the flip side, insure that when done, no fluids have dribbled over onto the cleaned side. I usually use an unscented Kleenex, and hold to to outer bottom edge of LP while platter is rotating with the vacuuming process to insure no dribbles of fluids are left.

Inspect both sides, insure they are totally dry before inserting into Inner Sleeve. Practice makes perfect, but your machine will only work as well as the fluids, and brushes you use, and patient, sensible techniques.
Hope this helps, Mark
I do not mean to hijack this thread BUT.

R-12 was mainly used in refrigerators, car A/C and as a propellant. It has a boiling point of -21.7F below zero. R-12 was not the Freon used for cleaning. If you tried to clean records with it, your records and cleaning brush would freeze on contact and cause a lot of damage.

R-11 was mainly used in industrial chillers and for cleaning. R-11 has a boiling point is 77F. When used as a cleaner it was mixed with other chemicals. Most record cleaners back in the day used it as their base.

Both of these Freon's cannot be used for new uses or vented into the air. Back when these were in general use and also if you use any type of Freon based cleaners, NEVER use them around open flame and only in a well ventilated area.

Venting Freon is a $25,000.00 fine.
Per offence.

As to the noise issue. I find that most records do get noisier after a cleaning but they also sound clearer. After I play them a couple of times and let the needle smooth out the grooves everything is fine again. When I clean them again after playing them they do not get noisy again. I usually like my records better after a few plays
The carbon fiber brush is creating static like they always do. Thee other comments have merit as well.
Most record cleaning solutions contain varying percentages of isopropyl alcohol. Never use alcohol. It dries out the surface of the record making it sound 'raw'. Try the National Library of Canada formula. It contains no alcohol.
I've bought the MoFi (formerly RRL) Deap cleaner from my dealer. He did not have the Super Vinyl Wash in stock though.

Is the deap cleaner ok to use on new records? Or should I only use the vinyl wash on new records?

I've got some pure water ( 1 PPM Total dissolved solids) from a water supplier. They say it's used by medical and clincal environments. I plan to do 2 or more rinses with the pure water after the deap cleaner. Or should I wait and get the Super Vinyl Wash when my dealer gets it in stock?

I've got two brushes now. The original VPI version which I plan to use for the rinsing and a clearaudio brush (that's the only one my dealer had) which is thin with vinyl on it which I plan to use for the deap cleaner. I am still only using a single pick up tube though not sure if I should get another one. All this money is adding up. I think I've spent close to the same amount of money on cleaning as the Turntable itself.

I thought this was all going to be simple and straightforward when I got the VPI RCM! And then my dealer gave me a recipe for RCF so I thought great that ought to same me a bunch of money. But it's got Windex in it so that's going down the drain (a waste of $12)

Who new there was a whole world of Vinyl cleaning waiting for me out there to completely overwhelm me with all the choices.

Now I want to clean my records but am gun shy that I am going to do something wrong and ruin them.

It's great to see someone trying new things and asking good questions. Unfortunately, you missed some of the good advice given above, specifically by Albert Porter and Markd51.

Regarding the MoFi (formerly RRL) Deep Cleaner and Super Vinyl Wash, Albert, I and many others on this forum were satisfied users of those products for years, but no longer. Better performing products have become available in the past two years or so. The old RRL DC and SVW are gathering dust on our shelves.

MoFi DC did a reasonable cleaning job, but it doesn't come close to the effectiveness of enzyme based cleaners from AIVS, MoFi or Walker. Any of these will outperform DC by a significant margin. If I'd known you were going to buy DC I'd have sold you my 3 leftover bottles for half price (and I'd still feel guilty about ripping you off).

As for SVW, my recommendation is to avoid it. I have over 2,000 LP's cleaned with DC and rinsed with SVW. I'm recleaning every single one of them with AIVS Enzymatic to remove the residue SVW leaves behind. This residue is deceptive because you can't hear it directly; it actually makes the record surface quieter and the sound smoother. Unfortunately, it also smothers HF response and quashes dynamics. Once it's removed, the improvement in musical detail, life and "jump" is very noticeable. SVW won't damage your records, but it will prevent you hearing all the music that's on them.

My recommendation? Buy AIVS Enzymatic plus either Super Cleaner or Premium Archivist. Use them as directed, followed by two rinses with your super pure water (which may or may not be as pure as the water from AIVS, MoFi or Walker).

As a second, less costly option, consider AIVS One-Step, followed by two rinses.

Whatever fluids you settle on, use a separate brush for each solution. At a minimum you must use a separate pickup tube for the pure water rinses. Using a tube with grunged up felts for a "pure" water rinse defies logic (and will defeat the whole purpose).

Unfortunately, doing vinyl well is not cheap. You've obviously caught the bug and we feel for you. We've all been there and, sadly, most of us have no desire to escape!
only clean a record when it really needs it, and a manual cleaning works just fine. any type of record 'juice' should be a last resort.
In my opinion , poster albertporter suggested the correct diagnosis; the cleaning with a RCM only partially disolved the mold release compound(s) & other debris from the manufacturing process. I suggest these options : Do nothing , reclean with fluids suggested by other posters, use the Merrill GEM System w/ his cleaning solutions or steam clean . It is always possible the recording has noise embedded from the manufacturing and that is a bit of a curse for analog folks. Should you become a lifelong LP collector these options (and others) will be of some help. All the best.
To respond to Roydavis's post, and in regards to cleaners using Alcohol in thier formulations, I'm certainly no expert on the topic, so please don't ask me for hard scientific data to support any claims, pro, or con.

I reckon one must decide personally what they want in thier cleaners, and most good companies will disclose the basic ingredients.

From what I know, is that yes, Alcohol can be detrimental to vinyl, and I would gather that the important thing, is what type-grade, how much Alcohol is in a formulation, and how long it would be left on the surface?

While I know MFSL didn't use it in past formulations, one will fond that two of the very best vinyl cleaners, AIVS, and Walker do. In fact, it was mentioned here not long ago, about Walker's newest rave, the new Final Rinse they came out with, and as I understand it, this product contains small trace amounts of Alcohol.

I know just enough, to know that Alcohol supposedly doesn't do as much as one would assume it does, being a grease remover, but one characteristic, is that it acts as a Surfactant, making water "wetter", reducing surface tension.

I know there are other things that it does, supposedly helping lift-seperate the nasties (I think) from the vinlyand perhaps Jim P of AIVS might chime in to explain these scientific explanations, which I'm so poor at doing.

Evidently, the Lab Chemists-etc at AVIS, and Walker have determined that Alcohol is safe in thier formulations, provided that one properly follows thier directions. Mark
I also found that my records were noisier after using the X2000 fluid from Hannl. Switching to the L'Art du Son fluid from France was an improvement as was increasing the final rinse with distilled water.
When I switched to pure steam cleaning (as discovered by Crem1), the risk of fluid contaminants disappeared.
Often doing nothing is the best plan. As the physicians oath says: first do no harm. Any chemical compound must leave something behind in some way. I try to play a record clean, if I can.
What is the vinyl communities general opinion on the formula from the Library of Congress and the National Library of Canada? They both recommend using Tergitol.

-- Sanjay
Readers & Posters : As I recall, the alcohol formulation issue demanded a lot of attention in the 1980-90's when some fluid designers reformulated claiming that any form of alcohol could cause vinyl to become brittle and noisey.The "anti-alcohol" point of view got a lot of print in "TAS & Stereophile" for years , without scant scientific study.

I do recall an excellent article published in "Positive Feedback" by a chemist/engineer detailing the flaws in the "no alcohol" viewpoint. The Professor pointed out studies affirming that a brief dousing of alcohol was harmless and all alcohol fluid bases were harmless, unless , alcohol was in immediate contact with the vinyl for 20+ minutes in the form of a bath. I also recall no retort to the Professor's comments : I have not re-read the article in a dozen years.

I am familiar with the recommendations of the of NLC & LOC. I have accociates that work at the LOC that tell me both recomendations were more or less directives , published with scant doctumention open the public-at-large , and are in need of up-dating. That is not to say Tergitol is dangerious or otherwise harmful, only that these recommendations were made many,many years ago : No recent research has been conducted to affirm or modify those recommendations.

The above issues do appear mute ,as Halcro stated, with steam rinses that remove all cleaning residues from the vinyl.

All that been offered above is an aside, should the recording be defective from manufacture. Nothing can calm a defective/owner abused LP.The option of doing nothing or something to remove noise is a matter of personal choice. Nevertheless, it has been my experience that using the correct hand tools , fluids , a RCM & Steam most noise can be effectively removed. However, some experienced steam users believe steaming alone with micro cloth drying removes noise from LPS. Again, another option.

FYI: The issue of what is to be done with the ageing waxes , '78's & LPs is an internal matter of debate at both Institutions ; the Libary of Congress has been leaning towards digital reproduction for waxes .

The sheer volume of their combined holdings and the associated costs for storage may determine the outcome.
FYI: The issue of what is to be done with the ageing waxes , '78's & LPs is an internal matter of debate at both Institutions ; the Libary of Congress has been leaning towards digital reproduction for waxes .

Here's what we need.
One thing occurred to me that hasn't been mentioned. Don't forget to brush the felt pads on the vacuum pickup tube of the VPI after each record (or every 2 or 3 depending on how dirty they are).
I learned that lesson the hard way. I forgot to do that, and the dust and dirt accumulated on the felt pads. Eventually, I was scratching my records as I cleaned them.


Hi Tom, What do use to brush your felt pads?

-- Sanjay
I'd like to know the same thing - I'm accumulating junk on mine and worry about the same thing.
Actually, I use the brush supplied with the VPI 16.5 to clean the felt pads on the pickup tube. I also use it to clean my MoFi brush before I clean a record. It works really well.


A mention: Disc Doctor sells excellent replacement pads for the VPI that I have been using for many years without complaint. They are superior in construction to the VPI pads , wear very well & are easy to apply to the sucton tube. As for brushes to clean the pads, I located an inexpensive horsehair brush @ PEP Boys sold for detailing dash boards. Wisks away any debris with a flick or two of the wrist. The natural brissels appear to be superior for wisking purposes. My observation is that over time the VPI brush tends to add to the wear of the pads. All the best.