Steam Revisited

The most annoying thing I find about playing my beloved vinyl is the pops clicks and sometimes the dreaded CRACK!!! Coming through my speakers.

I invested in a VPI cleaning machine $700 + and spent hours meticulously cleaning each LP (I got through about a hundred or so) Still, ether I did it wrong or I expected more but I still heard pops an clicks more than I expected after my hard graft.

Next step clean each one again and then try Gruv Glide $30…. better but still not good enough for me.

I was thinking that maybe in my heady youth playing records in me mates bedroom with 3 Carling Black Labels and a number or two using my Haybrook TT2 and his huge Warfdales.
It may have been that I did not take as much care as I thought in handling my records.
Looking at Aladdin Sane it looks clean enough as do most of my other LP’s.

I invested in an Esoteric Noise Reducer $399 that works, but I know that there is still bits of crap deep in those tiny grooves how do I get my LP’s cleanroom clean?

Searching on Agon I came across a thread about steaming your vinyl, so on Saturday I went to Walgreens and bought a Steamer $30 took it back home and tried it.

I used the techniques that others have tried, applying a cleaner to the LP rotating it on the VPI, adding steam, vacuum and then a second cleaning and vacuum then while the LP was rotating using a microfiber cloth to get anything left over.

WOW it works!! I mean “bloody phenomenal” is all I can say if you have not tried this approach TRY IT!

Some albums still have that tell tale pop and click from scratches on the surface from those heady days with Carlin Black Label but not a sound from dirt or dust.
Some albums are now whisper quite it really did blow me away.
I use a steamer and a VPI 17, but, when I have a record that needs even more, I use the Disc Doctor fluid and brushes. I don't think the VPI puts as much pressure and as evenly on the record as the DD brushes, and his fluid seems to be more of a wash. You can really scrub the records well. I'll use the steam, scrub with the DD brush and fluid, use the other DD brush with distilled water to rinse, then dry on the VPI. Since it is labor intensive, I only use it on those records that are difficult and that I expect to play more than once or twice.
Agree, the steaming works very well especially when steaming with the cleaner on the record. I believe the heat helps the effectiveness of the cleaning agent. my results are very similar and it is a standard part of my cleaning regime
Hello, It may be appreciated-respected by some, that you didn't start a thread slamming a particular cleaning product, but I, and probably others don't mind if you're a little more candid.

Meaning, that yes, your particular previous cleaner, brushes, or techniques may have been flawed?

Since you make no mention of what, and how, we have to guess, and assume, and that leaves much unknown for any accurate analysis of before-after results.

I'm not trying to discount steaming methods, as they may indeed hold very good merit. At least we aren't talking 409, Fantastic, or Spray&Wash that's been currently floating around at the Asylum again.

Facts are, some modern cleaners it appears, do not have the muscle, or the right ingredients in them to get records fully clean, and then leave no sonic signature as well. I've heard many complain that the VPI Cleaners did not do a fully adequate job in this regard.

While I cannot correctly say, I would assume VPI sources thier Cleaners from someone else, re-packages, and slaps thier labels on them.

It is nice to hear though, that users are getting better results discovering a better moustrap. I truly wonder just how many "$150 steamers" Mapleshade are selling? MArk
The reason for me not mention names is that I forgot the type of cleaner I bought.

I know it cost me about $50 for a concentrate that yielded a gallon when added to the water.
I did purchase a 16oz TTVY Vinyl Gold Regular Strength that is applied directly to the disc. (This is the one I am using for the second round of cleaning.

So the question that comes to mind is does a concentrated cleaning solution loose it potency over time? As I did make a whole gallon of the stuff and it has been sitting in a plastic container for the better part of a year.

Secondly any suggestions on a cleaning solution for the VPI?
I do not want to make my own and the DD seems popular.

And I must agree that the VPI tends to "wash" the record in fact I have placed a piece of absorbent cloth under the table to catch fluid for the times I press the pump button that split second to long.

NCARV are the DD brushes a drop in fit for the VPI?
X2 for Disc Doctor +steam, as needed. Walgreens is the way to go for the steamer.

Working by hand with the DD system, you can focus on the parts of the record that really need extra attention. RCMs just don't do as good a job in that regard, IMHO.

The DD brushes don't work with the VPI . . . they are only hand held, which is why I say it is labor intensive.
03-26-08: Ncarv said:
"The DD brushes don't work with the VPI . . . they are only hand held,..."


Markd51.."I truly wonder just how many "$150 steamers" Mapleshade are selling?".. Only them can tell but, I think that the managers at every Walgreens shall be asking " What the heck happened to the Steamers inventory...." I just hope they don't see these threads or we are going to see their steamer prices double at least.. :O(