stereo for the joy of it - can records be cleaned?


I came across a living stereo set of classical records called "Stereo for the joy of it".  It includes some very well known living stereo recordings.  The records are very dirty and it appearss as though the cellophane sleeves may have permanently damages the records.  Is their any way of cleaning these records and getting good results.  They look almost unplayed except for the dust and the cellophane damage.
tzh21y
Get the KL Audio CLN-LP200 record cleaning machine that should do the best job.

I use ultrasonic machine that can clean 8...9 records at a time.
To get more info on my cleaning process, you can PM me and I’ll send you videos.
The results guaranteed. I had been amazed how even scratched records rejuvenate after ultrasonic cycles with nearly 60% reduction of overall surface noise. It became a key of my record selling business.
I’ve already forgotten that I still have VPI that I’m going to sell probably next week QUICK and CHEAP!

Of course I am biased as the owner of the ultrasonic record cleaning service Record Genie, but the Audio Desk and Klaudio ultrasonic record cleaning machines offer great results. I also have a VPI 16.5 that I use for pre-cleaning very dirty or moldy records before ultrasonically cleaning them. Let me know if you are interested in having your set cleaned, my rates are affordable (as compared to buying machines) and I have happy customers all over the USA.
czarivey, I'd love to see your cleaning videos, so I will PM you. I'm guessing you might be using a "V8" tank cleaner and rotisserie? 
Nop I'm using surgical instruments cleaner and "rotisserie" :-)
I've also been using my VPI to pre-clean records, but instead, I hook up high-rpm drill onto the spindle and rotate records FAST so they will loose most of debries.
After all done, I hook-up drill to the spindle again and spin them FAST. My VPI is retired... 
Can the cellphone residue or not sure if it is rice paper, brown sleeves actually be removed from the vinyl?
tzh21y,

I’ve seen different sleeve materials interact differently with the record surface, some of the worst are the wiggly "contact patterns" made by some older poly sleeves that affect the surfaces of the vinyl.

If you’ve got "bits" of sleeve stuck on the record surface then obviously those need to be removed from the playing area, and I would use my VPI 16.5 cleaner to do that first, and then use an Audio Desk or Klaudio ultrasonic cleaner (or both) to clean deep into the grooves.

Otherwise, the good news is that sleeve marks/patterns are generally cosmetic and not audible, since they are only on the surface of the playback area (tops of the "lands" between grooves) and not down in the groove walls where the music is.

Having said that, while the appearance of some surface marks will be removed or reduced by thorough cleaning, other surface marks will be impossible to remove, so it’s really just a case of cleaning and seeing what happens..

Let me know if you would like me to try..
Dave
czarivey,

That sounds like a novel approach to cleaning/drying!

What kind of RPM's does your "high speed" drill run at at?

Enjoy the music!
Dave
I have a "audiophile approved" record cleaner I rarely use. I find the most effective clean is to steam clean the record. Get a hand held steamer for about 15 dollars or so, some distilled water, and steam away all the garbage. Wipe the record down with a clean microfiber cloth and you’re good to go.
stringgreen,

Which "audiophile approved" record cleaner do you have?

I have a "factory mistake" record with double labels applied on one side, one of which is incorrectly positioned way off center, such that several tracks on that side can't be played - What brand/model of steam cleaner do you have, and do you think it would be suitable for the job?

If it only costs $15 and you've had success using it with your records, I would very much appreciate it if you could post a link..

Thanks,
Dave
You must be carefull with steam cleaning, the temperature should be precisely controlled. I had a few records cleaned by a pro using sequencially steam and  Audio Desk ultrasonics and then regular machine with just water, and enzyme pre-cleaner before all that. Seven step cleaning, I think. Great results. With my rig, exactly the same as using Okki Nokki RCM with Audio Intelligent three step system, double water rinsing. But I did it very thoroughly, 15-20 minutes per record. High resolution systems might show the difference, though. That kind of pro cleaning was about $6 per record, including Mo-Fi sleeves and shipping, at least. Saves a lot of time and effort if you are prepared to take a risk with shipping. I would never ship my most valuable records, others I would.
LOL
" I have a "factory mistake" record with double labels applied on one side, one of which is incorrectly positioned way off center, such that several tracks on that side can’t be played - What brand/model of steam cleaner do you have, and do you think it would be suitable for the job?"
Are you SERIOUS? it only takes zippo lighter fluid to take excessive one off and than conventional cleaning with RCM.
zippo lighter fluid will not damage vinyl when removed soon after label repair or debris removal is done. and it’s only less than $3

1. Apply lighter fluid onto the contaminated surface
2. Wait 5...10 min
3. Remove debris with soft damp cloth or microfiber cloth
4. Apply conventional cleaning methods

Bear in mind that I handle 2...3,000 vinyl records and cleaning one individually for $6 isn’t for me who needs them cleaned sometimes hundreds daily.
I’m also too cheap to purchase $4000 ultrasonic cleaner that only washes one record per cycle. It’s only for "passengers", but I’m really driver if ya’ll know what I mean. I built mine for $300 that REALLY works.
Dave,
The max speed on the drill is near 1,000 rpm.

Half is good enough. Moreover, the drill isn't clamped to the spindle but rather have clamp completely down so it snaps onto the hex nuts and can be released right after it dials speed and let the spindle rotate free for up to 10min.

Fun process... Still haven't seen your PM to see video.

czarivey,

Thanks for your comments..

Good to know about the drill speed of 500rpm, as that is pretty high speed, so I’m sure it must fling all the water off quickly! Have you had any problems with record spindle hole wear or deformation?

I’m relatively new here on A’gon, not many posts, so I’m not sure I can "PM" anyone yet, but I did look at your profile and was able to use the "Send a Message" button on the "Marketplace Feedback" page to send you a note with my email address, but better yet, put the videos up on Youtube and post a link for everyone!

I’ve never used lighter fluid directly on any records, but of course it’s good for removing unwanted labels from jackets. I guess it might be okay for records themselves if it’s not on there for long, but I would want to make sure the area is thoroughly rinsed immediately afterwards.

I do have concerns about steam cleaning doing damage, but my interest in it comes primarily from seeing Michael Fremer’s video where he cleans a water damaged record that had a paper sleeve stuck to it.. It was a real mess, and he seemed to do pretty well with just a small hand-held steamer.

I applaud the fact that you’ve made your own cleaning devices for $300 and you find those results acceptable (and convenient) on your 2,000+ records. I’m using 2 Audio Desk machines, and 2 Klaudio machines to good effect (especially when "double-cleaning" with both machines) and I know Record Genie customers love the results too.

Yes, proper cleaning using the "single slot" machines does take a lot of elapsed time, but they are highly automated and the results are very consistent. $6 per record has been mentioned, but I charge less than $3 per record for ultrasonic cleaning on one machine, and $5 per record for ultrasonic cleaning on both machines ("double-cleaning"). New inner sleeves are always included in my prices, and I also offer bulk discounts as high as 25% off.

Drivers and passengers? I’m not sure how this relates to record cleaning, but I’m definitely a driver.. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy owning and driving some nice cars over the years, including a Porsche 911, BMW M3 coupe, BMW M5, and I also had a BMW R1100RT touring motorcycle for 8 years. Yes, I love high-performance German cars and motorcycles, but now with 3 children aged 5 and under, we’re taking a practical approach, so our minivan and station wagon make sense! :)

Enjoy the music!
Dave
Dave,
 Driver knows routs. Passenger sits back and relaxes.
Speed of 500rpm is dialed gradually so there will be no spindle hole damage and records are clamped pretty tight as well between plastic "pancakes".
I have much more records, but usually stack about 2...3000 for sale in record store. Any new arrivals to be priced $5 or more should be cleaned if dusty or filthy. 
Cleaning records with steamer seems to be similar to placing them to dishwasher when you have nothing to loose. I've placed some of them clamped with same pancakes I use for ultrasonic machine to protect labels right into the dishwasher to get rid of PAINT, but apparently, Zippo lighting fluid worked almost same or better with no hassle. With steam or dishwasher cleaning it's win or loose situation. Would not recommend it on very light records, because they will get warped even after the short period of time 5...10min enough. Not sure if Michael Fremer explained magnitude of risk using steamer.

 

RecordgenieUSA....my steamer is branded "Perfection". It comes with a variety of tips to clean mold from your bathroon, to take the wrinkles from your clothes, and is a lovely shade of red. I got it from Home Depot on sale for 14.95. Use distilled water, put the record on a towel, steam the vinyl record (stay away from the label), wipe with a microfiber towel...maybe use a static neutralizer ......everything is gone except for the scratches. Have a good time. Used this method many time with never an untoward result.  I would never recommend it if I had doubts.
stringreen,

Thanks for the info, although unfortunately it looks like the Perfection brand of steam cleaners are no longer made, although I checked and see it’s probably a 1000 watt steamer you have, the bright red one!

There are steamers on Amazon for around $30 if I want to buy new, but I think I will keep an eye out for one at yard sales etc just to play with, and I will be sure to experiment on scrap records to start!

Thanks,
Dave
..and a lovely shade of red it is... too bad they're out of business.
Stringreen: In case I missed it, Did you ever report what type of "audiophile approved" record cleaner you use? I assumed, by your posts, it was something other that the steamer?

FWIW: I have always steamed my lps before my normal cleaning regimine.
I use to use the original Mapleshade steamer that was highly recommended in these forums years ago. Since then, I purchased a db tech steamer off of Amazon a couple of years ago that really works well. It has 95% of the steam power, 95% of the steam outflow/pattern area of that machine and in addition, has similar water reservoir capacity, and much better ergonomics.
I find all of these things very important as I do with any tool I use. The end result is only as good as the well designed tool that is used, IMO. I'm willing to pay more for such things. If I remember correctly, it cost under $40.00 when I purchased mine.

FWIW: I would not put a lp into an ultrasonic cleaner that has anything stuck to it's surface such as inner sleeve/paper. I have an Audio Desk and a 16.5. My first goal in cleaning is to remove all contaminates from the lp surface before the lp sees the last two machines.

BTW: When I steam my lps, after I scrub them with enzymatic cleaning fluid, I then hold them over a sink while steaming off any crud. Then and only then do I proceed to the next two machines.

The ultimate goal is, for me, when I introduce the lp to the AD cleaner, to have the very least possible contaminants on the lp surface so that cleaner can perform it's job with as much "clean water" as possible for as long as possible of time. Reducing money spent on associated fluids etc...


slaw,

+1

For really dirty records I use VPI 16.5 first, then Audio Desk, then Klaudio is a great last step with only distilled water.

I also use a TDS water testing meter (total dissolved solids) to carefully monitor actual impurities the Audio Desk cleaning solution, and the Klaudio distilled water.

If you want consistent results, it's much better to measure TDS than "guess" based on the number of records cleaned. Makes financial sense too when Audio Desk cleaning agent costs $20 per tiny bottle!

Happy cleaning! :)
Dave   
Dave,

Thanks for your response!

I'm a BIG believer in steaming first. There are many "common sense" +'s to be found this way.

This is, again, a plus in that it keeps all of our expensive velvet pads, expensive water, expensive rollers/filter (in the Audio Desk) cleaner...LONGER!

I can't match you on your testing methods/TDS. However, I'd challenge you to try my way, (steam first),  then use your testing methods (TDS) and post your results.

(An additional benefit of having/using a steamer is, you can actually steam clean your velvet pads on and vacuum machine, vs replacing them, you can steam clean your nylon bristle brush that's used in applying your favorite cleaning fluid, you can steam clean your Disc Doctor/Mobile Fidelity brush/velvet pads, your VPI pick-up tube velvet pads... Need I go On???

Some things are just "common sense" options that can't be beat.
...the importance of having, in this case, an ergonomic/effectrive steamer that is actually a joy to use. This will result is an easier time steaming records that equals, a more enjoyable time spent cleaning = cleaner records = increased listening pleasure.

These are the little things that add up that I don't skimp on. Say $16.00 vs. $40.00. Over the lifetime of the steamer vs. increased listening pleasure/cleaner more enjoyable records... No BRAINER for me!

Cheers.
A reminder that if the set is in its original state, the sleeves are or were glassine. I might do research on removing glassine debris from vinyl. In my experience I've never seen glassine sleeves damage vinyl, in fact I think it makes a very good sleeve, but perhaps under less than ideal storage conditions it could adhere to the record.
Good find though, if you can clean it up
You don't need much technology to clean your records....this is what I would do in your situation...cheaply:
--Use warm clean water and a sponge to gently soften the debris
--Pass the record through a Spin Clean washer, let it dry
--Thinly spread Elmer's school glue for a deep clean on each side overnight, then peel.
--Spin Clean washer again
It takes time, but I have restored very unpromising records this way.
I have a NittyGritty. I don’t use it much, but when I do, it does its job well. Never had a problem with it....I have the top of the line Cocobolo wood one. Nice looking. The owner (Mrs. Gritty ..believe it or not) is very nice to deal with.
sumaato:

I'm sorry, I'll never spread Elmer's glue onto my lps!!

Stringreen, Thanks for your reply. I thought I remembered you posting a while back...the need for cleaning records at all??? I think Whart posted visual results from a Doobie Brothers lp that had been cleaned, in response to your initial question?  I think I have the gist of that right? Please advise us of your transformation? If that is the right term here....
I use a Spin Clean and Mofi Master sleeves in all my cleaned vinyl. This system might not work as well as a vacuum rig, but it does work and man…some of my vinyl goes back to the 60s and seems pretty ragged, but cleaned up they can sound great.
I occasionally run across LPs with a streak of mold across a section of the record. I apply lavishly AI #16 on each side, let it soak for 5-10 minutes, rinse off with pretty warm water, then Down with Dirty from Ai, same process.
Next I place on a dowell and rotate in a distilled water ultrasonic cleaner absconded from my office for 3-4 minutes. Usually clean 4-5 LPs at a time in the ultrasonic. The mold leaves a color in the record, but no noticeable noise.So let me get this straight. I can rotate in my ultrasonic bath at 500 rpms to good effect?