vinyl cleaning with wood

Hi all,

I have been researching a way of cleaning vinyls and at a certain point I came across a particular way...looked really funky to me.
They are using wood glue and it looks like it works better than anything else.
My perplexity is if glue remains deep down then it can ruin the pick up.

anybody has ever successfully used this method?
What do you guys think?
Do you have any record you can sacrifice for this experiment?
How dirty are these records that one or all of the standard means don't work? I'm not a vinylista but it seems like a series of potential Faustian Bargains.
You know, early on when I just started back out with vinyl, I picked up a copy of after the goldrush... clean, but noisy as heck. I actually used the wood glue, and it worked AMAZINGLY well!! I had forgotten all about it up until I saw your thread.. I now have a nitty gritty, steam cleaner, etc. etc.
the thing to be aware of is that the glue takes time to 'cure' and seperate from the vinyl... dont panic when it appears 'bonded'
also, getting those last little bits off of the record is a pain... they want to 'cling' due to static. I still have that record, and it is one of the quitest original pressings I own. Go figure!
Don't use Hot Glue!!
Strange as it my seem, this has come up before.
I have just read the post now, thank you for posting it.

The problem is not to have vinyls to sacrifice for experiment the problem is then to run my $4500 pick up over!
I mean nobody has reported any issue, but the method is not guaranteed and if I wear the cart down I have no one to blame but myself :)

The variant with the Elman's glue seems to be more viable because little spots can be removed with distilled water after all.

The reasons to keep vinyl cleaned are:

1) to get the best sound out of it
2) to preserve the stylus contact of the pickup from the dirt and increase lifetime of the cart

if with the glue I get the first one but I miss the second....I don't know!

What do you guys think about it?
I think it's safer to use Elmer's white glue than the yellow carpenter's glue. White glue is water soluble; carpenter's glue is not. So if you have some residual glue left on the LP, the white kind will come off easier with water.

I tried white glue once on a noisy record and I can't claim a success story like Hxt 1. It spread on and peeled off as expected but I didn't perceive any improvement in noise. Maybe my record was simply noisy, either a bad pressing or permanently damaged whereas Hxt 1's was merely dirty.

I have had good luck with a handheld power steamer and microfiber terry cloths.
The pick-up I believe is strong enough to scratch off the 'residues' of glue. Mk sure your preamp is muted or turned away from the phono input selection:-)
huummmm....I don't think I am gong to take this risk on the new pick up ever.
I might give it a try with my other cart (denon 103).
However I have finish to arrange the washing machine and the liquid for the regular washing and it works really nice.
Records look much more shiny and the static on the vinyl are reduced a lot.
It is fast and efficient although the noise of the vacuum store is pretty annoying :)
Personally, I think this is a dumb idea. Steam works, try it instead.
Yeah, a dumb idea.... thanks dan, any stories, or theories to go with this sentence, or are you merely gracing us with your opinion? ;-)
I thought it was a 'crazy' idea, maybe a bit 'wacky' or 'risque' but, then I read about the whole 'blasting your records with steam' thread, and thought the same thing....
Guess what? I actually had enough time on my hands to try BOTH methods.... personally... i find both methods effective, and a bit tedious. I use a nitty gritty machine, easy, and I don't have to listen in an anechoic chamber to discern whether it is up to snuff.....
the glue tech is messy and time consuming... it worked very well, don't have the time.
steam cleaning.... same story.
I'm busy, and prefer convenience at the end of the day.. I have wood glue, and a steamer. Neither of them get used to clean records.
I think anyone using a steamer or glue strictly for cleaning records is extremely fortunate to have so much time on their hands...
But back to the topic and question at hand.
Yes, it works, don't be afraid to try it....
Steam works too.....
Hope I didn't inadvertently offend anyone, and I am glad to have a chance to contribute my personal experience in this crazy, wacky hobby of ours!
I've tried white glue a few times. If you spread it out evenly and let it dry well (takes a while) it can give you good results. Try putting a piece of a paper on an edge as a lift tab as the glue dries. This will help give you a good start to lift up the dried glue.

The biggest issue is the time it takes to dry. But if you give it a go it can work. It may not be too cost effective unless you buy your tubes of glue (white school glue is what I used) from a $1.00 store.
I remember seeing a similar cleaning method using liquid latex(mold builder)

John C.
I say it is dumb simply because of the time and labor involved spreading the glue, waiting, peeling it off. I can steam a record in less than two minutes and not have any second thoughts about leaving something behind to snag an expensive stylus.

We are all entitled to our opinions, so deal with it.
Years ago, there was a product made by Empire that you smeared all over the record and peeled off. Sort of like rubber cement. I never had much luck with it, as it invariably left little pieces here and there you had to try to get off with Scotch tape. Thank God for the modern RCM.
point taken, thanks for contributing, that's what it's all about!
speaking of time and labour, I'd say we've both invested enough into this thread... considering opinions don't get records clean!
wood glue works but its not a miracle cure
I have a record which is still crackly after cleaning with steam, record cleaner and a distilled water rinse (my normal method which works 95% of the time). So, I figure this is the next step - wish me luck!

good luck, but it sounds like damage to me

Crackiling records is not always grimne or dirt in the groves. Other things tha can cause crackles and things you can't really do anything about include:

Poor vinyl substrate. There were unscrupulously made LPs in the day using cheap vinyl and often contaminated vinyl.

Micro groove damage from a previous user who maybe handled albums poorly, had poorly maintained turntable and cartridge riding and damaging the groove. You can't see this damage with the naked eye.

Static build up and release as the cartridge pays. This is often a problem in drier climates as static build with lower humidity. You can try to do things to help reduces such static. Using a carbon fibre brush making sure you touch a metal object to ground yourself as you use the CF brush. You can use one of those static guns and also try to keep static from building if you live in a very dry climate buy employing a humidifier in the room.
04-03-10: Dan_ed
good luck, but it sounds like damage to me
It won't damage it; LPs are made of polyvinylchloride--PVC, same material as plastic plumbing pipes. If you put Elmer's on PVC and let it dry, you can peel it right off with no damage to the PVC.

I've tried the Elmer's (white) glue on LPs. It peels off fine and doesn't damage the LP surface. If it leaves residue it's water soluble. In my experience, however, it didn't clean the record or lower the noise significantly. I got better results with a handheld $20 steam cleaner (like the Walgreen's Perfection Steamer) and microfiber terry cloths for cleaning and then drying (separate cloths).
Well I had a go, but some background first.

The record in question is an old copy of Led Zeppelin IV. It is on very thick vinyl, one of the thickest records I own. It is an old copy.

This record was cleaned with my usual method:
1) Steam the record and wipe the water off.
2) Apply cleaning fluid (one third isopropyl, two thirds water and a few drops of dishwasher rinse aid) with disc doctor brush.
3) Vaccum fluid off using a modified crevice tool.
4) Apply distilled water with a separate disc doctor brush.
5) Vacuum water off with a separate modified crevice tool.

This gave some improvement but it was still crackly. I should note there that this is all I do to 99% of my record purchases (I buy quite a lot of second hand) and it works very well, most records are quiet and fine after this. New records I do not steam, just a wet clean.

I then applied my method for really hard to clean records:
Using an artists' paint brush I apply straight isopropyl into the grooves while the record spins.
This is followed with the usual method.

This did improve the record quite a bit but still a fair bit of crackling. I should note here that it is very rare for a record to still have a problem after all this cleaning, but there is always one!

Hence the experiment with glue.

The glue went on easily. Getting it off wasn't quick or simple, but not too bad. It did all come off, especially after a wet clean as per my usual methd.

The result: the crackles remain on the record.

My conclusion: I actually think that the glue method probably does quite a good job. It just does not do any more than the other methods I have described above. The glue does get right into the grooves and I reckon would lift off any dirt. I would add, though, that the glue method does, in my opinion anyway, pose a bigger risk of damaging a record. I had to use fingernails to remove some of the glue. Now, in my opinion vinyl is quite strong and nowhere near as fragile as some claim, but, I would prefer not to do this.

As for the record, well it must be damaged. I recently bought another copy so that is fine and it means this copy was good for the experiment. Given that I already have a few methods at hand which, on the evidence of this record, can get out just as much dirt as the glue method, I will not be using glue again.

Good luck to those who use glue, I have heard quite a few people who find using glue a very good way of cleaning records. I will stick with my current methods as my experiment suggests they are just as effective and are more convenient for me.

JOhnnyb53, the point was that what Davidsss described sounded to me like damaged vinyl. Not that the glue was going to hurt the LP. As David reports back, that indeed is the case.

Maybe someone should drop the glue thing and come up with a vinyl spackle. :-)
04-05-10: Dan_ed
Johnnyb53, the point was that what Davidsss described sounded to me like damaged vinyl. Not that the glue was going to hurt the LP.
Now that I understand what you meant, I agree, and my experience matches Davidsss as well. I have a very noisy MoFi pressing of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century." Cleaning it with record cleaning fluid and a handheld steamer lowered the noise a bit, but spreading on some Elmer's glue and peeling it off after it dried didn't improve things any further.

So as you conclude, if there's no improvement, it's damaged vinyl or a bad pressing.