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How to combine a worn-out turntable and a wet-vacuum cleaner into a record washing machine...
DIY record cleaner
Dansk version


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How to combine a worn-out turntable and a wet-vacuum cleaner into a record washing machine...
DIY record cleaner
Grease and dust will be smeared around in the record-grooves by the stylus. The record dies a little each time you play it, but cleanliness can get you more out of your records.

Click for larger picture

In daily use the records can be dry-cleaned with an anstistatic or ordinary brush before and after playing the disc.

Wipe the record carefully along the grooves and keep your pickup-needle (diamond) clean with a small brush - or special cleaning fluid if you find this to be more effective and you are not worried that the fluid will make your cantilever corrode.

Always wipe the needle from the suspension point towards the tip, and do it gentle. The stylus is easily damaged. 

* Never leave records on the turntable. 
* Store the records in their sleeves.
* Keep your fingers from the grooves.
* Hold the record by the edge with your thumb.
* Support the label with the other fingers.

Very dirty records can be washed manually with a soft brush in some lukewarm tap-water - some will prefer distilled water -  with a bit of mild dishwashing detergent.

Vinyl-records can also be cleaned in alcohol-solutions like 1/3 isopropyl to 2/3 distilled water, but never-ever use alcohol on 78 rpm shellacs. They will be ruined, some shellacs with a cardboard core will not even like water...

After cleaning rinse in (distilled) water, put the record on a clean towel and gently dab the record dry. The record is now much cleaner, but be sure that some debris still remains in the grooves.

* Never clean 78 rpm shellac records with alcohol. 
* Do not use water on lacqer discs. 
* The base material will dissolve.
* Clean your records outdoors or open a  window.
* Beware of the fire hazard if you clean with alcohol.

Build a wet washing machine

If you buy records in the flea market you´ll come across dirty and abused records. Often wet-washing and vacuum-cleaning is the only way to rescue these records.

In the seventies many libraries had Keith Monk and other machines, but nowadays it is rare to come across such an antique machine.

Nitty Gritty and some other companies are still in business, but less can do it - do it yourself!

I made my washing-device from scrap materials and found some inspiration on the Internet. Look at my pictures and try the links site for more inspiration.

If you have some suggestions or questions, don´t hesitate to mail me. Thanks to many for additional advice - especially from Richard Steinfeld, Mark Huffman and Karsten Jensen.

Yours Hans Henrik Pedersen.

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 Last update September 22nd 2009