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|Washing your records
can be the only sensible way of removing fingerprints, dust and grease.
A wet-washing machine with a vacuum cleaner makes the job easier and better.
I chose a worn-out Beogram 1000 turntable as the platform for my washing machine, trying to keep the cost close to zero.
First I removed the
motor and tone arm plus some other unnecessary components.
A long set screw of suitable dimension is used as the new center-spindle.
The record label will be supported from underneath by the slice of rubber. Only the label is supported. The grooves might be damaged if you do not modify the platter, rubbing the dust and grit into the grooves on the opposite side of the record you are cleaning.
A second slice of rubber and a wing-nut clamps the disc to the spacers, making the record easy to rotate and clean. The label is in this way a bit protected from the cleaning-fluid.
A L-shaped platic-tube system is clamped to the turntable instead of the tone arm.
"Velourcondom" protects the record
The tube-system is connected to an industrial-type 1500 W wet-vacuum cleaner. The L-shaped tube is closed in the record-end, except for a slit covered with a tube of velour-cloth, shaped much like a condom.
The slit of the tube
must be parallel to the record-surface.
Never use alcohol on shellac records
Cleaning-fluid is sprayed onto the record surface until the entire playable surface is wet. For vinyl records I use one part isopropyl and two parts of distilled water.
Never use alcohol
(isopropyl or any other kind!) on the 78 rpm shellac records. It will completely
destroy the record. Use only distilled water (and perhaps some dish washing
Clean along the grooves. Try to determine the right compromise between cleaning and rubbing the record to death....
When you have loosened the grit and dust, you suck the record clean with the vacuum-tube system by turning on the vacuum cleaner.
Dust, grease and grit are in this manner removed from the record surface, and you can now listen to a hopefully less noisy record.
Dusty but otherwise undamaged records will be less noisy after this type of cleaning, and removing the dust will save the records from further detoriation.
After the cleaning the use of an antistatic "gun" is a good thing, and give the record a new inner-sleeve without pvc.
Greasy and somewhat damaged records will be saved from total destruction, but very dirty records with "burnt-in" fingerprints and battered by years of abuse must have special treatment beyond the scope of this description. Tea tree oil, though, seems to be able to revome e.g. tape-glue from vinyl-records, but be careful to remove the oil again immediately.
Mail me if you have
some good ideas.
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