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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Sensible record cleaning: vinyl piranhas and record Vaseline
Post Subject: Industrial cleaningPosted by drdna on: 11/8/2009
Well, I have tried everything you might imagine to clean records. I first started out experimenting with some old scratched up records that I did not care if they were destroyed or not. Then I tried different strengths of isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, detergents, surfactants, dishwashing soaps, laundry soaps, and various organic solvents such as acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methylene chloride, methyl alcohol, naphtha, etc, etc... I just let these soak for a long time just to see if the vinyl would chemically react and I eliminated the reagents that damaged the vinyl. 

After this test I observed if the individual reagents were useful in cleaning the vinyl based on the reduction of noise. Then I tested to see if any of them made a cumulative difference or not.

Then I purchased every commercial record cleaning fluid available, and they were subjected to the same tests.  This was a lot of tedious work, and it is a good thing I spent many hours at the laboratory bench as a biochemistry graduate student.

This is how I settled on my current protocol. Even though the complete process is a multi-step multi-fluid affair, I do not do this for every record. Most records receive a simple wash. It is only when there is noise or obvious grime or grit on the record that is not removed by simple cleaning that I go further and begin to add the other steps. Basically, I add these to deal with a specific problem that the record presents.

My feeling is to leave the records alone unless there is a problem that keeps me from enjoying the music.


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