Advise on deep cleaning records

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gcodrutv
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Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by gcodrutv » 31 Oct 2019 11:15

Hi,

I got over time some really good old pressings form charity shops and car-boot sales. Most of the records are in close to mint condition, with close to none surface marks, but they do have some obvious finger print marks, mould and various stains.

On a white vinyl of Barry White (the worst condition ever seen)I did a small experiment:
Clean under tap with dish soap to remove first layer of crap, followed by a good rinse under running tap.
Second step, with a cotton makeup remover pad (clean) soaked with 99% isopropyl alcohol, gently rubbed the surface (the pad become almost black) followed by rinse under running tap.
After complete drying, played the disc. It was unbearable to listen. Exactly "like a broken record".

At this stage, my impression was that this vinyl was unable to be saved and I said I have nothing to loose.
I tried the makeup remover solution on a cotton pad. Gently rubbed the vinyl until the entire surface was wet. The amount of gunk removed was unreal. The vinyl finally become white as supposed to be.
The sound was unbelievable. The cracks and pops where 90% gone.

The makeup remover solution is made of mostly wetting agents and small bit of oils.

Diazolidinyl Urea -- Uses: antimicrobial preservative.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate -- Uses: cleansing agent. (used in Pro-Ject record and stylus cleaner)

Mineral Oil -- Uses: skin conditioning agent.

Cyclopentasiloxane -- Uses: anti-static, emollient

Benzalkonium Chloride -- Uses: antimicrobial agent, anti-static, surfactant, preservative

Benzyl Alcohol -- Uses: fragrance component

Ethylparaben -- Uses: fragrance component, preservative

My question is it safe to use makeup remover solution as pre-cleaner solution of very dirty records ?

My usual cleaning regiment is DIY solution (750ml RO water +250ml isopropyl alcohol 99%pure + 5ml Ilfotol) on cotton pad to remove heavy dirt + 20 spins in the Spin Clean record cleaner with Spin Clean solution. Air dry in rack.

My plan is to do the following cleaning schedule:

1. Makeup remover on cotton pad
2. DIY solution
3. Spin Clean
4. Rinse with clean RO water
5. Vacuum dry

Any advise would be much appreciated.

GuidoK
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by GuidoK » 31 Oct 2019 12:13

I don't see anything in that makeup cleaner that could harm the pvc of the record.
And as you're spin cleaning it/rinsing it afterwards, any potential residue of the makeup remover drying in is not an issue.

I can imagine that if a record has a gunk like film on it, just your mild diy solution might not be enough.
Something like babywipes is also effective to remove gunk (not just on records, but its a general household trick). I think the composition of the cleaning solution in babywipes is similar to the makeup remover.

vince1
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by vince1 » 31 Oct 2019 12:37

Why not just purchase a product that has been specifically designed for cleaning records instead of trying to adapt a consumer product that has never been tested on records? For really dirty records (especially the ones with mold contamination) I would use a 2-step solution that includes enzymatic cleaner. Many good TESTED record cleaning products are available for this.

noisefreq
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by noisefreq » 31 Oct 2019 12:54

I would be leary of the mineral oil.
The oil will only make dust stick to the surface and gum up your diamond.
But you obviously have done your homework and you have a nice cleaning regimen.
Update us in the future with your findings.

gcodrutv
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by gcodrutv » 31 Oct 2019 13:18

Thank you all for your replies.

My theory is that makeup remover will be used after first tap water clean, when the majority of heavy dust and grime is removed and before the alcohol solution.
The mineral oils contained by makeup remover will be dissolved by alcohol and further by Spin Clean solution.


I tested the DIY solution followed by Spin Clean (ten full rotation each direction) and I still can see finger print marks on record.
The cleaned records have been tested on a brand new stylus.

I will run the entire process on a set of records and comeback with updates.
Hopefully I won't damage them.

pivot
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by pivot » 31 Oct 2019 15:03

Use products designed or proven to work on LPs. I have the same issue as mentioned above with mineral oil. I assume you want the discs to last long term.

noisefreq
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by noisefreq » 31 Oct 2019 16:03

Now, completely removing finger prints would be a huge deal.
I've never found a way to do this.
Even with straight alcohol and a goathair shaving brush.
I can't hear them but I can still see them.

Tombo62
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by Tombo62 » 31 Oct 2019 17:22

This must have been one hell of a filthy record. Dish soap, rinse, then alcohol pad turns black, rinse, then makeup remover brings up more gunk, plays record and noise reduced by 90%. It may be possible that the noise reduction is largely due to the lubricants in the makeup remover. Others have shown similar results on damaged records by using a thin layer of WD-40 or furniture polish(not recommended), and I'd worry about gunk building up on my stylus, future dust adhesion and long term preservation. I have to admit that I'm confused about the condition of this record, as I've never seen anything quite that bad. I am also confused by noisefreg's post, as in my experience, dried on fingerprints can be easily removed leaving no visible trace.

circularvibes
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by circularvibes » 31 Oct 2019 18:22

I find fingerprints require more than a brush to clean. I use either a soft cloth or the velour covered device that came with my Nitty Gritty. The Spin Clean system can be very effective on the surface but my results with crap in the grooves is less than stellar on the Spin Clean. As to using furniture polish, I have used this or Armor All strictly to cover groove wear on an unrecoverable disc. I have only had to resort to this maybe 3 times in 30+ years on discs that could not be otherwise enjoyed and for the purpose of one decent pass to record them. Not advisable on shellac or lacquer discs. I have seen coloured vinyl that was very dirty to the point of seeing the dirt sucked through the Nitty Gritty after nylon brushing with my cleaning concoction. I even saw the ground in dirt on a new white vinyl disc and it was noisy until a few cleanings and playings helped immensely. The only thing I found more difficult to remove than paint is beer. That is another reason I don't drink and spin.

gcodrutv
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by gcodrutv » 01 Nov 2019 09:12

My biggest worry is the mineral oil from the makeup remover, but a good flood with iso alcohol should clean all the residue.
I cleaned few "clean" records on spin clean and the results were not so good. Most probably the dust was well embedded in the grooves.

Yes indeed, I would like to keep as much as I can these records. Majority are first press and the condition varies form VG+ to Mint.
Main issue is that I do not know how have been stored and cleaned. The inner sleeves have a strong mould odour, same as the outer sleeves.

For the smell I just get the outer sleeves placed in a sealed container with loads of bicarbonate of soda (0.5kg) in small cups all around the sleeves and leave them for few weeks. Just make sure that the bicarbonate is not touching the sleeve.
I do open the container every 1-2 weeks and replace the bicarbonate soda and aerate the sleeves.
After 6-8 weeks I managed to save over 70 sleeves.

Tombo62
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by Tombo62 » 01 Nov 2019 21:57

An ozone generator is probably the quickest and most effective way to totally eliminate moldy-musty odors on covers & sleeves. It kills the mold spores through oxidation. Use a large plastic container with lid, small ozone generator that pumps it out via a rubber tube into the container. Takes less than 24 hours. Do it out in the garage or well ventilated area. Try to minimize breathing in the ozone. I picked this up from Vince. Thanks, Tom

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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by Johnps30 » 03 Nov 2019 17:51

vince1 wrote:
31 Oct 2019 12:37
Why not just purchase a product that has been specifically designed for cleaning records instead of trying to adapt a consumer product that has never been tested on records? For really dirty records (especially the ones with mold contamination) I would use a 2-step solution that includes enzymatic cleaner. Many good TESTED record cleaning products are available for this.
Vince,

Thanks for detergent info - noticed a huge difference after eliminating formula that contained dawn. Yesterday I used FirstRv, then a cleaner - think it was Audio Intelligent (came with EV-1) - used the Shur paint edger instead of Orbitrac pad, then sprayed it with pure reagent water, then gently wiped with Griot’s Garage MicroFiber rag, then vacuumed. Removed all crackles except for scratches. The Griot rag absorbs surface liquid before vacuuming. Do you think it creates more problems than just going to vacuum? I do it to avoid getting vacuum felt damp with contaminates!

So glad I found you; spent all day yesterday reading “You may be doing it wrong”! The results of incorporating info from that thread into my cleaning session yesterday was mind-blowing. Triton 100 and 99% isopropyl are on the way. By the way, I use Swiffer dry pads to apply the FirstRv; no lint and handy - but are there any contaminants I should be worried about?

vince1
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by vince1 » 04 Nov 2019 13:13

Glad things are working out for you John. I'm not familiar with Griot rags, but if they are clean and used wet then you shouldn't have any issues. The Swiffer pads, on the other hand, are a bad idea. They contain mineral oil and leave the surface sticky. We did an experiment where we wiped one half the record with a Swiffer then dipped it into a pail of dust (the canister from a central vac system). When it came out, the Swiffer half was covered with dust that was difficult to remove whereas the other half just blew off. In your wet application, things might be different, but I wouldn't risk it.

gcodrutv
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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by gcodrutv » 04 Nov 2019 16:00

Tom, Vince, thanks for advice, will give it a go on the enzymatic cleaner and ozone generator.

I found a battery operated ozone generator, designed for small spaces, like shoe rack or wardrobe, would do the job for let's say 15-20 outer sleeves in a sealed container ?

I just picked up few early 1970's pressings that they do have strong mouldy odour. The vinyl itself is in near mint condition for the age.

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Re: Advise on deep cleaning records

Post by Tombo62 » 04 Nov 2019 17:28

Hi gcodrutv, Vince recommended an ozone generator with output of at least 3500mg/hr and an exposure time of one hour. A lower output unit may work with longer exposure time (not sure). You may want to clean any soiling on covers first, by wiping with cloth or paper towel misted with a household cleaner, but use care, check for colorfastness. I use small (2" wide) pieces of cardboard to hold the covers open so that the air can get inside. Tom

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