Record cleaning machines ?

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Adamo0926
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Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Adamo0926 » 06 Oct 2019 22:02

Has anyone used any of the record cleaning machines that are out there ?

Recently some of the albums I have played I noticed that the sound deteriorated when it got to about the 3rd to 4th
cut on the album side. When going over to check this out my stylus was basically covered in crap that it was obviously picking up from deep in the grooves. I could literally see stuff hanging off the stylus (dust, dirt or whatever). And when it gets like that it's not really easy to get the crap off the stylus.

And this was after cleaning the album with a record cleaning solution.

So I think for these old albums that I have not played in literally decades, I'm going to need a record cleaning system that will get far deeper into the grooves for the cleaning. But I don't want to break the bank....

I've read a lot of good reviews of something called Spin Clean which sells for 79.99. From what I have read it sounds like this might do the trick. Has anyone used this thing and if so what are your impressions of it ?

I would maybe, MAYBE, go as high as 200.00 to get these LPs cleaned...but certainly would like to find something as cost effective as possible.

Any suggestions would be welcome.....

Bluesnote
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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Bluesnote » 06 Oct 2019 23:54

I'm in a similar situation, records stored for several decades and in need of some TLC before playing.

I have the Spin Clean and have had mixed results - so, given your description of dirt clinging to the stylus I would say the Spin Clean would alleviate to some extent i.e. you will remove the loose dirt.

However, I'm not convinced that you are deep cleaning grooves! I have found that a second or third playing has shown a slight improvement but that suggests again the stylus is shifting the now loosened/softened dirt? That being the case some additional vacuum is required before drying the disc after wet cleaning.

I have a few cleaned discs that just don't respond and am considering trialing one of these, maybe used in conjunction with the Spin Clean.
https://www.squeakycleanvinyl.com/produ ... nyl-mk-iii

Another approach goes back to the old wood glue technique :shock:
Listening to the before and after clips for this set-up is quite convincing, this is an Australian supplier who also offer a cleaning service (so try before you buy). Thinking I might send an album to them that I've had no success with.
https://www.vinylrecordcleaningsystem.c ... esults.asp

. . .I can see popcorn and a comfy seat will be mandatory for this thread though :lol: :wink:

Chris

Roberto C2H3
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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 07 Oct 2019 00:05

Lots of suggestions on cleaning in this forum :D I will sum it for you: If they involve vacuuming after wet cleaning, those are amongst the best. There are some DIY vacuuming set ups that significantly lower the cost, including turning a carbon fiber brush into the sucking end of a vacuum... Good luck :D Your work is cut out for you :lol:

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Pscm » 07 Oct 2019 00:32

I made my own similar to the squeaky clean out of PVC. If your handy it is not that difficult. If not this would be worth the money. Remember still the scrubbing if you will that matters. I feel cleaning solution can be more important especially if dealing with old, sitting around vinyl. Others ay or may not agree. A while back I tried a product called pure vinyl and it was a game changer for me. There are likely other products that will do just as well.

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Adamo0926 » 07 Oct 2019 00:34

Bluesnote wrote:
06 Oct 2019 23:54
I'm in a similar situation, records stored for several decades and in need of some TLC before playing.

I have the Spin Clean and have had mixed results - so, given your description of dirt clinging to the stylus I would say the Spin Clean would alleviate to some extent i.e. you will remove the loose dirt.

However, I'm not convinced that you are deep cleaning grooves! I have found that a second or third playing has shown a slight improvement but that suggests again the stylus is shifting the now loosened/softened dirt? That being the case some additional vacuum is required before drying the disc after wet cleaning.

I have a few cleaned discs that just don't respond and am considering trialing one of these, maybe used in conjunction with the Spin Clean.
https://www.squeakycleanvinyl.com/produ ... nyl-mk-iii

Another approach goes back to the old wood glue technique :shock:
Listening to the before and after clips for this set-up is quite convincing, this is an Australian supplier who also offer a cleaning service (so try before you buy). Thinking I might send an album to them that I've had no success with.
https://www.vinylrecordcleaningsystem.c ... esults.asp

. . .I can see popcorn and a comfy seat will be mandatory for this thread though :lol: :wink:

Chris
Chris.....I assume the Spin Clean machine has some sort of vacuuming function during the cleaning process ?

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Bluesnote » 07 Oct 2019 00:54

Adamo0926 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 00:34

Chris.....I assume the Spin Clean machine has some sort of vacuuming function during the cleaning process ?
No Adam, It is a failing of the Spin Clean!!
You have a solution in a bath with two pads tightly fixed at the centre. basically the record is slipped between the two pads into the solution and manually turned - three times clockwise/ three times anti-clockwise (recommended) a wipe with provided clothes and left to dry in a rack (not supplied), I use a dish rack. I also don't wipe the discs, just rinse and dry.

That is why I am suggesting something like the Squeeky Clean linked, everything I have read suggests vacuuming is a necessary part of the process to pull stubborn and loosened dirt from deeper in the groove. So, could involve a two process clean, if using these 'affordable' options.

Chris

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 07 Oct 2019 01:45

With all due respect to those out there with a Spin Clean: In comparison, you are much, way much, better off with doing a sink cleaning (rinsing the record under the faucet) repeatedly after cleaning it with a brush / sponge with a solution that has a mild detergent on it. Think about it, gallons more than the half pint of liquid in the spin clean that absorbs dust and then spreads it into the next record. I agree, it is not a "Green Planet, save the Planet" solution. But heck, it is much better at actually getting your sonic investment clean... 8)

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Bluesnote » 07 Oct 2019 02:18

Roberto C2H3 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 01:45
With all due respect to those out there with a Spin Clean: In comparison, you are much, way much, better off with doing a sink cleaning (rinsing the record under the faucet) repeatedly after cleaning it with a brush / sponge with a solution that has a mild detergent on it. Think about it, gallons more than the half pint of liquid in the spin clean that absorbs dust and then spreads it into the next record. I agree, it is not a "Green Planet, save the Planet" solution. But heck, it is much better at actually getting your sonic investment clean... 8)


That's pretty well how I started, you really need two sinks large enough to take a disc. One with solution that you can dunk the disc in during the clean process and one to rinse with running water or distilled from a container (straight down the sink). The Spin Clean does provide a more compact tidy solution but I agree cleaning the pads between albums and a change of the solution after 10 or so albums would seem minimum.

I've probably now cleaned over 100 discs with the Spin Clean and so far around 80% have been successful, the process is much quicker (cleaning both sides) and tidy (read no mess to mop up). It does have it's place, not perfect by any stretch but for Adam's and my situation where albums have been stored relatively clean for extended periods it does what it was designed to. . .

I will invest in a low cost vacuum set-up at some stage, which hopefully will further improve these old discs. . .

I guess it should go without saying, new inner sleeves are a must after cleaning :)

Chris

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Roberto C2H3 » 07 Oct 2019 02:26

Bluesnote wrote:
07 Oct 2019 02:18
Roberto C2H3 wrote:
07 Oct 2019 01:45
With all due respect to those out there with a Spin Clean: In comparison, you are much, way much, better off with doing a sink cleaning (rinsing the record under the faucet) repeatedly after cleaning it with a brush / sponge with a solution that has a mild detergent on it. Think about it, gallons more than the half pint of liquid in the spin clean that absorbs dust and then spreads it into the next record. I agree, it is not a "Green Planet, save the Planet" solution. But heck, it is much better at actually getting your sonic investment clean... 8)


That's pretty well how I started, you really need two sinks large enough to take a disc. One with solution that you can dunk the disc in during the clean process and one to rinse with running water or distilled from a container (straight down the sink).
Indeed Chris ! What I use is a large container where I first bathe the record in a shampoo / rinse solution, where the sponge is used, and then use the faucet on the sink for rinsing. The final rinse is in distilled water with isopropyl.

Indeed, new packaging after that is an absolute must 8)

Best from the Pampas Brother,

roberto

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Adamo0926 » 07 Oct 2019 03:26

Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words.....so I will provide a few that I just took.

With this particular LP I now can't even get through the 2nd song when I notice the degradation in audio. Severe degradation. I'm now thinking that maybe the way I was cleaning this disc is the problem. Maybe I am actually introducing dust and dirt into the grooves rather than cleaning them.....because what is stuck to the stylus after less than a song and a half is just not right....

What I did for this last cleaning was mix together a fresh solution of distilled water and this stuff that I bought online a couple of years ago called The Groovinator (yes I know kind of a corny name but it had a lot of great reviews). I sprayed it on the surface then wiped it down with a damp microfiber as they instruct. Then I dried it with a dry microfiber.

Perhaps the microfibers I am using are not completely clean. Maybe I should not be drying the surface and just let it air dry. I don't know.....it must be something because at this point this LP is unplayable.

Next time I play an LP I will pick one of the ones that I have not yet cleaned to see if the stylus picks up this kind of junk.....and if it doesn't, then I will know this has something to do with my cleaning method....

Here are 2 pictures of what clung to the stylus after going through one and half songs:
Stylus1.jpeg
(94.29000000000001 KiB) Downloaded 173 times
Stylus2.jpeg
(92.45999999999999 KiB) Downloaded 168 times
And this is what the stylus should look like after I used the Mr Clean Magic Eraser to pull that crap off the stylus:
Stylus3.jpeg
(97.95 KiB) Downloaded 170 times
Stylus4.jpeg
(96.75 KiB) Downloaded 164 times

Bluesnote
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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Bluesnote » 07 Oct 2019 04:25

Yikes!! never seen anything like that!! :shock:

I think you need to get serious, I have seen paint edge applicators used - they have a very short fine brush on a pad with handle, you run them around the disc very wet avoiding the label. You can be quite aggressive as long as you work with the groove. Rinse and dry without the use of any kind of cloth.

Something else I've seen used to clean the stylus is a small coin sized blob of bluetac on the TT base, swing the arm and gently touch the needle on the bluetac to lift anything it has picked up. I've not tried this and probably would be a little hesitant, but who knows?

Chris

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Bluesnote » 07 Oct 2019 05:01

For comparison, not a great pic but. . .

I've just finished cleaning 6 LPs, and played 5 both sides, this the now (after) condition of my stylus. Amazing what a photo will reveal, look at the dust hanging off the headshell :shock:

Chris
Attachments
DL80 Stylus tip.jpg
(45.57 KiB) Downloaded 161 times

Adamo0926
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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Adamo0926 » 07 Oct 2019 05:06

Bluesnote wrote:
07 Oct 2019 04:25
Yikes!! never seen anything like that!! :shock:

I think you need to get serious, I have seen paint edge applicators used - they have a very short fine brush on a pad with handle, you run them around the disc very wet avoiding the label. You can be quite aggressive as long as you work with the groove. Rinse and dry without the use of any kind of cloth.

Something else I've seen used to clean the stylus is a small coin sized blob of bluetac on the TT base, swing the arm and gently touch the needle on the bluetac to lift anything it has picked up. I've not tried this and probably would be a little hesitant, but who knows?

Chris
Chris.....the more I think about it the more I am starting to believe that maybe I need to ditch the microfiber cloths that I have been using. Either that or wash them with a detergent recommended for microfiber. I never had this issue before so I am very suspicious that the wipe down with the current cloths is actually introducing dust, dirt, cat hair/dander, etc into the grooves when I wipe the surface down.

Should be an easy theory to test.....just use 2 new brand new microfiber cloths and see if that solves the problem.

There is just no way there could have been that much crap in those grooves. And I would think that once the stylus picked it up, then it wouldn't happen again. But it seems to happen each time I try to clean the surface of the LP, so I just have to believe something has gone awry during my cleaning....

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Bluesnote » 07 Oct 2019 05:20

My best results have been to wet clean (Spin Clean) rinse with distilled water and rack dry - no cloth of any kind goes near the disc at any time. When rinsing the water tracks the disc so nothing wets the label.

Chris

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Re: Record cleaning machines ?

Post by Adamo0926 » 07 Oct 2019 05:25

Bluesnote wrote:
07 Oct 2019 05:20
My best results have been to wet clean (Spin Clean) rinse with distilled water and rack dry - no cloth of any kind goes near the disc at any time. When rinsing the water tracks the disc so nothing wets the label.

Chris
I think I may try that Spin Clean machine as the first step and clean as you have described. If that's not satisfactory I will then look into cleaning methods and machines that include vacuuming.

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