A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

how clean is your house
Post Reply
cgallery
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 42
Joined: 10 Jul 2019 05:55

A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

Post by cgallery » 14 Oct 2019 04:51

I googled album soaking, but didn't find anyone else doing it quite like this, figured I'd pass this along.

I use an Audio Technica pad and DIY fluid (80% filtered water, 20% iso) to clean records before each play. This works great on albums that are already fairly clean.

For used/bargain-bin records I've just acquired, though, I perform my initial cleaning with those disposable cotton makeup pads (so as not to contaminate my Audio Technica pad with God knows what) + my fluid. I do this on a sheet of plastic I have near my turntable.

I'll then play the album and if it shows promise (I like the performance and no groove damage), I will then deep-clean the album thusly:
  1. With the album on my spinning turntable, I apply a fat bead of my fluid to my Audio Technica cleaning pad, and apply this to the album, making certain I've covered the entire playing area.
  2. I immediately toss an old beater album on top of the now-wet album I'm cleaning.
  3. I pickup both albums as a stack, and flip it. Now side 2 of the album I'm cleaning is facing up and the beater album is on my platter.
  4. I put another fat beat of fluid on my pad and apply that to this side of the album.
  5. Again, I immediately toss another beater album on top, and I now have the album I'm cleaning covered with my fluid on both sides, sandwiched between the two beater albums. These beater albums are preventing my fluid from evaporating.
  6. I let this sandwich sit anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or two (no, I don't get mold/mildew, the alcohol prevents that).
  7. When I'm ready, I remove the top beater album and use my pad with a little fresh fluid to perform a more typical cleaning of that side.
  8. Once that side has air dried, I remove the other beater album and repeat step #7 for this side of the album.
This technique isn't fast, but I only buy a couple of albums every week or so, and the method does a remarkable job at getting albums very clean/quiet, without any special record cleaning machines or fluids required.

Sunwire
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 2068
Joined: 07 Oct 2004 21:54
Location: New York

Re: A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

Post by Sunwire » 14 Oct 2019 06:08

Interesting method.
One suggestion: add a surfactant ("wetting agent" to reduce surface tension of the water) to your cleaning fluid. This will allow the liquid to disperse deeper into the record grooves.
My formula is:
800 mL distilled water
200 mL 90% Isopropyl alcohol
5 mL Ilfotol (many people substitute a few drops dishwashing liquid)

Be sure to rinse with distilled or purified water.

cgallery
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 42
Joined: 10 Jul 2019 05:55

Re: A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

Post by cgallery » 14 Oct 2019 13:18

Sunwire wrote:
14 Oct 2019 06:08
Interesting method.
One suggestion: add a surfactant ("wetting agent" to reduce surface tension of the water) to your cleaning fluid. This will allow the liquid to disperse deeper into the record grooves.
My formula is:
800 mL distilled water
200 mL 90% Isopropyl alcohol
5 mL Ilfotol (many people substitute a few drops dishwashing liquid)

Be sure to rinse with distilled or purified water.
The alcohol cuts the surface tension of the water enough that I can skip the detergents, which means I can skip the rinsing, too. So all I need to do it mop the fluid on, sandwich, wait, and mop the fluid off.

PioneerFan
senior member
senior member
Posts: 297
Joined: 26 Jul 2016 15:00

Re: A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

Post by PioneerFan » 15 Oct 2019 13:07

Using a few drops of a dishwasher rinse agent, like Cascade, has worked great for me.

cgallery
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 42
Joined: 10 Jul 2019 05:55

Re: A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

Post by cgallery » 15 Oct 2019 16:01

PioneerFan wrote:
15 Oct 2019 13:07
Using a few drops of a dishwasher rinse agent, like Cascade, has worked great for me.
I've tried it but because I don't rinse, I think it accumulates on my albums and eventually I can hear it.

Perhaps I'll swing back to it and try less, and see if I can get a better proportion.

PioneerFan
senior member
senior member
Posts: 297
Joined: 26 Jul 2016 15:00

Re: A simple deep-cleaning record soaking technique...

Post by PioneerFan » 15 Oct 2019 16:54

There is no exact science to this process. If there was, there would not be thousands of cleaning rituals, methods, and formulas. There would be one. Until that happens? Enjoy your records. I know some listen to their gear. And I have nothing against that. But i have my gear to listen to my music.

Post Reply