the home of the turntable

Cleaning 78S?

3 minute wonder

Postby dr0ss » 15 Apr 2009 10:08

I also found a recipe here; it includes both Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol) and Elvanol. Despite its Tolkeinish name, the latter is a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) product. Sounds very unsafe for 78s.
dr0ss
member
member
 
Posts: 54
Joined: 20 Mar 2007 09:04
Location: Honolulu

Postby Whitneyville » 23 Apr 2009 07:29

No alcohol on 78's of ANY type. Shellac a board, pour any kind of alcohol on it and see what happens; wrinkles at best, removal with methyl alcohol(methanol). I scrub my 78's with Photo-Flo 200 mixed as reccomended by Kodak on film, one capful to a liter of distilled water, put some on the record, put it on the turntable , and use a very soft (infant) toothbrush, rinse in tap-water, then rinse again with distilled and dry them with photo blotter paper, then let them dry on edge for a day or so. Finding very large diameter sylii for most phono cartidges is very difficult or imposible today. I've put most of my '78's onto Hi-Fi VHS format (with stills of the labels) which gives me 6 hours of Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, and Bob Wills and hopefully, it will be many,many years before I need to play the originals again. It actually works quite well, as awful as the concept is. Some "garage/attic sale" 78's I have to clean several times. More than once, first pass, all I did was make mud. :(
Whitneyville
long player
long player
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: 13 Feb 2009 20:08
Location: Tulsa, OK

United States of America

Re: Dealers Sell Proper Cleaner For 78s

Postby Chapter24 » 22 Jun 2011 05:06

1200y3 wrote:78's snap like crackers if handled improperly.


I found that out on the first one I cleaned :oops: and quickly adjusted my handling methods to suit them better :lol:
Luckily I practiced on one I didn't care about very much.

I was given a stack of 50s rock 78s that were extremely filthy from sitting in a basement for 40-50 years. It felt great to get them all cleaned up and put into new sleeves. I used a bit of very simple/pure (laundry) detergent and some vinegar in distilled water, then rinsed under the tap, with a final rinse of distilled water from a spray bottle. I made a DIY label protection system from peanut butter jar lids and a sheet of rubber, cut to size.

It all seemed to work really well, but I've still not played them to hear the results. Finally got around to getting a 78 stylus recently, so will be hearing them soon.
Chapter24
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 260
Images: 25
Joined: 11 Mar 2009 01:06
Location: PA

Postby Whitneyville » 06 Jul 2011 05:37

I'm now using my Pickering XV-15 stereo cartridge with a 3 mil stylus and I built a "phase switch box" for horizontal cut and vertical cut (Victrola, Edison, Pathe) discs, that becomes dual mono out. My monster ex-radio station transcription TT in the garage with the Astatic cutterhead/playback cartridge does a better job on pure horizontal cuts, but it's 44*C in there at 11:36 PM local time.
Whitneyville
long player
long player
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: 13 Feb 2009 20:08
Location: Tulsa, OK

United States of America

Cleaning & Playback Of Shellac Records

Postby discjockey2006 » 30 Jul 2011 17:02

Having had a 78 RPM record show on the state radio in Paris France for 8 years, 1000x55-minute formats (!), 14 to 15 sides per broadcast, I can assure you of the following:
-cleaning with a mild dish-washing liquid (Dove) and rinsing with distilled water is OK. Absolutely NO alcohol-based fluids.
-for airplay I used at least 5 stylus sizes: (in µm.) 50, 65 (std) and 65 conical truncated , 80 and 100 for acoustic, on a variety of carts (Stanton 680, 500, GE VRII, Shure SC35 & Pierre Clement Radio France models L7B).
- to get most of the surface noise out, I would spray on Johnson's regular PLEDGE onto the entire side and apply it evenly with a plastic baby hairbrush. Then I would wipe the excess with a soft cloth and play the record. "Pledge" evaporates with time (10 to 15 years) and is harmless to shellac. It also improves the stylus/groove contact because it is slightly "Sticky" (pun intended). The French equivalent of your L.O.C., "La Bibliothèque Nationale" uses PLEDGE on a day-to-day basis. After about 20 years this stuff turns powdery and a hard round painter's brush removes it easily and thoroughly.
Hoping this post will shed some light on those funny looking discs!!
discjockey2006
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 10
Images: 4
Joined: 03 May 2011 15:56
Location: New York City

Postby Whitneyville » 30 Jul 2011 22:52

Thanks for the PLEDGE tip! I knew about using glycerin, but it's so hard to clean-up after. My 100 year-old+ shellacs I worry about. Shellac isn't the most stable substance known to man, and newer records of mine have had "problems".
Whitneyville
long player
long player
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: 13 Feb 2009 20:08
Location: Tulsa, OK

United States of America

Postby Alec124c41 » 31 Jul 2011 04:08

If you have ever set a wet glass on a shellacked piece of furniture, then you know why coasters were invented.
Do not ever play shellac records wet.

Cheers,
Alec
Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
 
Posts: 21659
Images: 76
Joined: 28 Oct 2002 04:24
Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Canada

Postby discjockey2006 » 31 Jul 2011 16:41

Whitneyville wrote:Thanks for the PLEDGE tip! I knew about using glycerin, but it's so hard to clean-up after. My 100 year-old+ shellacs I worry about. Shellac isn't the most stable substance known to man, and newer records of mine have had "problems".



This "tip" really works. Do NOT use "Lemon PLEDGE", use the regular stuff. The smarts guys at Radio France Accounting always wondered what this show was doing with furniture spray cans!!
Regards, J.
discjockey2006
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 10
Images: 4
Joined: 03 May 2011 15:56
Location: New York City

Postby Whitneyville » 30 Aug 2011 03:36

My "bottom line" is don't soak them or leave them wet any longer than absolutely necessary. Dawn or Dove or better (IMHO) P&G glycerin bar soap (castile) (I use a China boar bristle cheap shaving brush and an infant toothbrush) work well unless the grime is oily/greasy, then it's Ultra Dawn or sometimes 1:64/1:50 Simple Green in lukewarm distilled water, and work FAST. I think it's safer to clean a really grimey 78 several times fast, than to leave it wet long enough to get it clean in one pass. I dry them with my wet vac, then a well-washed "beefy-Tee", then let them air-dry for 2-3 days in the dish rack before cleaning again, or playing them. A Swiffer duster does a good job at removing plain dust, or the Endust dry dusting cloths. I don't see the point of making mud for no good reason, which keeps the surface wet longer. Your mileage may vary...
Whitneyville
long player
long player
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: 13 Feb 2009 20:08
Location: Tulsa, OK

United States of America

Re: Cleaning 78S??

Postby smee4 » 19 Jan 2012 04:04

I clean mine with soap and water, and I do it fast. To aid in this, I use a nylon scrubbing brush. If you place the 78 on a well supported flat surface (the draining area beside my stainless steel kitchen sink is perfect) you can really scrub hard and quickly.

I seem to get a lot of 78s covered in a sticky film, which I suspect is tar and nicotene from a previous owner's cigarette smoking. These need a hard scrub. I cannot detect ANY damage from the stiff nylon bristles in the scrubbing brush, and the 78s come up nice and shiny.

Keep labels as dry as possible as they can wrinkle and even come off. If you care about the little paper stamps on some 78s, be VERY careful as they come of easiest of all.
smee4
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 547
Images: 9
Joined: 04 Jul 2004 08:07

Re: Cleaning 78S??

Postby smee4 » 19 Jan 2012 10:01

Good video. Almost identical to what I do, but for a really dirty 78, you'll need to scrub it a lot harder. I also keep the label a bit drier by not immersing the 78. Instead I use a soft paintbrush to brush the soapy water around the record, trying to avoid the label.
smee4
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 547
Images: 9
Joined: 04 Jul 2004 08:07

Re: Cleaning 78S??

Postby thermionics » 12 Feb 2012 13:43

There's a movie called "Desperate Man Blues", It's a Great Documentary about an american record collector of Jazz, Country and Hillbilly music. He possibly has the best 78 collection of its type on earth.

One of the DVD extra's is "How to clean 78's" I like to show this to my OC friends to freak them out.

He basically vigorously scrubs his 78's with an old stiff wooden laundry brush and soapy water.

I don't necessarily claim this is the best method, but, he's a serious enthusiast and it obviously works for him.
thermionics
junior member
junior member
 
Posts: 21
Images: 22
Joined: 21 Apr 2009 12:18
Location: au

Re: Cleaning 78S??

Postby smee4 » 12 Feb 2012 22:55

I do this too. Except mine is a modern plastic equivalent brush - not wooden.
smee4
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 547
Images: 9
Joined: 04 Jul 2004 08:07

Re: Cleaning 78S??

Postby 78 archivist » 14 Feb 2012 23:32

smee4 wrote:I do this too. Except mine is a modern plastic equivalent brush - not wooden.


Have you seen the video though? It was just put up on YouTube.

Deleted scene. (caution - treatment maybe considered graphic)

I cringed in astonishment. Microscopic photography of the grooves will most definitely demonstrate degradation. And to think he owns records which individually are worth more than most of our entire sound systems. :shock:

But he did save a lot of the most important American music from being lost. =D>
78 archivist
member
member
 
Posts: 52
Images: 4
Joined: 20 Jan 2012 21:04
Location: shellacengine

United States of America

Re: Cleaning 78S??

Postby smee4 » 15 Feb 2012 04:45

I didn't cringe. I scrub them like this. You can look at the non-grooved bits and not see any added scratches. Shellac is hard enough that a scrubbing brush, or shoe brush doesn't seem to harm them.
smee4
senior member
senior member
 
Posts: 547
Images: 9
Joined: 04 Jul 2004 08:07

PreviousNext

Return to 78rpm