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Cleaning old records?

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If the records are skipping you're probably screwed as the grooves are likely damaged. However,

There are some fine brusehes available for record cleaning that will remove loose dust and particles. You should be able to find them at a good audio store. If you can't find one, you might find an ultra soft and fine brush for cleaning electric shavers & use it. Anyway, the idea is to spin the platter and lightly use the brush to pick up the dust and particles.

There used to be a liquid record cleaner available too, from a good audio store. You could try room temperature DISTILLED water and dry with a SOFT, LINT FREE cloth, wiping in the direction of the grooves. Obvioulsy you wouldn't soak the disk, but use a damp cloth for the cleaning & dry with another lint free soft cloth.


Also, make sure you don't have buildup of debris around the stylus. That will raise the stylus in the grooves and allow the thing to skip much easier.


I used to have a brush mounted to the tone arm when I played a lot of records. That helped but I'd still have to clean the stylus now and again.


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As dry wiping can damage more very dirty records, I suggest a mix of vinylic glue, distilled water and H2O2 (oxygenated water, to kill electrostatics) that has to be painted on the micro-grooves, following their direction.


After some hours it's dry, and can be easily removed as a beauty mask, removing most of the stuff that years left inside, unsticked by water and incorporated by glue.


In this way nothing can scratch the record, and vinylic glue is absolutely friendly on a vinyl record.


I know, sounds strange, but works. Just be careful to keep away from the label.



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Hey bluestrat,

The gold standard for record cleaning systems (if anyone is interested) used to be NITTY GRITTY Record Cleaning Systems .



I always wanted one when I was a kid and then vinyl fell out of use for all but DJs and precious indie bands. But if you have records to clean this is the way I would go if I had the $$. They are not cheap.


There is also the niffty ELP Laser Turntable .


Now this is something I would love to have!!!



In the meantime best of luck with the cleaning project. :)



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I've had success using plain ol' mild soap and water. Demineralized or distilled would be best.


Follow this with a "Discwasher"-style cleaning and you should wind up pretty much residue-free.


However, as Dak pointed out, your stylus could be the issue as well. In fact, since you're having this trouble with a number of records, I think it more likely. Crud can become impacted around the stylus in a manner that won't come off with a casual brushing, so give it a close inspection.


It could also be that your stylus is worn or damaged. :(

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Gunk could be built up to the point that it could cause skipping, but I suspect you need to add a bit more weight to your stylus (after you clean the records).


I've had pretty good luck using dishwashing liquid and my fingers in the kitchen sink on albums. Dry em with a lint free cloth or paper towels.


alfonso, that glue method sounds intriguing. Does it really work or are you taking the piss?

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