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Record Cleaning / Washing
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    Right at the outset I can say the following:

Forget all sprays, liquids, lobes, towels and "panaceas" of any kind !

(Sadly again...) it took me some years until i finally found an (almost) perfect solution. Although I had recommended washing-sprays (or the like) in the past i can say now that the best results will only be reached with a good washing machine - anything else is crap!
Now we have the question:
When is it suggestive to think about buying a record washing machine ?!?
Well, it is of course everybody's own choice, but with a collection of about 300-500+ records it really makes sense.
It is also possible to look for hifi-dealers who owe a professional washing machine. Sometimes these dealers provide a vinyl washing service. The Price is about 1-2 Euro for one record. Sometimes it is possible to rent the "good" machines (like Keith Monks or Loricraft) over a weekend / or week. You can simply try a google search...

The results are astonishing! In the most cases the record sounds as new and there won't be any hard crackling or disturbing noises. Before you start the washing process, the record should be cleaned from the "major dust/dirt" with a carbon fibre brush or a satin-brush for records. ... but if a record has any bad scratches or scuffs even the best washing machine can't delete them.


Then we can go to the next step...

   
   
   
   

There are 3 different kinds of washing machines:

  • 1. The "Point-Sucker"
    (e.g. Keith Monks , Loricraft , Source Odyssee , or Minos)
    (Newprice about 2.500 Euro +/- , used from about 1.200 +/- [e.g. ebay])

    Keith Monks

    Keith Monks - Gemini

    Loricraft

    With these machines you will get the best results!
    The basic idea is simple:
    The machine looks like a normal turntable housed on a wooden box.
    Instead of the pick-up there is a "sucking-nipple" on the tonearm. The Nipple is connected with a flexible tube to a vacuum-pump. Between the nipple and the record is a nylon thread to keep a distance.
    Like on the other machines the record gets cleaned with a liquid and a brush. Then the "pointsucking" begins.... As always a picture is worth a thousand words.
    watch it on youtube:





    The price is, of course, quite shocking in the first moment - but: Attention!
    Beside the originals, some tinkerer tried a do-it-yourself machine - partly with big succes!



    How it works can be seen on the following websites:

    - The GrooVe-Laundry

    - Project "Little Sucker"

    - DIY RCM (Record Cleaning Machine)l


    My machnie (also a "DIY") is the following:



    It was built from a turntable with a tangential-drive by Gerhard Buderus
    (Thanks).
   
   
   
   
  • 2. The "Surface-Sucker"
    (e.g. from Okki Nokki) (new price from about 400,- Euro +/-)
    Looks like a compact turntable box.

    Okki Nokki

    The principle is as follows: Put the record on the turntable, apply the liquid and spread it with the brush on the record. The adjust the sucking section an Switch on the vacuum - ready. Here's a video from youtube:



    Conclusion: very loud, altough the liquid gets sucked up, the complete dirt and dust connot really get "caught", as there is no direct "touch" with the vinyl.
   
   
   
   
  • 3. The "Disco Antistat" from Knosti
    (Price [new] about 40,- Euro +/-)


    A nearly unbeatable price-performance ratio - but the result is only moderate satisfying. As you can see on the picture, the record is bolted with a "plastic-puck" and then turned in the tub with the cleaning liquid. The liquid (a bottle of 1 Litre) comes together with the complete washing-set. As the liquid is quite expensive as a single bottle (about 10,- / Litre), there is aslo an alternative. You can mix your own cleaning liquid as follows: Mix 99,9% isopropyl (30%) with distilled Water (70%)
    and add about 4ml "Fotofilm" (e.g. Agfa). With this you save large costs and after about 30-40 records you can simply pour away the "sludge" without draining it back through the filter.
    On each of the sidewalls in the tub there are brushes made of goat-hair. With these soft brushes the record gets washed gently and exhaustive.
    But now we come to the major problem of this variant:
    After the washing process the records shout be placed in the plastic stand that they can dry.
    The rack fits 10 records, but when you insert or remove the record it can happen that the record gets rubbed at the plastic holder. Then the record could get a scratch! The solution is to simply insert only 7 records tilted in the stand. During the washing process the dust and the dirt get brushed off the record, but in the drying process the dirt is still on the surface of the record. In some cases it can happen that after playing one side of the "washed" record, the needle is full of dust and the sound is muffled.
    Conclusion: The record is not really clean the way it should be :o(
    After some time the brushes in the tub get dirty and dusty and it is very difficult to clean them. (e.g. with a toothbrush).
    The "Real-Knosti-People" swear on the machine, but it cannot be the best solution to dry the records with a drilling machine (!). For some time I also used this method, but now I am glad to owe a "Point-Sucker"...
    The time exposure should also not be underestimated. To use the liquid economically you should clean 30-40 records in one process. This takes about 1,5 hours! You shouldn't leave the liquid in the tub for later cleaning, as the smell of the isopropyl or the original liquid is really "hard" and after some time the liquid simply vaporizes... :o)
   
   
   
   
  • After the washing process the record should be hosted in a NEW antistatic Innersleeve and NOT back in the old/former "dusthell", otherwise the washing was useless.
    I cannot recommand "normal" paper-innersleeves (without inner lining), as only the antistatic feature keeps the dust away and the record is stored optimal!

    furter informations can also be found here:
    Vinyl Record Cleaning