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What does everyone use to clean their records?

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Started with a Spinclean and it was alright in the beginning but then made the upgrade to Squeakyclean and have used it for probably 4-5 years at least and have loved it (still going strong!). It does a much better job imo for not much more. Just buy a cheap $10-20 small shop vac to add onto it and you're set.


If I get the extra funds down the road i'll def. get a nice all in one vac cleaner but those are at minimum double-triple the price so i'm good for now.


For the cleaner I use this TergiKleen™ Tergitol-based Fluid Concentrate .. $30 is about the same I paid 4 years ago and I still have a good amount left. You just use 20 drops for a full gallon of distilled water which means one of these will last for about 28-30 gallons worth of cleaner which should pretty much be a lifetime worth and some.

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2 hours ago, Know Hope Records said:

I have a Record Doctor and it’s the only wet cleaning method I’ve ever used. It takes forever to do (probably 3-5 min per individual LP), but works great. I use it with MoFi branded LP cleaning solution.

Would you recommend it for someone that's only cleaned by hand up until this point? I like the idea of saving a little money and just getting a Spin Clean but if the difference between a SC and the Record Doctor is night and day I might be interested in spending a few extra bucks

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I use a Record Doctor V.  I got one about a year ago.  Before that, I was using the old DiscWasher method.  I love the Record Doctor and would never look back.  Its loud and labor intensive, but rather than the 3-5 minutes to clean mentioned above, I usually take about 2-3 minutes to clean an LP at most.  I use L'Art Du Son with distilled water for my solution.  I haven't used any other solution, so I can't say if its worth the money compared to other options, but I like it.

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I have a Record Doctor V. I think it works great, but haven't used anything else to compare it to. I clean both sides with a cleaning solution, then clean both sides with chemical grade distilled water (this was recommended by a chemist/biologist on these boards in the audio equipment section of these forums). I would say that it probably takes me 3-5 minutes per record to clean because of this. 

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I use the discwasher I purchased in 1977 - with water.

To deep clean I use warm tap water, cheap shampoo/conditioner combo, and one of those paint trimmers from Home Depot. Here is a picture of one of the ones available:


I don't bother protecting the label because it's really not exposed to that much water. I scrub in both directions for about three revolutions. I recently used this method to clean about 200 45's and the results were startling. They are now in nice, new sleeves and I now respect my 45 collection. With 33's, it is equally amazing. They become "new". The bristles really get to the bottom of the groove and really dig everything out with no damage. Only stuff embedded in the vinyl and any wear remain. 


This is why it didn't help my 45's from juke boxes. They were simply worn out.


BTW, water kills static.


Edited by Direct driver
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I moved from Seattle to a "hobby farm" in Kentucky 10 years ago. Almost all of my approximately 3,000 records have been in a non-climate controlled shed in storage that entire time. I just had my 30x60 shop/mancave built and am getting the mancave room going (30x16 feet). step one was getting one of my systems up and running, which included unboxing all my vinyl. 


The vinyl experienced high humidity up to 105 degrees all the way down to -5 degrees. Fortunately they were all packed pretty tightly, but I didn't know what I was going to get. 


Here's what I got: They are all undamaged, but there are, here and there, slight "mold" spots on some records. I was surprised to find that a wipe with a discwasher would usually remove any "visible" sign of this mold (it's a very thin "cloudy spot" on the record).  I have a nikon 3D microscope for examining styluses and records, and using that I could see that some remained in the grooves. When I played them you could hear it. 


But I used the cleaning system I mentioned in my post above (link below)  on a few records and the results are that they are quite literally as good as new. An examination with the microscope shows completely empty and shiny grooves. And that's exactly what they sound like. 


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Some might find this interesting. 


I purchased a used Audio Technica AT LP 120 USB a few years ago to play vinyl in the "breaks" at my band's live gigs. It plugs directly into the mixing board and was only $150 and I was willing to risk damaging it. Anyway, it will play at 78 RPM. That coupled with a very high torque motor allows me to do something with it that is difficult with other TT's. That is, for all records I set the speed to 78, run the Discwasher over the record, applying fairly strong pressure, and the motor keeps the record spinning at 78 rpm or close to it. Then I drop the speed back to 33. It brakes down to 33 in about a third of a second. And I play the record.  

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