Dipping my toes into the vinyl market with my second system. I own about a 100 lps. I may or may not go deeper. For the meantime what’s the best method and products to clean vinyl without buying a record cleaning machine? Not ready to pull the plug on that one just yet. Have an early Zeppelin 4 that I don’t want to damage along with several from my vinyl days in the 70’s that I always used discwasher and a brush.
There is a simple ,if slow and laborious method that I have found very effective
Cotton face pads (not cotton wool balls) and liquid soap (but not washing up liquid)
I have a water softener…so …wet the record thoroughly…put on a small amount of liquid soap…use the cotton pad (my wife’s faces pads) to clean the record
Rinse off with tepid softened (tap?) water
Let dry (I use a wooden plate rack)
This method is not quite as effective as my ultrasonic record cleaner at getting in ground muck off…but is not that far behind and at least as good at killing static
If the tap water is high solids, as with hard water, softening doesn’t reduce (it simply changes calcium to sodium: no soap scum, but still dissolved solids). Best have final rinse with distilled or deionised water, so no dissolved solids to leave a residue.
Another apparentlyeffective ckeaning method is to coat with PVA glue (usually described as ‘wood glue’, but make sure PVA as there are other glues that would not be wise!), let dry, then peel off. If I was going to try that, I’d go and buy some ‘throwaway’ disks in a car boot sale to practice with…
Pay someone else to do it.
I use Isopropyl ( with 30% distilled water) and that ( picture). In circular cleaning. Dry in 5 minutes ( while spinning on the platter). Then carbon brush.
Ivor Tiefenbrun once said let the stylus clean your LP and you can clean your stylus later.
If you mean not an automatic machine…maybe have a look at Spin Clean. Basically it is a wet clean where you turn the lp yourself. I bought mine from Henly Audio and was cautious at first, but I find it works pretty well and easier than the dishwasher approach for me, obviously much cheaper and easier to store than a dedicated machine. I found that after a wash and a dry in a photo drying rack, the LP’s were fine and sounded great. Then stored in good quality anti static sleeves and no more static problems. Amazing how good 50 years old LP’s can sound - my LZ 1 is amazing.
I have used a Disco Antistat with great success. Spin Clean looks very similar - recommended!
Some dirt is like grease, incrusted inside the lp. The stylus can’t remove it.
I’ve tried the PVA glue trick and it works…but is quite expensive!
Cheap PVA is no good at all and just tears when you try to remove it
So you have to use a quality glue … which is expensive to do and is a little messy as well
Hire a RCM for a week or two , or knosti / spinclean good manual option
Best thing you can do is leave a few records with your local dealer who offers a cleaning service and see what improvement is achievable. Then consider buying your own if funds and space permit.
I really wanted someone to give me a solution like tm-8 and their favorite cloth and clean it that way. I used the old discwasher d3 and their brush back in the 70’s and survived. I’ll buy a record cleaning machine if I’m not too lazy to get up and turn the lp over. The ease of streaming may have ruined me.
I’ve got an NDS and 555ps
What did I listen to all last night?
Vinyl IS still relevant and worth the effort
Some machines clean both sides at the same time.
For a long time @Zackwater I have been employing a system that involves the knosti and a solution called L’art du son but I don’t think that’s what you want. The L’art du son is very good and if you want to keep it simple you could make up a diluted solution, spray the disc, wipe with microfibre cloth, rinse with distilled water and dry on a rack but incorporating the knosti is preferable.
Then stored in good quality anti static sleeves
Excellent one …
If Ivor said…