Cleaning advice required for Rubber Soul

Sorry if I’m in the wrong category here.
This is my wife’s copy of The Beatles, Rubber Soul which she purchased brand new when she was 13 years old. She cherishes it but has not played it for many years.

Apparently her younger brother got hold of it and its received a few scuffs and what appears smears of white paint. As shown in the photos.

I’ve put it through the RCM a couple of times but its had no effect on the white paint marks.
Is it advisable to use alcohol on a cotton bud, would it cause further damage?

I would like to clean it up so I can play it for her but I know she wouldn’t want any further damage caused to it.
Any advice would be welcome.
Regards D.

It may sound daft, but a wooden toothpick, gently following the groove, can work wonders (it’s not guaranteed of course, depending on the substance). Luckily, the mark is on the run-in, so little risk of further damaging the music.

I cured a persistent jump on a 1968 LP, actually during the song, with this method, - no audible effect apart from the jump ceasing.


I’ve had this issue before with paint specs on the run in grooves. As Stevie says, a tooth pick can work, which I’ve used successfully with a dab of isopropyl alcohol on the end of the toothpick to both soften the end of the pick to act as a lubricant (so it doesn’t inflict marking) and of course loosen the paint spots / grime. Ease of removal will depend on how old and cured the paint specs are. Go gently and good luck.

Lovely copy of Rubber Soul btw!

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Could you get away with buying a new copy, and putting the LP into the old inner liner and sleeve?

If subterfuge isn’t going to be acceptable, could you buy a new LP and give it to her as a present AND buy a battery clock mechanism and hands to convert her old paint-spattered LP into a retro looking wall clock? Kits are inexpensive, and probably available from Amazon and similar outlets.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Incidentally, if you hadn’t capitalised ‘Rubber Soul’, I would have advised a good scrub with a stout brush under running water and leave them to dry naturally on a couple of sheets of newspaper.


Ah, but that would be sole, rather than soul.

@steviebee, @YetiZone thank you for your ideas, a steady hand and good eyesight.
I’ll have a word and give it a go if given the go ahead.


“Could you get away with buying a new copy, and putting the LP into the old inner liner and sleeve?“

This made me laugh, “ Could you get away with”

Many a time I thought I had to realise, I really hadn’t. :blush:

Best of luck with the cleaning up of those paint spots, hope it goes well due to the history of the record.

If considering buying a new copy, I’d hang fire and wait for the inevitable Giles Martin refresh of RS, but the boxed set may cost a small fortune judging by the price of new Revolver box set - gulp!

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Thank you. I’ve had a word with my wife and informed her of the process you and steviebee suggested and she instantly said “do you want me to do it?”
Of course I said yes. She knows what my eyesight is like.
Regards D.


Of course it would, but the ‘Rubber Soul’ title was always meant as a pun on ‘Rubber Sole’. I imagine that John Lennon was responsible for that.

I thought it was a play on the term ‘plastic soul’ and was the Beatles demonstrating that they weren’t authentic soul singers in the same way as African American singers. It’s nothing to do with footwear as far as I’m aware.

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From reading its Wikipedia page, it seems you’re both right and sources contradict each other!

First thing I’d try, is scraping it with a bank card. Pushing it in the direction of the grooves.

If the paint is gloss, the paint in the groove might be pushed out, or disintegrate at least. You won’t scratch the record as long as the front end of the card is kept flat, plus the card is probably softer than the vinyl.
The none music grooves can be cleaned with a tooth pick as previously advised.

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Or simply an example of what artists quite often do.

Do something, then come up with some bullsh#t reason why they did it.

@Fatcat thank you, we’ll keep that in mind when we tackle the cleaning job.
Regards D.

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For things ON the vinyl, I can attest that a wooden toothpick is a good tool. And that a dental pick is not.

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