Removing Mildew from Vinyl. Which fluid for my RCM?

I’ve just lucked into about 150 Classical LP’s at a bargain price. There are some real gems in there and Condition of these records is variable, but mostly very good and there are in general very few obvious scratches. Many of them are however affected badly by mildew and other forms of mould or contaminants. After cleaning with Wash-it on my Pro-Ject RCM the Records look very good, but there remains quite a lot of crackle/crunch on playback which tells me that either they are permanently damaged or the Wash-it is not quite removing all of the grunge. Anyone have any recommendations for something a bit stronger that I could be using to really get to grips with Mildew?

Disco anti stat fluid available from Diverse Vinyl sorted mine (hope that’s allowed, sorry if it isn’t).

I’ve taken to using bioethanol, mixed 50:50 with distilled water. The bioethanol was La Hacienda brand and obtained from B&Q for £6 for 2 litres.

This appeared to be the most widely used product and mix after lengthy discussion in the HiFi Kabin forum. Before this I’d used Okki Nokki fluid and then various mixes of isopropyl alcohol. Bioethanol seems to work well. The downside is that it oxidises and goes brown over time. It still works though.

1 Like

I accidentally clicked on this thread after being on the Whisky thread, for a moment I feared for your health. :grin:

1 Like

I would suggest starting with an enzyme based cleaner. It would then be followed by a ”regular” cleaning product.

You should also plan on cleaning the inside and outside of the jacket and sleeve, but in any case never again putting the record inside them (think record in new inner outside the jacket, and everything in a new outer sleeve).

I use Audio Intelligent products after extensive experimentation (MoFi, Nitty Gritty, L’Art du son, PHK, isopropyl + tergitol homebrew, etc), but I’m sure there may be others.

Yes I use the same formulation here and it works out more economical than some proprietary brands.

It often takes more than one clean to get a badly contaminated record clean again and I find it best to play it through after each clean before a second or third clean.

For mold I have a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Some years ago I received a box set from an ebay seller that smelled of mold. I used this mixture to wipe out the inside of the box and to clean the records on my Okki Nokki. I followed that up with my normal 4-step deep clean process.

Otherwise, if there is still grunge deep in the grooves an ultrasonic cleaner works best. I recently got an Audio Desk in addition to my trusty old Okki Nokki and it’s a revelation. Some older records I thought were too noisy are now very playable.

Hi JDP which 4 step process?

We have the same TT so maybe makes sense to follow yours if it works (which I assume it does) :slight_smile:

1 Like

Note, that I ammended my post to say I also use a ultrasonic cleaner.

Anyway, my four step uses Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions (AIVS)

  1. AIVS #15
  2. AIVS Enzymatic
  3. AIVS Super Cleaner
  4. water rinse

I use two sets of vacuum wands and brushes. One set for solutions and one set for water only. My step 4 is two rinses. The first water rinse with the solution wand and brush, the second with the water wand and brush.

Now it’s a five step, since I follow up with a ultrasonic clean.

This 5 step is just for the used records I buy. For new records, I just run them through the ultrasonic before first play.

Are you using medical grade distilled water? I found cleaned records still crackly after cleaning. Richard of this parish suggested this fix which really improved things here.


I have been using reagent grade lab water for rinsing with my Okki Nokki, but I just use distilled water with the Audio Desk (and that’s what Audio Desk recommends anyway). I don’t think I’ll continue using reagent grade water after I run out. Also, reagent grade is more prone to contamination if not handled carefully. The difference for cleaning records is so minuscule I don’t think it’s worth the extra expense and hassle anymore.

In the days before I had an audiodeske a solution of biological laundry liquid and a soft baby toothbrush worked wonders. Make sure you protect the label and rinse thoroughly.

1 Like

Ultra sonic cleaner used here
It gets rid of everything…Mold doesn’t stand a chance…

Which Ultrasonic cleaner do you use Japtim?
I can see the Audio Desk machine is well regarded, but that’s £2.5k. Is there a cheaper solution?

There’s always a cheaper solution!!
And in my case that is DIY
Ultrasonic bath ( eBay or Amazon …check dimensions to be sure your records will fit !!) with a slow geared motor over it giving 2rpm ( eBay / Amazon disco ball motor for example)
Spindle will hold up to 4 LP’s at a time …but I always keep to 1 or 2 maximum
I find this gives excellent cleaning with a cheap distilled water/alcohol/detergent mixture discussed in many threads in the past.
Temperature must not exceed 35degrees C maximum and ideally 32 C

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.