homemade vinyl LP record cleaner?
July 11, 2008 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade vinyl LP record cleaner?

I just got an USB turntable and I have been converting my records to digital. I have one or two 45s that are a little dirty and I would like to clean them, but I don't really want to spend the time or money ordering professional record cleaner online. I am not an archivist, and not necessarily an audiophile, but I don't want to experiment on cleaning fluids and destroy the records.

I have considered 90% Isopropyl and a soft cloth. I thought briefly about Windex. Even thought about Grey Goose straight from the freezer. Anyone got a dirty record made clean success story?
posted by kuujjuarapik to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here's mine, I make a quart at a time and eyeball the percentages:

90% - 90% Isopropyl Alcohol
5% - Anti-Microbial soap
5% - de-ionized water

Mix in a spray bottle and let sit for a day before use (my own superstition, I have no explanation for this)

Apply in concentric circles with microfiber cloth, and wipe clean opposite direction.

Under no circumstances use on 78 rpm records!

You can find all the ingredients at any pharmacy. The addition of the soap keeps the fungus and mildew off when in storage. I've been using it for 10 years now with no ill effects.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:50 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

A bunch of recipes here (at the bottom of the page). I just dilute isopropyl about 2-1 (water to isopropyl) for all purpose record/tape head?/CD cleaner, which seems not to have destroyed anything for the last several years. A bit of surfactant probably wouldn't hurt but I'd be leary of using regular dishwashing detergent. But I use a special record-cleaning brush I bought years ago, a soft cloth is probably fine as long as it is really soft (like an optical cloth or other cloth designed not to scratch soft surfaces).
posted by nanojath at 12:51 PM on July 11, 2008

Ah! I just use isopropyl and haven't used the soap, but that's probably a good idea. Generally speaking I use a chamois, or the vinyl brush I bought from The Vinyl Museum in Toronto lo those many years ago.
posted by Shepherd at 1:04 PM on July 11, 2008

I made a great recording of a very scratchy disk by putting a thin layer of water on the disk so the needle floats thru it. Forget what method I used to apply the water, whether a spray bottle or what. Got the tip from a radio station DJ.
posted by canoehead at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2008

Here is how the Library of Congress does it.

I would avoid alcohol as many experts believe that it is bad for vinyl, but of course there is no agreement on this. Many people use it. If you do then dilute it significantly with deionized water (which won't have any minerals or other things that can be left on the record after cleaning).
posted by caddis at 2:49 PM on July 11, 2008

I'd just use deionized water and a D4 discwasher brush
posted by Ironmouth at 2:58 PM on July 11, 2008

DIY record cleaner.
posted by klangklangston at 3:29 PM on July 11, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everybody. 1 fish's solution worked great.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:53 PM on July 13, 2008

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