Analog Care Techniques and Tricks [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-01-2010, 08:09 AM
What's up everyone,

Just wanted to start a thread to gather everyone's little formulas, tricks, & techniques
on record and stylus cleaning, tools of the trade, and gear maintenance care, i.e. lubes for bearings, tools for dirty contacts, etc.....

It would be great to focus on inventive budget alternatives or reasonably priced retail solutions.

Wanted to ask:

What is a good way to clean a record and stylus? There are so many different tools and theories. I think i'm going to invest in a carbon fiber brush, over my Discwasher brush because it is not doing the job.

What is a good home made liquid solution for cleaning records? I think mine was at times
making the records worse.

I heard you should never use alcohol on 78's because they are shellac, is that true?

Thanks ahead for any info.

10-01-2010, 02:14 PM
I have settled on a very mild cleaning solution. It's a 4:1 mix of distilled water and 91% alcohol, with a few drops of Jet-Dry per pint. I have also gotten to where I don't scrub unless I feel sure it needs it. I just paint the solution back and forth with a synthetic paint brush and vacuum it up with a little Sears Craftsman "Clean n Carry" vacuum.

For a quick dusting, I drag the dust off with one of the velour pads from a GruvGlide package while the record is turning.

For the stylus, I dunk it in Magic Eraser a few times whenever the mood strikes and then brush it gently to make sure there's no Magic Eraser particles hanging on.

I don't have anything for static other than a carbon fiber mat that I sometimes use in the winter if I notice static. I used to keep a dryer sheet under the mat of my MMF-5, which as poppa noted kept my records smelling fresh if nothing else:).

10-01-2010, 03:26 PM
Dryer sheet : hilarious. Your solution was close to mine, although you used more alcohol.
Does vaccuming dry it out or get the last remaining particles? I would imagine any particles would immersed in the solution.

10-01-2010, 03:54 PM
Yes...Really the only thing I'm trying to accomplish with the fluid is get it to spread flat on the record (thus the Jet-Dry) and suspend the particles in the fluid. The vacuuming does pick it all up and leave the record dry. I've looked at the grooves before and after under 60x magnification. The vacuum is actually working.

I don't deny that better fluids or a real RCM could be better, though. I just have not really felt like my records needed better cleaning than this.

10-03-2010, 08:48 PM
What is it about the Magic Eraser that is so good for the stylus? I've tried it but not sure if it has any affect? What if the needle hits a particularly porous part of the sponge and you probably won't even know? Although, the Magic Eraser does a great job of cleaning the metal on gear exceptionally, but make sure you do a dry wipe with felt/terry cloth.

10-03-2010, 09:06 PM
I've examined the stylus before and after a quick brushing with something like sable hair and it didn't look cleaner under 60x magnification. But then after using the Magic Eraser it did look cleaner. So the deris does get hung up in the the sponge. I don't know what would happen with irregular pores, but I've found sometimes it takes quite a few tries to actually work. Maybe the polymer stylus cleaner by Zerodust is more effective, but I plan to keep using Magic Eraser for the time being.