There are many ways to clean vinyl records. You can dry clean them with a velvet brush. You can wet clean them with a brush and spray. You can vacuum clean them with a special vacuum device. You can even sonically clean albums. What it comes down to is what you want to invest both moneywise and timewise.
To start, let me tell you how I have been cleaning my albums. I have a couple methods I use, and it really depends on a few things. First, has the album been cleaned thoroughly before? Second, is the album brand new? Is the album used, and if so did it come from a shop that cleans their albums first, or did it come from a garage sale, online purchase, or dollar bin? Once I have identified where the record came from, my plan for cleaning is set. I am a wet clean fan, so any time I clean I use a solution of some sort. For new records, I have created my own cleaning solution from distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. For used records, I use the Spin-Clean device and their solution.
|Here's what comes with it (wand, extra|
velvet pads, o-ring, suction reducers,
felt washer to protect your label)
Another thing you will need is an old turntable that you don't mind using for cleaning, or a lazy susan type unit that you can spin as you vacuum. I went with the old AT-LP60 turntable that I currently use in the garage, but am actively looking for an old turntable that doesn't function to use instead. Once I completed wet cleaning my album, I simply placed it on the AT-LP60, placed the wand on the spindle, fired up the wet vac, and slowly turned the platter as the vacuum sucked up all the water and leftover residue from cleaning. It should be noted that even though you have cleaned the album, there will be residue left in the grooves that a simple microfiber cloth won't get out. The Vinyl Vac will be able to extract those particles and give your album a much more thorough cleaning.
I have to say that I was very impressed with the results of the Vinyl Vac. I had a bunch of dollar bin albums that were caked in dust, dirt, and grime that I ran through the spin clean and then used my new Vinyl Vac to remove the water and residue. After inspecting the albums, I would never have known they came from a dollar bin. They looked brand new minus the superficial scratch here or there. I put a couple on the turntable to see how they sounded and was blown away by how nice a quiet many of them were. The combo of the Spin-Clean and Vinyl Vac gave new life to these otherwise discarded albums. I was able to clean, dry and sleeve the albums in mere minutes, saving me time waiting for the first batch to dry before moving on to the next batch. Needless to say, I am a fan of the Vinyl Vac.
If you are looking for a nice way to vacuum dry and clean your vinyl records, I can't recommend the Vinyl Vac more. It's an inexpensive way to achieve the desired results, and your albums will sound and look better than they have since they were brand new. The Vinyl Vac is perfect for both wet and dry cleaning. I use it for wet cleaning, but it can also be placed on a dry record to get any dust, dirt or debris out of the grooves. In all, you are looking at an investment of about $60 ($30 for the Vinyl Vac and $30 for a small wet/dry vacuum cleaner) to get started down the path to renewed life for your albums. I purchased my Vinyl Vac from the company's Amazon store which you can find here.
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