YOU WILL NEED:
A record cleaning mat (for VERY dirty LPs only)
LAST Power Cleaner (for Very dirty LPs only)
The best vacuum-type record cleaning machine you can afford*
Record cleaning fluid**
LAST #2 Record Preservative
Nitty Gritty record sleeves
are given a quick visual inspection for obvious flaws (warps,
scratches) to avoid cleaning a defective LP that would have
to be returned in any case.
On a VPI
16.5 or 17, Side One is cleaned first.
One showing, place the LP on the platter, take the knurled clamp
and tighten the LP down with moderate pressure (the LP should
not spin freely).
On a 16.5,
apply a small amount of fluid at three places across the LPs
grooves, (at 10, 3, and 6 O'clock) and start the turntable motor.
On a 17 make sure there is sufficient fluid in the reservoir,
swing the nylon-bristle brush over the LP surface and lower
in onto the LP. Start the motor and press the fluid dispenser
button quickly but firmly three times.
the LP is rotating, apply the nylon-bristle brush to the LP,
using minimal pressure, holding the brush across the grooves
in a straight line from the spindle. Do NOT allow any fluid
to touch the LP label area. (If the label gets wet, quickly
and gently blot up the excess fluid on the label. Do NOT rub
the label! Let the label air-dry.) Allow the LP to rotate with
the cleaning brush in place for four or five complete rotations.
Remove the brush.
the LP to rotate with brush in place three rotations clockwise,
reverse the motor for two counter-clockwise rotations, and then
three more clockwise rotations. Pull the cleaning brush straight
up from the record and swivel it up and away from the LP.
17: Swivel the vacuuming tube into position across the record
grooves and throw the switch to engage the vacuum motor. The
arm will automatically drop to to proper height on the LPs surface.
Allow the vacuum to dry the LP for approx. three rotations.
With one hand, grasp the vacuum motor switch, with the other,
the vacuuming tube and, at the same time, lift the vacuuming
arm up from the record (there will be some resistance), and
turn off the vacuum motor. This procedure will prevent any water
from beading up in a line as the vacuum motor releases from
the LP surface.
LP is still on the platter and rotating, apply a treatment of
LAST #2 Record Preservative.
Place the clean,
treated LP in a new Nitty Gritty inner sleeve (if you choose
to use the little LAST stickers to remind you which LPs have
been treated, remember to apply the sticker to the outside of
the Nitty Gritty sleeve only, NOT the LP label or outer jacket!)
and back into the record jacket. Let it sit for at least a few
hours before playing. (This lets the LAST #2 absorb into the
walls of the LP grooves.)
that have obvious, heavy dirt deposits, pre-cleaning is necessary.
First, remove any loose dirt from the grooves with a simple,
dry record cleaning brush (such as the Hunt EDA Mk6 carbon fiber
brush). Run the LP through a standard wet vacuum cycle (as outlined
above) but without the LAST #2 application at the end.
LP on a clean, lint-free mat (NOT the record cleaning machine's
platter) and treat, according to the enclosed instructions,
with LAST Power Cleaner. After treatment, the Power Cleaner
"carrier" will evaporate, but the active part is still working
up to a minute afterwards. When both sides of the LP have been
"deep-cleaned", wait another 30 seconds, place on the machines
platter, and proceed as per instructions for a new record, adding
the LAST #2 at the end.
is nothing that can be done to fix obvious "ring-wear", tears,
and other flaws in a record jacket. If the jacket surface is
of the older, shiny variety, it may be possible to clean off
dirt and ink writing from the surface using a paper towel sprayed
with Formula 409 or, in the case of gummy price sticker deposits,
alcohol. This is pretty much a last resort and shouldn't be
tried on matte-finish or plain paper covers.
to get creative for seam splits and tears. Rubber cement can
sometimes work wonders. The same is true of covers where the
front has separated from the back, not due to tearing, but because
the original glue has failed. These can easily be fixed using
rubber cement and a couple of heavy books.
method we've heard of that successfully removes major warps
from LPs is this: Place the LP between two, clean pieces of
13" x 13" x 1/4" glass in the middle of your oven. Turn the
temperature up to @125 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn off the oven
and let it cool for a couple of hours and remove the LP. Good
*We sell record cleaning machines from both VPI and Nitty Gritty.
Our personal preference is for the VPI; we've been using an
HW-17 for more than five years without hassle. The Nitty Grittys
are recommended for audiophiles on VERY tight budgets who simply
can't afford the basic VPI HW-16.5. The instructions are written
with the VPI machines in mind, but are easily adapted for the
pre-mixed fluid is the VPI which comes in one gallon or 8 ounce
bottles of concentrate. A few years ago, VPI stopped using alcohol
in their fluid because of shipping regulations. We recommend
adding alcohol back into the VPI fluid in the amount of 20%
per volume, i.e., 2 ounces for every 8 ounces of VPI fluid.
Our favorite "mix-it-yourself" record cleaning fluid is Genie-in-a-Bottle concentrate. With Genie you get to
use your own distilled water and alcohol (use only 95% or better
Isopropyl alcohol only, NOT denatured or "Rubbing" alcohol)
mixed 75%/25% with 6 to 8 drops of the Genie per gallon. You
can make more than 60 gallons of record cleaning fluid with