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Cleaning LPs

Cleaning LPs
February 08, 2005 03:49PM
Yeah, so I was down at my Parent's place last weekend, and apparently they found a large stack of my old LPs* that I thought was stolen.


Unfortunately, they had seen the worse parts of a basement flood, and the album covers were ruined, stuck together, and a lot of the paper had stuck to the vinyl.


Now, these are some great records: Old Dinosaur Jr, vintage Cannobnball Adderly, Agent Orange, a live Ramones double album, some Captain Beefheart, etc etc. There's a bunch of crap, as well. Hey, nobody's perfect.

So, I remember from my days as a second hand record store clerk, rubbing alcohol is typically used for cleaning records, and it works pretty well. I also remember that vinyl is a fairly durable material. So I was thinking about cleaning them.

Before I set out on my archeological mission, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/advice. I'll try anything, becasue I have some crap records I can experiment on, and hey, I thought they were lost 10 years ago, so anything I do save are simply bonuses.

As an added incentive, I'll post a list of the LPs I rescued & don't want, and anybody who's interested will get free vinyl.

And no, you can't have my original signed copy of Big Black's Atomizer.

*In the old days, before the Industrial Revolution, people would listen to music scratched into large discs of plastic called "records". The ones that could fit 20 minuest of music on one side were called "Long Playing" records (hence "LP"), for reasons lost to the annals of time.
Re: Cleaning LPs
February 08, 2005 10:15PM
Rubbing Alcohol? Hope I didn't buy from that store. At the polymer level, alcohol is the enemy of vinyl, indeed the majority of plastics. It simply destroys the very bonds, molecularly. It would be used in a last ditch but then immediately rinsed away. Google these keys: restoration records vinyl, then wade through the sites suggesting restoration and digitization are the same.

Re: Cleaning LPs
February 10, 2005 02:14AM

Here ya go...20% alcohol..1 part alcohol/4 parts water..sounds like the drinks I used to serve at the bar.....but don't use it on 45's...it eats the shellac.....can I have first dibs on any old Bobby Sherman reocrds..you said you had some duds..but one man's trash is another girl's treasure...

good luck
Re: Cleaning LPs
February 11, 2005 06:07PM
There are many schools of thought on this one. You could buy a vinyl cleaning system for hundreds of dollars. Some swear it's the only way. Others (like me) just use water (distilled water is supposedly better, because it doesn't contain minerals and, if you live in New Jersey, Superfund site waste, but I'm not that anal).
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