I use all kinds of liquids in the studio to prepare records for copying.
Unsceneted Ivory detergent gives the chemicals you want and none (scents)
that you don't. It works on lots of stuff, but don't leave it undried or
your records will get acne.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeanette Berard" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Highly unorthodox cleaning methods for LP's...
I've never used this technique as a professional archivist on any
collections material, but I have to admit to getting good results at home in
the 1970's with a drop of "Basic-H" dishwasing liquid, lots of water, and
then a distilled water rinse (Dad developed film at home, so there was
always a lot of distilled water about), and then using the plate section of
the dishwasher to air dry (no, the dishwasher was never turned on!)
We started doing this after a friend recommended it to my sister. The
records we can still find are still playable, so no damage seems to have
resulted. I don't think any of the records were pressed earlier than about
1958 or 59.
Maybe it helped with the static build up - it was a drier climate here in
Cal. in those days, and in the right light you could see the lint jump back
onto the record while you tried to clean it with the alcohol based record
Special Collections Librarian
Thousand Oaks Library System
(805) 449-2660 xt228
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>>> [log in to unmask] 05/18/04 07:22AM >>>
I have been a collector for many years and have had some records
that I have encountered that are visually perfect and still with
cleanings, both manually and with a machine, the sound remains distorted
and gritty sounding. This conditions persists with every alcohol based
I have encountered.
I took a copy of a record which suffers from this disease, NRISSTB,(no
reason it should sound this bad) and I cleaned it with one tiny drop of
dishwashing soap. I made sure to add ample water to it and cleaned it
visible residue was on the disc. I then cleaned the surface again with
a record cloth to remove any late arriving airborne residue. The results
have been really amazing. These records now sound infinitely better than
the ever did with alcohol based cleaners.
These dish products are designed to "cut grease" and as I understand it,
a thin layer of oil can exist on LP's as a result of the stamping
itself. It is my belief that this oil coagulates with time and sits in
attracting all kinds of contaminants and grit and particulate matter in
When the old lemon joy gets in there it seems to dissolve the oily
and in the process let go of a lot of tiny noisy particles that have
there for decades...I have done this in the presence of other
collectors who were
horrified and then amazed by the procedure and the results.
Obviously, I suggest trying this first on a valueless, noisy record to
see if what
I am saying is true.
Has anyone else out there tried weird counter-intuitive "solutions" to
record cleaning and if so what have been your results?
I am sure many ARSC people and all polymer chemists will tell me I am
doing more harm than good in the long run but the immediate results are
in some cases nothing less than dazzling in my experience.
BTW, this seems them most effective on records from the mid-60's and
earlier, did the vinyl manufacturing process change after a certain
point, thus using less oil or something like that when making LP's?
Aaron (Don't try this at home kids) Levinson