Cleaning Blue Amberols in most cases can be done easily and is totally non
destructive . I have been collecting them since I was a teenager and that
was a long time ago . First off , we know from Ron Dethlefson's research
that the Blue Amberols were cleaned with light oil and bezene after the
plaster of paris cores were inserted and dried .
Second , from a study of celluloid products in general , water can be used
( de ionized of course ) but water has been shown to partially disolve
celluloid which is deteriorating .
See : CELLULOID OBJECTS: THEIR CHEMISTRY AND PRESERVATION
JAIC 1991, Volume 30, Number 2, Article 3 (pp. 145 to 162)
Luckily ; Blue Amberols in which the celluloid is deteriorating are very
few and far between .
So ; what do I use and recommend ? The answer is ARMOR ALL original
protectant ! Applied to the groove surface or to a lint free linen cloth and
then gently massaged around the groove surface in line with the direction
of the grooves . This removes the many decades of airborne gunk that coats
the surface of many Blue Amberols and leaves the surface clean and ever so
slightly slippery .In the worst cases a very extra fine toothbrush can be
used on the grooves of a rotating cylinder with a locally applied generous
amount of ARMOR ALL ; then wiped with that lint free cloth .
25 years of treating my Blue Amberols with ARMOR ALL has produced no ill
effects what so ever ; but has
helped clean and protect my personal collection and to make the cylinders
play with less noise and wear .
Unfortunately , I have no successful method for cleaning wax cylinders .
BTW : I prefer to play my cylinders and those of my preservation clients on
either my Amberola A1 or
my Triumph Model E with the #10 cygnet horn for the truest " ORIGINAL
EDISON SOUND QUALITY " as
that is the most historically correct reproduction possible .
The dubbing I do is by microphone to a reel to reel Ampex tape machine
onto 456 tape . Then digitized
using a MYTEK A to D convertor feeding into one of our Sonic Solution
Mastering Systems .
AMERICANA CD MASTERING
313 EAST COLLEGE STREET SUITE 3A
DICKSON , TENNESSEE 37055