Absolutely no alcohol on shellac ever, for sure. But Edison flat discs are
not made of shellac, and in fact Edison's original paper sleeves recommend
that the discs' surfaces be cleaned with a cloth dampened with alcohol.
What the sleeves also said was (in capital letters) "DON'T USE WATER!" At
least as I recall.
Others will remember the components of Edison's Diamond Discs perhaps
more accurately than I. As I recall, the laminated discs' surfaces were
Bakelite or something similar. Not shellac. Thus the recommendation of alcohol.
The thick center core of the discs consisted of a compressed flour of some
kind. (Wood flour?) Thus the absolute prohibition of water, because the
center core would absorb it. Then eventually it could/would undermine the
surface laminate, causing it to ripple, then develop cracks, and in the worst
cases separate and lift up from the core. Recourse: dumpster.
But you can't wash Edisons on the Spin-Clean kuz they are too thick and won't fit between both brush/pads. I'm almost sure there isn't any alcohol in their solution. Paul Mawhinney from Pittsburgh's Record-rama developed the device and I think his son now runs the joint. He can be contacted regarding the Al-K-Hol situation:
From: Aaron Levinson <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 4:13 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] victor record conservation
I simply meant about their cleaning solution specifically. Absolutely no alcohol on shellac EVER. I learned
the hard way unfortunately.
Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 10, 2012, at 3:52 PM, Aaron Levinson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> It is for sure! I use it regularly and the results are quite good. I don't know about the 100% alcohol free verdict though.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Jun 10, 2012, at 3:48 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Mike, agree that arguments always arise, but it's important to mention NO ALCOHOL in whatever solution you use for shellac, right? Just in case someone doesn't know ...
>> BTW, now to wade into the inevitable argument ... I haven't tried it but it looks to me like the Spin-Clean would be a good low-cost solution for 78's
>> THAT SAID, if I were buying it, I would contact the company and ask them point-blank if they guarantee their solution is alcohol-free and safe for shellac before using it on your 78's.
>> The reason I like this machine is that it keeps the label dry but thoroughly soaks the groove area, and it's less sloppy than a slop-sink and sponge.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 3:42 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] victor record conservation
>> From: Patrick Sumner <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To whom it may concern: wondering if someone knows how to clean vintage
>>> "Victor" records-a few have a green mold, most are just stored vertically in
>>> the area below the player. Also, would there be anyone in the Louisville,
>>> Ky area able to "check-out" the functions.many thanks, patrick
>> The "functions" of what????
>> There's very little in shellac records for mold to grow on. The problem
>> possibly is with the sleeves, and especially the cardboard of any
>> albums. It will probably clean off by cleaning them the usual way
>> (arguments always arise when record cleaning is mentioned) but the
>> sleeves and album covers will reinfect the cleaned records if they are
>> the problem. And the wood and varnish of the player might also be a
>> problem. The insides of the player need to be dried out, aired out, and
>> possibly sealed. You don't mention the vintage of either the player or
>> the records. Is it a wind-up and these are acoustical records, or is it
>> a modern console? Stored in a damp basement?
>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]