- September 25, 2019 at 8:55 am #112973MarkModerator
Total posts : 525
Who ever thought……watch!September 25, 2019 at 6:45 pm #112978MRAMParticipant
Total posts : 190
Hmmm. I used to wash records as he shows but I never would have thought about using WD-40 on vinyl.September 26, 2019 at 4:39 am #112982AMRadiolegendParticipant
Total posts : 311
WD-40 is miracle stuff.September 26, 2019 at 2:09 pm #112987timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 649
First off, my qualifications: Record hoarder, collector, archivist for 60 years. 45 years on air disc jockey who STILL plays vinyl on the air everyday on commercial broadcast radio, and owner of two records stores.
It’s hard to imagine something much worse than using WD-40 on records. Perhaps carburetor cleaner would be worse. Or gasoline. WD-40 is a SOLVENT. It is NOT a lubricant. It’s not a cleaner. It is a water displacing solvent made of petroleum distillates. Contrary to what many believe it does not contain silicone. Would you put motor oil on your records? WD-40 reduces apparent crackles because it’s filling the tiny defects in the record with petroleum. They may indeed sound better for a while. If you do this, after a week or two a white film will form on your records. The WD-40 will leech out into the sleeve and the inside of the record jackets, and make it’s way to the label as well. It will also get on your stylus. Think solvents are a good idea for a diamond stylus tip that is glued on? Just say no.
When I’m cleaning records to play on the air, and assuming they are not rare collectibles, I wash them in the sink with hot water. I use plain dishwashing soap. Something like Dawn or Gain that has no added crap — you don’t want anti-biotic, you don’t want in built in lotion, or aloe vera, or any other BS. I squirt it on the vinyl, and hold the record under the hot water stream and scrub around it in the direction of the grooves with a regular sponge (one that is not used for dishes or anything other than my records). Then I dry them with a paper towel. Not some fancy high end fluffy roll of paper towels, but brown paper roll paper towels, like what comes out of a dispenser at a gas station. This leaves me beautiful, noise free 45’s to play on the air. Yes, there is some risk to the label, but not so much if you avoid scrubbing it, and especially if it’s a real vinyl record with a pressed on label as opposed to the polystyrene records with the glued on labels. But my goal here is getting the vinyl prepped for play on the air, not making a pretty collector record.
For LP’s, for myself, and for used LP’s that go in the store, I use large, fluffy, very soft towels with record cleaner. I usually use the formula I make up myself, that I’ve been making for 40 years. I will also use Pfan-Stat that was made by the Pfanstiehl company years ago. The “good stuff” was made years ago and comes in clear spritz bottles. Someone is making a new formula which is OK, but doesn’t work nearly as good as the original stuff.
I have some other esoteric cleaners I use in special situations. I will occasionally pul lout some original D4 fluid. For rare, valuable collectable records Tergikleen is your answer. The process is involved and a pain in the butt but your records will be amazing. But it’s much too time consuming to use on typical used records of minimal value. It’s what the Library of Congress uses.
Record cleaning is like religion, politics, and your choice of motor oil. Most have their own system and opinions. But often us old farts have systems that have experience in use behind them. WD-40 never belongs anywhere near your records.
If you’d like to see something interesting about cleaning records, check out Joe Bussard. Joe is well known as the “King of the Record Collectors” he collects only 78’s. He has a collection of 78’s that is surpassed by none. He has thousands upon thousands, including many that the one he has is the ONLY copy known to exist. Record companies and historians come to him to get dubs of records they need for some historical purpose or reissue project. it’s worth taking some time (if you’re a record geek) to watch all the various videos about him that are on Youtube. There was a good documentary done about him as well. But watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agSC-dLNXXg He literally washes 78’s worth thousands, or even some considered priceless, this way. As a record fanatic and archivist (my wife says I’m a hoarder — I have over 40,000 records) Joe is my personal hero and role model. He collects, he enjoys the music immensely and NONE of his records are EVER for sale at any price. he might trade to get something he needs, and he might offer up a cassette tape dub, but that’s it! he also operated the worlds LAST 78 RPM record label — recording artists to mono reel to reel tape with one mic, and then typing “catalog” sheets he’s send out (typed with carbon paper) and when someone ordered a record he cut them a lacquer one on his own record lathe and shipped it out. Look up Fonotone Records if you’re curious. The guy is a real gem and a legend among record people.
I also own and operate vintage record lathes from the 1930’s and 40’s. I generally cut one of’s as gifts for musicians, etc. Here’s a quick video of a record I cut for the Chardon Polka Band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNgYVslV36w
TIBSeptember 26, 2019 at 4:14 pm #112989MarkModerator
Total posts : 525
One thing about old 78s…..They were a lot more resistant to wear and were a very hard plastic. Had to be as they were played on gramophones and older record players that had tone arms that weighed half a pound with a steel needle. Had these as a kid yet the 78s lasted forever but if dropped they could shatter to pieces. The way he was cleaning them with that hard brush, would it be good for the more modern softer flexible vinyl LPs ?September 27, 2019 at 4:39 am #112991AMRadiolegendParticipant
Total posts : 311
Hi Tim, my neighbor worked for Pfanstiehl when I was a kid growing up in Waukegan.October 6, 2019 at 2:11 pm #113027MRAMParticipant
Total posts : 190
The records you cut, are they straight to vinyl or are those acetate on metal?
I have a 45 of a band my brother was in back in the ’60s. It was cut on an acetate on aluminum.
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