The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

Record Cleaner
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Author:  OrthoSean [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

Yes, the maintenance is rather tedious at times, I agree. I cleaned all of my Fonotipias with mine last month, over 500 of them. I used the 12 inch wand and just made sure the disc had plenty of fluid on it and cleaned as usual. I didn't have to mask the wand at all and it worked great. My only exception would be odd size Pathés, like 14 inch ones and 16 inch discs. Once a week, I just dunk the velvet pads in distilled water which keeps them clean enough.

I always find discussions like this interesting. I certainly had my reservations when I bought the Okki Nokki, but graduating from the Nitty Gritty to this was an absolute pleasure and it didn't kill my budget!

Best / Sean

Author:  Joseph Clack [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

Zippo lighter fluid is the answer for most price stickers, and it cleans records as well. Older inventory stickers (in my experience) are almost impossible to remove.

Author:  HisMastersVoice [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

Joseph Clack wrote:
Zippo lighter fluid is the answer for most price stickers, and it cleans records as well. Older inventory stickers (in my experience) are almost impossible to remove.

This is because not all adhesives are Benzene soluble. A lot are, though.

Author:  Wolfe [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

When I used a Nitty Gritty to clean 78's (and vinyl) I found it to be highly effective, but I was always wary of contaminating it's adhesive backed velvet lips when switching over to cleaning vinyl, because of the possibility of tiny shellac granules (or other stuff) embedded in the lips being left behind. Changing the lips was kind of a PITA, too. When the motor on the Nitty Gritty gave up finally, I got a Spin Clean and am pretty happy with it. The supplied fluid is very good, and safe for all kinds of records, it's quiet (the Nitty Gritty made a fair bit of racket) and you can leave the record immersed in the distilled water / cleaning solution if you choose, to help loosen embedded dirt, though I wouldn't do that with laminated 78's. Records come out clean and static free. I use a separate set of Spin Clean brushes for vinyl and 78's.

Author:  travisgreyfox [ Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

Made me a list of a few and i'm looking at reviews and youtube videos of each.

Thanks for the leads everyone.

Author:  bart1927 [ Fri May 24, 2019 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

OrthoSean wrote:
I recently replaced my Nitty Gritty cleaning machine with an Okki Nokki. It's an amazing thing, just about the same as a VPI (also a nice choice). With all the available extras and custom tubes for cleaning different size discs, it was about $700 with shipping from Amazon. I use it daily. They do take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, they're super and certainly worth every cent if you're serious about getting the best sonic results from your records.

Over the years I've tried and experimented with many different cleaning solutions. Many people still swear soap and water is fine, but once you see and hear the results from a decent cleaning machine, you'd agree with me. Anyway, I've settled on using the fluid sold by Spin Clean, which you can get on Amazon for $25-30 for the large bottle. I add four capfuls to a liter of distilled water and shake it up to mix. A few drops is all you need to clean one side of a record, so just one liter will do several hundred and the bottle of Spin Clean fluid will likely last a few years. Economical, efficient and it contains no alcohol. The solution cleans vinyl and shellac equally well, it's odor free and lastly, fun to see and hear the results.

Hope this helps,

Hi Sean, I'm considering the purchase of an Okki Nokki. But does it really work as well on 78's as cleaning them the old fashioned way with a brush, dishwasher soap, water and a firm scrub? I can't imagine that with really dirty 78's, just applying a few drops of liquid, spreading it around with a brush, and then sucking it all up, cleans all that well. There is no real scrubbing involved. I can imagine that this method works well with vinyl (for which the Okki Nokki was designed especially), but 78's?

Also, do the velvet lips of the wand not quickly become saturated with the dirty water/cleaner solution, and don't you run the risk of transferring dirt from one record to the next this way?

Author:  OrthoSean [ Fri May 24, 2019 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

I would say any vacuum assisted cleaning machine works better, the results are rather visible immediately. The velvet strips will get dirty eventually, but what I do is rinse them under warm water after each cleaning session, the wands are removable, so they just come off. The brush you're using to apply the cleaning fluid is a goat's hair brush and it gets right down to the groove bottom. You're cleaning the disc on a two direction system. I generally go 5 revolutions in one direction with the brush, then switch direction and do 5 more that way. Then I let the disc sit for a couple of minutes with the cleaner right on it, then brush once again a couple of revolutions in each direction then vacuum off. It may be overkill, but to me it gives the cleaning fluid time to loosen up grime and dirt before vacuuming it all off. The machine takes some getting used to and I'm sure everyone has their own methods, but this works great for me. Another thing I did was buy self adhesive velvet that can be cut to fit the wands (I have a 7 inch, 10 inch and 12 inch) for the machine, they cost extra. I think the felt I bought was $10 for 10 large sheets, enough to last me forever. I replace the strips when they start showing signs of fraying, maybe after 7-800 sides?

I hope this answers some of your questions!


Author:  Wolfe [ Fri May 24, 2019 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

bart1927 wrote:

You can do the intense brush scrub and then vacuum, the two are not mutually exclusive. Though you probably have to stick to using the fluid that is safe for the machine, not generic soap.

Author:  PeterF [ Fri May 24, 2019 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

Play them with good sharp bamboo or cactus thorn needles a few times each. Easy, safe, and cheap - and surprisingly effective.

This gives you the added benefit of letting you know whether each disc should stay in your collection.

Author:  gramophone-georg [ Fri May 24, 2019 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Record Cleaner

I have a "Spin Clean" and am quite pleased with it. It is a bit labor intensive, though. I've found that 3-4 drops of dish doap does a better job on 78s than the solution.

Three turns clockwise, 3 turns anti, into the dish rack for a few, then dry with a soft towel. The dirt accumulates rather rapidly in the bottom of the unit, underneath the washing area.

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