Cratedigger Record Cleaner

I had a very successful digging expedition yesterday. I found a couple of new veins of funky and soulful 45s to mine. Since these spots were what I would consider "real" digging, some of the very cost effective discs were pretty dirty.

I figured that if there weren't warped, too scratched or cracked, I could clean them at home. Well, that seemed like a good idea at the time...

One of the 45s, a cover of Mighty Mighty, looked like a listener had spilled milk (White Russian?!?) all over it before it was laid to rest in the basement of a bar, or someplace that is equally damp.

In the past, I have been using a damp piece of flannel to wipe some of the more dirty records down, and that has worked pretty well up to this point. But this method wasn't doing it for Mighty Mighty.

I did some quick research, in the dark recesses of my mind as well as on the internet, and I came up with the idea of using some alcohol and some water to clean the record.

I found an old Tilex bottle, and rinsed it out a few times to get out any remaining product. Then I grabbed a shot glass and filled it with some isopropyl alcohol (70%) and dumped it into the Tilex bottle.

Then, I started some water to boil in my kettle. My thought was that distilled water should be cleaner than tap water on the dirty records, no need to add more minerals and gunk to an already soiled record.

Once the water boiled, I added three shots of my distilled water to the Tilex bottle.

I tried out the spray on the Mighty Mighty side, and then wiped with a clean piece of flannel from an old pair of pajamas. The grunge lifted right off the grooves and resulted in a noticeably more listenable 45.

So here it is, take one part isopropyl alcohol, three parts distilled water and wipe with a clean piece of flannel.

This is my no buck (0$) response to the old DiscWasher from back in the 80s.


Anonymous said...

Actually, boiling water does not make it distilled. Capturing the steam and then condensing it into liquid water again is what makes distilled water. The contaminants will be left behind in the pot where the water was originally boiled. By boiling water, you are killing micro-organisms, but at the same time you are losing some water to steam and concentrating the heavier contaminants in the water. 'Just wanted to make that clarification. You were correct, however, that using distilled water would be far less likely to leave behind spots.

rb said...

Anonymous, can you tell I never took chemistry?

Next time at the store, I will pick up a bottle of the old distilled H2O.

I am thinking that the isopropyl is really the important part of my "solution."

The 45s that I used this solution on were so dirty that I definitely made them better.

Thanks for the tip.

Darcy said...

Isopropyl is indeed a magic liquid. I use a little of it neat on one my favourite old t shirts. then rub it round the grooves. The effect is rather like rubbing Aladdin's lamp!