Records are the discs that store sound tracks which can be played on a record player. It contains the rare audio’s that can be heard of high sound quality. But due to the emerging technologies, the records have been stacked in a place without proper preservation. This can cause damage to the disc and degrade the tracks gradually.
Importance of cleaning
Preservation of the records is very important in order to save the valuable piece of nostalgic memories. Also, storing the records in a place such that it gets accumulated with the dust and debris will create damage to the record and make it permanent damage to the records. It also damages with continuous playing.
In addition to that, playing a record that is soiled or unclean will result in additional expenses of changing the stylus or any other component. As the stylus moves through the grooves, an exceptional heat is produced which in turn produces a conchoidal shock wave when the stylus comes in contact with the dirt accumulated. Due to this, a hole is made in the groove which creates damage to the record resulting in interrupted or noisy playback of the records. So, in order to avoid these problems using a clean record is mandatory.
What are the different methods of cleaning?
Cleaning of the records can be done in two methods; dry and wet.
The dry method requires a brush to sweep away the dust or debris present in the record. For this, a brush made of carbon fibers is preferred to serve the purpose. Since olden days, this method is being practiced so as to keep the records clean. Cleaning with the brush every now and then and after playing the records will help you to conserve the records. With this method, the cleaning has to be done in a gentle and smooth way without giving much force on the grooves, as the friction developed will create damage to the discs.
The wet cleaning is done by using a fluid that is specially made for cleaning or with distilled water dipped in a soft cloth. The method of wet cleaning is considered to give more efficient results than that of the dry methods. However, initiating a wet method requires removing the dust with the help of the dry method.
The cleaning can be done using a device specially made for record cleaning popularly known as spin clean. This device comes as a kit with the essential solution and the cloth required for cleaning. These are said to clean multiple records at the same time.
Apart from the above common methods of cleaning, there are also other methods prevalent. The use of vacuum machines for cleaning is recommended for getting records thoroughly cleaned. The latest method of cleaning is by the use of the ultrasonic machines for more effective cleaning. But they are expensive.
Tips for preservation
To preserve a record to be in its original form, you have to follow the various tips below that are considered to be beneficial.
- In case of the new records, a soft cloth can be used to wipe the dust before playing it. Care should be taken to use a cloth which is free from lint.
- It is preferred to handle your record using your third and fourth finger and by balancing it with the thumb such that it supports the rim. It has to be handled by holding the edges only.
- Avoid exposure to air or sunlight for a prolonged period. As soon as you finish playing, place them in their appropriate sleeve jackets to be safe.
- It is always recommended to use the distilled water alone for cleaning.
- In case of using a brush for sweeping dust, avoid brushes other than the ones which are made of carbon fiber.
- Avoid using rubbing alcohol to clean the records as it is said to remove the shine.
As a final word to be mentioned, apart from cleaning also, store your records properly wrapped up without mixing the sizes preferably in a metal sleeve. It is recommended to store them at a room temperature of 45- 50% of relative humidity. Also, make sure you clean the stylus of the records too. Finally, begin cleaning with a soft cloth first and then experiment with different methods.