Why have your vinyl records professionally cleaned?
Ultrasonic Record cleaning – Vinyl records have static that attracts dust and other particles in the air, such as cigarette smoke, and can accumulate dirt caused by greasy fingerprints, mould, and mildew. Without cleaning this dirt away, you not only risk scratching the surfaces but can also damage the stylus.
Having your vinyl records professionally cleaned removes any in-ground dirt and prolongs their life. The quality of sound is improved exponentially, and you may even benefit from an increase in the value. We also now offer highly specialised cleaning for Acetate master records and the old Shellac 10″ 78s. Just enquire!
How does Ultrasonic record cleaning work?
It sounds like a strange way of going about things, but ultrasonic cleaning has long been used for cleaning things where dirt gets into nooks and crannies, making it difficult to remove. Basically, the object to be cleaned is immersed in a bath of water – often with an additive that breaks the surface tension of the water, helping it get all the way in.
Then a powerful ultrasonic signal is blasted into the water for some minutes. This leads to “cavitation” of the water near any surfaces.
That is, tiny bubbles of gas are formed. As they form and then collapse, they loosen the dirt on the surface. If you take your jewellery to a jeweller for a clean, there’s a good chance that the pieces will end up in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Does It Work?
Myth busted: ‘Ultrasonic record cleaning doesn’t work’ – This is False and complete nonsense. Ultrasonic cleaning is incredibly efficient at removing contaminants when the optimal frequencies, chemistry, cleaning cycle time, and operating temperature are used with experience and expertise.
These factors require expertise. We have been optimising our process and laboratory grade deep cleaning fluids since 2007!!
The efficiency of our High end transducers affect both cleaning time as well as efficacy achieved during the cleaning cycle. In addition we operate highly sophisticated multi-frequency programmes that deep clean any type of contamination from the groove. For instance, the 40kHz setting will remove larger particles such as dust & dirt, whereas the higher 80kHz and Ultra-high 120kHz settings will remove fingerprints and even pressing contaminants such as mould inhibitors from brand new records.
Our superb CleanerVinyl ProXL Multi-Frequency cleaners (pictured left) feature ultra-filtration for optimal purification of the fluid in contact with the disc, and they also dry the records in minutes to achieve an optimised ‘sleeve to sleeve’ cycle near eliminating static and dust attraction from the air. We also re-sleeve in our Spincare contoured anti-static sleeves free of charge to maintain pristine condition of your disc. CleanerVinyl ProXL was our chosen system as they are passionate about vinyl and in our opinion their products represent the best and most State of the Art solution for vinyl record renovation. Find out more about CleanerVinyl here
Will they look great?
The answer is yes! If we’re talking about improving the sound, well, as with all record cleaners, the answer is “yes and no”. It can do nothing for damage to the grooves, but it certainly cleans out dirt very efficiently.
The difference on playback will be obvious once the dirt is removed. If your records are already clean, there’ll probably be no change at all. However, even new un-played discs can contain contamination from factory additives such as mould inhibitors and anti-cake pressing agents. These discs can be quite noisy and benefit greatly from the 120Kh frequency sweep.
Take this 1954 Nat King Cole Single. It was heavily soiled with much surface scuffing but no deep scratches.
The recordings below were taken before and after our Ultrasonic cleaning Programme
Our Unique 6-Stage Process
We carry out a pre-cleaning stage. The disc is wiped with our dampened groove-seeking micro-fibre cloth. This cloth is specially chosen for reaching deep into the groove and good adherence. It removes any loose surface dust and debris, thus preparing it for the wet clean. For heavily soiled discs, we may also blow with compressed air if deemed necessary in order to remove loose dirt and debris.
Pre-scrub & Soak
We agitate the vinyl in our SpinCare Scrubber machine using our own special laboratory solution. The vinyl surfaces are scrubbed with the soft velvet pads to loosen stubborn deposits. The discs are then left to soak in advance of the Multi-frequency Ultrasonic cleaning Programme. We optimise all our fluids for each specific task! All our cleaning fluids are manufactured in-house to Laboratory Standards.
Multi-Frequency Ultrasonic Deep Cleaning Stage
The discs are immersed in our Ultrasonic Baths where they undergo a full 25 minute 3 Stage Process from standard frequency which targets larger particles/dust/debris, to two further Ultra-high frequencies which target fine ground in surface particles plus factory additives. Using our own home developed specialist powerful cleaning fluids the cleaning regime is second to none anywhere Globally.
Our Ultra-sonic baths are programmed to fine filter the cleaning fluid for 10 minutes at the end of the cleaning process. This means that any dirt and dust removed from the record during cleaning cannot be re-deposited on the disc when being removed from the fluid tank. Our fluids never get dirty due to powered hyper-filtration.
Your Record is now pristine and ready to be dried off and subsequently treated for anti static.
Following the multi-frequency Ultrasonic deep cleaning stage, your discs are dried swiftly using rotation and electronic fan equipment. This stage is critical: If the record is not left to dry long enough it will be returned to its sleeve damp and thus a risk of mildew or further attraction of contaminants. Conversely, if it is left it may attract further dust from the atmosphere.
We treat each disc with a few shots from our Zerostat anti-static gun which near eliminates any subsequent dust attraction. It is then placed into a brand-new complimentary Spincare Premium Rounded anti-static record inner sleeve.
Being completely static free & non-abrasive, they protect your record!