What a temptation. A cheap method that costs only a few francs and saves the vinyl cleaning service.! The ingredients for this: alcohol, water, dish soap and a kitchen towel, that’s all it takes, or that is what one would think. The vinyl lovers among us, however, have right here a hair-raising moment. Why?
Alcohol – Yes, but which alcohol do we take and how much? Common are isopropanol, ethanol,etc., whereas the recommended choice would be isopropanol or 2-propanol. Do not use: butanol etc.
Impure quality alcohol, however, leaves more residue on the vinyl than you think and like. Likewise, isopropanol which connects with the dust on the vinly leaves stains which are clearly visible as soon as the alcohol evaporates.
Water – Unknowingly and hoping for the best, you take demineralized water. This normal tap water has only been deprived of salts, ions and minerals by an ion exchange. If you want, you can try it out and let it evaporate on the vinyl and watch the result. It will be selfexplanatory.
Dish soap – Is good for many things – but not for Vinyl. Ok, of course you use it only in low concentration and just dissolved in the water, but still it should be clear at this point that even small amounts of fragrance, chemical and other ingredients should not be on the vinyl record.
Kitchen Towel – The best for last: the kitchen towels! Super cheap and always available.
Kitchen towels consist primarily of pulp, mostly won from conifers. The fiber material is freed from foreign bodies, thus resulting in a homogeneous mixture. An absorbent cloth, which nevertheless only consists of millions of tiny parts. To understand that, one only has to hold such a towel against the light, crumple it up, and see how many small pieces are dusting away. No further explaination needed on why such a cloth is definitively the wrong material for vinyl.
Conclusion – a good cleaning is not cheap.
As always (and mostly) in real life, cheap is not really good. In order not to destroy the sensitive structure of a vinyl, a careful washing done by a vinyl washing machine is absolutely recommended and necessary. No money is saved when doing it manually and as described above. At least not if you expect the high quality listening pleasure, no scratching noises and expect a long shelf life. Therefore: Bring your treasures to us – we clean it professionally using Clearaudio products. Cleaned vinyl is a warrant for a cool analogue listening pleasure.