I've been asked about cleaning records a number of times and I find it rather amusing that we (old timers, seasoned vets) haven't been very forthcoming with some of the basics.
While I do have a record cleaner, like many of the manual ones on the market. I always find it fast and just as effective to clean my high rotation records by hand.
So here is a simple, highly effective and CHEAP option for those of you that don't want to spend a fortune for some very high end cleaning fluid.
1. 1 x 4 L of distilled water, cost $1.49
2. 1 x 500 mL of 99% ISOPROPYL alcohol, cost $5.99
!!!!!!!!DO NOT USE ANY OTHER TYPE OF ALCOHOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. 1 small bottle of rinse agent, like Jet Dry, cost $1.00
Most people use 20 to 1. I like it strong, so I use 16 to 1. It also dries fast with a higher alcohol content. Simply empty 250 mL from the distilled water and add 250 mL of the alcohol to the water container, shake well (each use) and mark the bottle "Don't Drink" for safety. Lock it away with your other household cleaners.DO NOT ADD THE RINSE AGENT YET!
When you go use it, fill whatever container, spray bottle or spin cleaning record system....and then add 2 drops of the rinse agent to the fluid!
I use 2 x lint free micro fibre clothes to place records in rotation, one cleaning, one drying. I spray 3 spots, evenly spaced. Don't spray the label.
I use a micro fiber brush to spread the cleaning fluid evenly in the grooves. FOLLOW THE GROVES!, never do circles or straight lines! It doesn't take a lot of pressure either.
Then simply quickly wipe with a clean micro fibre cloth. The type used for eye glasses is the best. Once again, don't use a lot of pressure.
Let dry, while cleaning another record, it doesn't take long.
So clean it reflects the image of the window! Generally, it takes about 2 to 3 minutes per record.
Average cost (CAD) for 4 liters....$3.75! 200 mL cleans about 50 records, so 4 L will last a long time. Yes, you will need to buy some micro fibre clothes and a brush.
Obviously, I take no liability or responsibility regarding the use of this solution.
Now this doesn't mean the premixed OEM cleaning fluids are a waste of money! Some of them have additional chemicals to improve sound, reduce static, with higher grades of alcohol or no alcohol at all.
I carry a wonderful line of cost effective cleaning products that are made in Greece and Canada.
Using the Simply Analog velvet cleaning brush, non alcohol based cleaning fluid and work mat are a great combination for the same process described above.