Monthly Archives: June 2016

Old Record Cleaning

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Carbon fibre Brush

A tried and proven method, these pick up the dust and debris with a combination of physical brushing and electrostatic charge, all while de-charging the record. No vinyl collection should be without one.

 

Compressed Air

This is about the most minimal contact method possible. Blowing air across the surface of a record rets rid of anything not physically stuck to or embedded in the vinyl. Make sure it is pure air and does not contain any foreign substances.

 

Distilled water and microfibre cloths

If the record is really in bad condition nothing will fully restore it. But if you really want to play that one dollar second hand collectable you might try a brand new microfiber cloth and distilled water. We suggest copying any rare recordings to digital mediums, and editing any ‘clicks’ with Computer Protools or something similar.

 

Natural fibre Paint Brush

With the rotating record on the player use a dry, clean brush to clean the grooves. Some people use a brush dampened with distilled water, followed by a dry brush for cleaning. Allow to completely dry before playing.

 

Avoid On Records:

Isopropyl alcohol

This pure alcohol was once recommended for vinyl, but not anymore. While it does clean the dirt and dust is also removes the protective layer over the vinyl surface, at least after a few attempts. After 3 or four cleanings the record sounds harsh and brittle. A record cleaned once with this method works well; you might want to try it once to resurrect an old second hand album. But soon the alcohol washes away the sound as well as the grime.

Tap Water.

There are minerals in tap water that stay in the record grooves. It might improve a really dirt record, but it will make a moderately clean one worse. Avoid this.

Playing Wet Records.

This was briefly fashionable in the early 1980s, till people realized that the sound quickly deteriorated. There is debate about what is causing the problem, but the dirt in the record grooves seems to turn to mud and become embedded in the softened vinyl. Bad idea.

ODDS AND ENDS CLEANING

There are some common household items that are not covered by housecleaning. Thankfully these are not regular chores, but something done once or twice a year.

Cleaning Books

  • If a book smells bad, sprinkle baking soda (bi carb) throughout and leave it in a dry place for a few days. Else, use a drier sheet between the pages.
  • The outside of many books can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Use this sparingly.
  • If the cover of the book is shiny it will resist soaking up liquids. Any grease or ink can be cleaned off with tea tree oil and a Q-tip (ear cleaning tip). Some people use hand sanitiser to remove grease and ink
  • If there is a dust problem use one of the small vacuums designed to clean computer keyboards.

Computer monitors

  • These tend to attract dust, but otherwise require little maintenance. Wipe the monitor with a microfiber cloth, barely damp with distilled water.
  • Always make sure the monitor and everything connected to it are switched off. And wait till everything is dry before switching back on.
  • Run a Q-tip around the edge of the screen to remove accumulating dust.

Silverware

  • Silver should not touch other metals, especially if wet, as this will cause discoloration. The phenomenon is especially bad with stainless steel.
  • Do not use a dishwasher.
  • Use nitrile gloves, not rubber (which damages silver). Use a phosphate-free detergent (never lemon).
  • Polish only with silver polish and a cloth; use a Q-tip on fine details. Rinse afterward with running water.
  • Store silverware in the box it came with. The velvet helps prevent tarnishing, and separating the utensils prevents scratching.

Fine Lace

  • This is delicate material. Many things that clean other clothes will damage fine lace. Even Sunlight will damage it over time.
  • A product call Orvus mixed with water will clean fine lace without damage.
  • Soak the lace in the Orvus and water solution. Do not let the lace sag under the weight of the water as it will easily stretch. If necessary, support it between two pieces of clean mesh.
  • Lace will soak up colour easily. Soak each piece separately in fresh solution.

Cleaning coins

This is almost always a bad idea, and the one time in life where something is best left unclean. Cleaning a coin will massively reduce its value. If the coin is worthless to begin with then it doesn’t matter anyway.

Clean Your Guitar

Fretboard

First, remove the strings. Or, more likely, wait till the strings need replacing. If you are a bass player you might want to clean the strings separately.

Wipe the fretboard with a dry cloth; an old t-shirt or clean old sock will do; microfiber cloths are even better. You can use a slightly damp cloth if the dry cloth proves insufficient. If any part of the cloth picks up grime use another part of the cloth, lest you end up transferring grime from one area to another.  Some people find a toothbrush useful for frets; never use this toothbrush for anything else!

The metal Frets can be cleaner with some very soft steel wool. Cover the wooden fret board is possible, and cover the magnetic pickup lest they attract any of the steel wool. Some online stores sell a thin card with a slot that lets you cover the wood while polishing an isolated fret. Else, use an old credit card.

If the fretboard is dry, it can be treated with a very small amount of lemon oil. Some people use linseed oil instead.

 

Guitar Body

Polishing with a soft cloth is the best option; microfiber cloths are recommended. Dampen the cloth is necessary.

NEVER USE FURNITURE POLISH, as this can soak into the guitar body and give you a dull sounding instrument. Damage like this cannot be undone.

If you want to polish the surface then buy polish from a Luther or guitar shop. Apply sparingly.

 

Hardware

The metal parts of the guitar or bass can be polished with glass cleaner. Apply to the cloth and avoid touching the glass cleaner to the wooden surfaces of the instrument. Else, just use a microfiber cloth.

Avoid over polishing any fancy metal coatings like gold. These are thinly plated on a base metal, and you don’t want this surface to be polished off.