Our vinyl collection has grown and grown, some new but mostly old copies from charity shops, record stores and eBay. Often with purchases from charity shops ( thrift stores in the US) the records might be in poor condition. Always worth inspecting the disc out of its sleeve to see if it has any serious scratches. If it does its probably worth giving it a miss, but if its just dirt or grease these clean up very well. Its fun browsing boxes of old LP’s again, and if the charity makes some money then even better. However even apparently clean records sometimes "skip". This can be due to scratches but if the skip is a single one off i.e not preceded or followed by the clicking of a scratch, its probably some dust trapped deep in the groove.
Initially i got one of those carbon fibre record cleaning brushes , and these work well, but some records are really too dirty for these to make much impact.
|A sink and a new clean 100% bristle paint brush|
|LP label protector|
|Record with signs of dirt|
|In the clamp the lp cannot touch the work surface|
|After working warm soapy water with the brush|
|A good rinse all the way around|
Often records come up good as new. This certainly seems to remove dust, grease and most of the smaller particles which lodge in the groove and cause skipping. Keith - the maker of this contraption believes that the gentle warming of the record by the water, frees dirt due to thermal expansion.
While scratches cannot be made good, often skipping down to dirt rather than damage i have found. Occasionally a persistent skip will resolve itself with playing or with by nudging the offending piece of dirt with a slightly stiffer bristled brush, i have a small brush which came with a shaver. I find carefully running this over the area of the skip usually works, if you angle it against the rotation of the lp you can feel it resist the dirt at that point til finally the dirt gives.
Im sure many audiophiles are aghast at this method, but I’ve used it to clean several hundred LP’s and it works very well and is pretty cheap. Its also a very satisfying thing to do.