Vacuum Record Cleaning

No Regrets

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Jan 24, 2012
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At the risk of this sounding like a silly question....

I have a VPI record cleaner. My question is this... how long should I be waiting after I vacuum off the fluids, before playing the record?

The record appears to be dry after the vacuuming has been completed... but I wonder if there may be still moisture deep down in the grooves that I cannot see?
If there is, then I wonder if the friction of the stylus going thru the grooves creates enough heat that the moisture would somehow damage the grooves and the recorded information therein?

Because of these thoughts of mine, I tend to clean my records, then set them aside and listen to them later than night or the next day.

Wondering what thoughts you might have about this... Ideally, I would really like to listen to them right off the RCM, but I don't want to damage these great records.

Best wishes,
Don
 

mtemur

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I wait 2-3 hours after I wash my records with ultrasonic machine. I don’t know maybe 15mins is enough but I want to be sure that they’re absolutely dry when I put them in sleeves. After they’re washed in ultrasonic machine and when treated to become static free/dust repellent it’s no problem to leave them out of their sleeves for 2-3 hours. They rarely collect dust and if they do, it’s easily removable using a brush.
 
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tima

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Mar 3, 2014
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I have a VPI record cleaner. My question is this... how long should I be waiting after I vacuum off the fluids, before playing the record?

I have an ultrasonic system (here) I built around the idea that whatever is on the record when cleaning is done will be on the record when it dries. That led me to include a rinse tank in my system along with filters on both the wash and rinse tanks. Cleaned with the right chemistry, water tends to slide or shed off the record when removed from my rinse tank. I want the cleanest possible record for drying. I do not use a fan or forced air and find that air drying is fine as @mtemur mentions above. I have a small HEPA air cleaner in the drying area that I run before a cleaning session. In my experience records will dry in 30 - 90 minutes. I agree it is rarely an issue to leave them out for 2-3 hours and I've actually left them drying over night without a problem. Any particulate that might land is brushed off.

DSC01380.JPG
Records drying on their spindles.
 

oldvinyl

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When I used a VPI machine to clean records, I would put them in a dish drying rack for at least a half hour to finish drying. Could never really tell if the the vacuum removed all the liquid. I did find that the cleaning on the VPI would often leave static on the records. The static problem has been resolved with an ultrasonic cleaner. The ultrasonic cleaner also completely drys the record, no waiting to play or store them.


61C-GTXDmWL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

Salectric

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Jan 15, 2012
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@tima
I like your record drying technique. A nice idea indeed. When I pull out the Loricraft for a cleaning session, which is not often, I leave the clean but possibly a tad damp records resting on a roll of masking tape or something similar on top of my speakers. That only allows me about 6 records in drying mode before I either play one of them or start putting them in sleeves. Your system makes much more sense.
 
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tima

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One nice thing about the Kuzma RD kit is the spindles for holding records. Once loaded with 5-6 records it goes in the wash tank, when done lift it out and put it in the rinse tank. After rinsing, put it on its stand for drying as in picture above. A spindle can go at a 45-degree angle or straight up. It makes handling multiple records easy. You can buy the spindle and stand separate without the full rotisserie. Sorry for going off topic.
 
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Fishfood

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I've been using a Degritter for 2 1/2 years now (and VPI and Loricraft before that) and I've alway let it dry for the length of time it takes it takes to play one side of the LP I cleaned. I've probably cleaned 4000 LPs and never had an issue with this method.
 
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bryans

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I have an ultrasonic system (here) I built around the idea that whatever is on the record when cleaning is done will be on the record when it dries. That led me to include a rinse tank in my system along with filters on both the wash and rinse tanks. Cleaned with the right chemistry, water tends to slide or shed off the record when removed from my rinse tank. I want the cleanest possible record for drying. I do not use a fan or forced air and find that air drying is fine as @mtemur mentions above. I have a small HEPA air cleaner in the drying area that I run before a cleaning session. In my experience records will dry in 30 - 90 minutes. I agree it is rarely an issue to leave them out for 2-3 hours and I've actually left them drying over night without a problem. Any particulate that might land is brushed off.

View attachment 106705
Records drying on their spindles.
Now you have one serious setup. :cool:

Do you worry about lint in the air when you leave them out like this?
 

tima

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Now you have one serious setup. :cool:

Do you worry about lint in the air when you leave them out like this?

Lint? Not really. Sitting at an angle as shown in the picture the topmost record is exposed, the others minimally so. It is my experience that if a speck of dust lands on a record it brushes off. I think the HEPA air filter helps a little.
 

AudioHR

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At the risk of this sounding like a silly question....

I have a VPI record cleaner. My question is this... how long should I be waiting after I vacuum off the fluids, before playing the record?

The record appears to be dry after the vacuuming has been completed... but I wonder if there may be still moisture deep down in the grooves that I cannot see?
If there is, then I wonder if the friction of the stylus going thru the grooves creates enough heat that the moisture would somehow damage the grooves and the recorded information therein?

Because of these thoughts of mine, I tend to clean my records, then set them aside and listen to them later than night or the next day.

Wondering what thoughts you might have about this... Ideally, I would really like to listen to them right off the RCM, but I don't want to damage these great records.

Best wishes,
Don
Definitely not a silly question and there are many great responses already. As I used a VPI for many years I thought I would kick in my two cents worth.

When I first started buying records in the late 60's as a teen I soon recognized visually clean was good. I remember using a Discwasher for years, while it's not something I would use today it did no harm as I still have and play many of these records today.

As my collection grew and I became more aware of better cleaning methods I purchased a VPI Record cleaner. I would have to say at this point the records not only looked cleaner they had less surface noise. Over the years I also found that the fluid and the methodology I used influenced the results.

So I would suggest trying a few different cleaning fluids and see what work best for you. As far as method, when I was in my most anal period I would remove surface dust then rinse the record with distilled water and then vacuum. My next step would to be to hand brush the cleaning fluid of the day into the grooves and vacuum x2. It's important to inspect and clean the felt on the VPI's vacuum wand or have a second one in this process. Next I would once again rinse the record with distilled water. While this method worked it was time consuming and I would suggest if the record looks visually clean to start just clean it with the fluid 1x and rinse with distilled water. If not satisfied repeat.

My VPI was a workhorse and I was very satisfied with it. After a flood I was able to clean the silt off the records quite satisfactorily, the cover weren't so lucky. The only knock I would have on the vacuum machines is the increase in static.

As far as drying time I would give it about 20 minutes before playing. My suggestion would be to monitor the stylus after play. If it has any noticible sludge on it fine tune your process/fluid and increase drying time.

Just recently I have moved onto an ultrasonic. That is another story, lol, but I will say it can really improve the sound of your records!
 
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No Regrets

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Definitely not a silly question and there are many great responses already. As I used a VPI for many years I thought I would kick in my two cents worth.

When I first started buying records in the late 60's as a teen I soon recognized visually clean was good. I remember using a Discwasher for years, while it's not something I would use today it did no harm as I still have and play many of these records today.

As my collection grew and I became more aware of better cleaning methods I purchased a VPI Record cleaner. I would have to say at this point the records not only looked cleaner they had less surface noise. Over the years I also found that the fluid and the methodology I used influenced the results.

So I would suggest trying a few different cleaning fluids and see what work best for you. As far as method, when I was in my most anal period I would remove surface dust then rinse the record with distilled water and then vacuum. My next step would to be to hand brush the cleaning fluid of the day into the grooves and vacuum x2. It's important to inspect and clean the felt on the VPI's vacuum wand or have a second one in this process. Next I would once again rinse the record with distilled water. While this method worked it was time consuming and I would suggest if the record looks visually clean to start just clean it with the fluid 1x and rinse with distilled water. If not satisfied repeat.

My VPI was a workhorse and I was very satisfied with it. After a flood I was able to clean the silt off the records quite satisfactorily, the cover weren't so lucky. The only knock I would have on the vacuum machines is the increase in static.

As far as drying time I would give it about 20 minutes before playing. My suggestion would be to monitor the stylus after play. If it has any noticible sludge on it fine tune your process/fluid and increase drying time.

Just recently I have moved onto an ultrasonic. That is another story, lol, but I will say it can really improve the sound of your records!
Thank you so much for your detailed and thoughtful reply! I love hearing everyone's experiences.
Best wishes,
Don
 
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Bso

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Definitely not a silly question and there are many great responses already. As I used a VPI for many years I thought I would kick in my two cents worth.

*********

Just recently I have moved onto an ultrasonic. That is another story, lol, but I will say it can really improve the sound of your records!
I have the opportunity to pick up a new ultrasonic. (I used a VPI 16.5 with good effect also but sold it to a friend.) Could you outline how your ultrasonic is better than the VPI? Any tips and tricks? Thank you.
 
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AudioHR

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I have the opportunity to pick up a new ultrasonic. (I used to have used a VPI 16.5 with good effect also but sold it to a friend.) Could you outline how your ultrasonic is better than the VPI? Any tips and tricks? Thank you.
I am relatively new to ultrasonic cleaning but I would say there are three areas that I am finding better than the VPI vacuum. There are also some things with my Kirmuss that I dislike so nothing is perfect. Other machines and methods may be better or worse so I can only speak from my experience.

Using the Kirmuss ultrasonic and his methodology I find there is better resolution. On records that I am familiar with the music just sounds better. A rather general statement I realize but the cleaning just seems to add a certain clarity so that vocals and instruments are more natural.

Using the VPI surface noise was improved, with the ultrasonic the noise floor seems lower so you listen deeper into the music if you like. To my ears this allows for more spatial information such as soundstage and depth to come through from well recorded records.

Since I started using ultrasonic I find my records have less static. I am assuming this would have been generated by the vacuuming process.

The removal or softening of tics and pops I would say is close to a tie. This is interesting as it was to lessen their occurrence was why I bought a record cleaner In the first place. My records from even back in the 70' are pretty quiet so mission accomplished. Although It wasn't until I started to use the ultrasonic that I realized there was more music to hear in the grooves. Records that I clean again using the Kirmuss do sound better.

Now for the things I don't like about the Kirmuss:
It is a fussy and time consuming process. It works but....
With the VPI I could clean one record, with the Kirmuss you pretty much have to dedicate an afternoon and clean at least 6-10.
You also have to clean up, drain water and wash cloths for the next time.
Its noisy , not as loud as the VPI but not quiet.

So it's a pain in the behind to use but the results are worth it. Perhaps there are other ultrasonics that offer the same rewards with less hassle.
 
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tima

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Mar 3, 2014
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I have the opportunity to pick up a new ultrasonic. (I used to have used a VPI 16.5 with good effect also but sold it to a friend.) Could you outline how your ultrasonic is better than the VPI? Any tips and tricks? Thank you.

Horizontally oriented RCMs are vacuums. The VPI is simple to use. Mount a record, put cleaning solution on it, brush that it in going with the grooves or let the solution sit, then turn on the vacuum to let the platter spin and suck up the liquid. Repeat the process using distilled water rather than cleaning solution. Then turn the record over and do the same two cycles on the other side. It's kinda messy as water and solution can get slung around when the platter starts spinning. The velvet lips of the VPI suction tube can pick up dirt and possibly harm the record. Sometimes the vacuum still leaves moisture on the record. It is time consuming. With care, attention and time it can get a record cleaner than it was.

Ultrasonic RCMs are primarily vertical washing machines. They have a tank in which one or more records sit and some means of rotating the record in the tank. Some are automated and capable of rinsing and drying with programmed control or partial programmed and manual control. The washing/cleaning action is done via ultrasonic cavitation, where micro-bubbles of vacuum are generated in the water from the bottom or side of a tank. The record rotates in the tank. The tiny vacuum-bubbles touch both sides of a record and explode, releasing energy against the record that dislodges dirt. Best results obtain with surfactant in the tank water. The size of an ultrasonic bubble varies with the frequency of the cavitator -- lower frequency yields larger more powerful bubbles, higher frequency produces more and smaller bubbles. Optimal cleaning uses both frequencies although machines that can do that tend to be more expensive.

Broadyly, there are two types of ultrasonic machines; those that have a single slot to clean a single record and those that are an open top tank that can clean both sides of ~3 to 8 records at a time. Most single slot machines run with an automated program. Open top multi-record machines typically require a separate rinsing and drying step. Either change the water in a single tank to rinse or use a separate rinse tank. Air drying works fine.

While it is possible to clean records effectively with horizontal vacuum machines, imo (having use several of both types), an ultrasonic RCM generally does a better cleaning job with less work and less mess.
 
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Nemal1

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sorry if a bit off topic….
I bought a Nessie vinyl master which has performed faultlessly. It only does one side at a time using a vacuum method but really clean, no static and virtually fully automatic, just need to swap the vacuum arm when the cleaning cycle is done, 2 revolutions and perfectly dry ready for the other side. Complete album in less than 5 minutes.
I’ve given thought to an ultrasonic but don’t feel the need.
 
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Audire

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We use a Degritter. It’s does an excellent job and they stand behind their product. This is one solid investment!
 
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Klaudio/Peter

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Apr 13, 2023
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At the risk of this sounding like a silly question....

I have a VPI record cleaner. My question is this... how long should I be waiting after I vacuum off the fluids, before playing the record?

The record appears to be dry after the vacuuming has been completed... but I wonder if there may be still moisture deep down in the grooves that I cannot see?
If there is, then I wonder if the friction of the stylus going thru the grooves creates enough heat that the moisture would somehow damage the grooves and the recorded information therein?

Because of these thoughts of mine, I tend to clean my records, then set them aside and listen to them later than night or the next day.

Wondering what thoughts you might have about this... Ideally, I would really like to listen to them right off the RCM, but I don't want to damage these great records.

Best wishes,
Don
I am a inventor of Klaudio RCM which is ultrasonic strong LP cleaner.
I don't think the remained water is not affect any damage record, if it's just water.
I had been cleaned record and inspect so many times during the develop of RCM.
However, I have more concerning the minor alcohol mixture soup can be affect to damage in long time period.
 

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