So you’ve been scouring the Goodwill thrift shop bins and found the vinyl piece de resistance to complete your bachelor pad album collection, but it looks like it spent some time in the daycare center as a toy… there’s dust, crayons, and is that baby food? So what will you do? Instead of reaching for that bottle of rubbing alcohol, try instead picking up a bottle of wood glue.
I know, when it comes time to clean a record album, it’s hardly intuitive to slather the vinyl with the contents of bottle of glue. However, the results are quite impressive, and a lot, lot cheaper than buying a VPI HW 16.5, which might be a better idea if you have more than a few dozen albums to rescue.
I move around a lot, and finally got tired or shipping my albums from one continent to another. I decided the time was right to just make MP3s out of my extensive collection of late 50s Southern Californian surf music, 60s Tiki albums and 70s Scottish rock bands. So I bought a Teac CD phone recorder and started at it over the summer. Some of the albums were the worse for wear, so I looked online and found some good advice from the folks over at the music and audio-gear enthusiast site Audio Karma.
I found that one user posted instructions for cleaning a vinyl record with wood glue. The screen grab at the top shows a before and after example of the record he cleaned using the technique. In the before photo (on the left) you can see the results of using a commercial cleaner at home, (which I can attest is not very effective), and since getting LPs professionally cleaned can cost upwards of 3-5$ and album, there has to be a better solution.
Asides from the cheesy background music overpowering the dialog at points, the instructions on the Audio Karma site and in the video are great, and there are plenty of updates on the various glues and techniques that have been fine tuned since they put their first video on YouTube, showing the technique in action.