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Record remains misty after cleaning?

29 Jan 16 - 10:01 PM (#3769234)
Subject: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

I recently went through and cleaned several records I bought. I cleaned over 20 records the same way (which I'll describe below), but only one has this problem, and only one side of that record.

What I do is I get a soft sponge, put a touch of dish soap on the sponge, and then wet the sponge and gently rub the sponge around both surfaces of the record, and then rinse it off with fast cold water, at least twice on each side. Then I wipe off remaining soap with a damp soft towel once or twice on each side, and then dry it once or twice on each side.

This method worked very well for all 39-ish record sides except for one 78 rpm by The Harmoneers on RCA Victor. All the other ones came out clean and shiny, but only this one side remains covered in a thin layer of mist. While I was washing it the water that dripped off it into the sink was speckled with black coloring (something that also didn't happen with any of the other records). But it's just weird that one side is right and the other's not, and even the rest of the records, even though I cleaned it the same way. The record was released in 1950 (RCA Victor 21-0321), but ones I cleaned before then cleaned fine.

Does anyone know how to get it un-misty? Soon I may use some record cleaning liquid and sponge thing I got, but that's supposed to only be for secondary cleaning, ie the record is already 99% clean and you're just getting light dust off.


29 Jan 16 - 11:18 PM (#3769241)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST,#

"the water that dripped off it into the sink was speckled with black coloring"

If I'm understanding it correctly, I'd guess the record was made from PVC and possibly the carbon black additive has leached from it, but I think that would require a chemical reaction. In this case the problem seems to be some sort of physical degradation on that side of the record. You may be able to tell by looking at the grooves under a strong magnifying glass. Possibly that one side of the record has been exposed to strong sunlight, sufficient that UV light has changed the surface of that one side, made it much more brittle, and the specks are flecks suspended in the rinse water.

I don't know whether exposure to sunlight (and the concomitant UV) would leave that side misty as a result of the carbon black leaching. The misty might now be the permanent state of the record. I hope someone comes along with the answer.


29 Jan 16 - 11:24 PM (#3769242)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST,#

You just know someone's gonna come along and say "Play _____ for Me" dontcha.


30 Jan 16 - 12:33 AM (#3769250)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: Joe Offer

Hi, cnd - I'm guessing that 78 rpm record is pretty old, probably from the days before records were made in vinyl. They were heavy and a lot thicker then, and tended to be very fragile. And yes, they did tend to get a bit powdery. I don't know what they were made of - it almost seemed like Bakelite.

My dad had a big record collection. While he was still in school, he had a job servicing juke boxes, and he got to keep the records he replaced. He let me play them on occasion. I tried to be very careful, but a few of them fell apart in my hands. I don't think my dad ever got upset about that. I think he was pleased that I liked his music.

-Joe-


30 Jan 16 - 12:49 AM (#3769251)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST

googling "78rpm record cleaning" brings up expert looking links


30 Jan 16 - 06:28 AM (#3769281)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: Steve Shaw

If you rinse a record with ordinary tap water, the residual water that you can't blot up will eventually evaporate from the grooves, leaving behind tiny crystals of the minerals that all tap water contains. Not good. When I tried this years ago I ended up with the crackliest records ever known. You could try deionised water I suppose for the final rinse. Your towel had better be soft and lint-free too. At the end of the day, you want the records to sound good irrespective of appearance (unless you're selling them, of course!)


30 Jan 16 - 08:05 AM (#3769306)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

78rpm records are where we get the term "wax" from. It's a shellac compound (from Kerria lacca.) They used pvc Vinylite® for a while during WWII rationing but otherwise it was dried bug juice and carbon black.

They clean up pretty much like vinyl just don't get them too wet and do dry thoroughly. For really stubborn cases you could go with the wood glue method but I'd practice on some dollar bin stuff first.

One thing that will make any record misty (blush) is poorly made pvc sleeves, liners, bags &c. Quite often it is only one side and cleaning can aggravate it but one usually notices something beforehand.


30 Jan 16 - 08:05 AM (#3769307)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

I thought that could be it too, Joe, but it was made in 1950, which I'm assuming by then they used normal stuff (or normal-er). Additionally, if it had to do with the composition of the record, wouldn't both sides be misty? Also, other records from RCA Victor from a similar time period didn't have similar problems.

Thanks Joe, I've thought about that too, but the water where I live is pretty "soft"--not a whole lot of chemicals. And I do make sure to sure to use soft and lint-free towels. I would like to listen to it to see how the mistiness affects the sound, but I don't have a good 78 rpm player right now to do that.

Thanks for the help so far.


30 Jan 16 - 08:11 AM (#3769309)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

Also Phil, as the internet has seemed to have told my, by 1931 RCA Victor switched largely to a material called Victrolac. And after WWII, when my record was made, most companies had switched to largely vinyl-based solutions.

I don't think the sleeves are too poorly made because it's the ones RCA Victor issued it in, and it was that nice dark black color beforehand.


30 Jan 16 - 10:10 AM (#3769340)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: Stilly River Sage

Record cleaning kits usually had a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a velvet-like cloth or other lint-free cleaner/polisher. Instead of water have you tried alcohol? You wouldn't have the mineralization that Steve mentions.

Plastics have changed a lot over the years, and it is also possible that you're looking at a bad batch or a new method that didn't work too well.


30 Jan 16 - 10:25 AM (#3769346)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

I thought it would be the material at first too, but only one side is misty even though I cleaned both sides the same way. The only explanation so far that would explain why one side does and one doesn't was #'s supposition that it was left out in the sun with that side up. That seems somewhat unlikely to me since it was in its sleeve when I got it, but it also makes a little more sense since the misty side is the better one.

On a positive note, I've been leaving it in a dark room with the misty side face-down on a record player and it *appears* to be slowly becoming less misty. Last night before I went to bed I got my D4 Discwasher set and applied the fluid very liberally to the "washer pad" and repeated the cleaning several times. It remained misty after drying.

One thing I originally may not have included is that it doesn't look misty when wet, and if you touch the vinyl shortly after washing it it gets a normal color again, and then is replaced by the mistiness again after a couple seconds.


30 Jan 16 - 04:05 PM (#3769435)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: Steve Shaw

Agree with Acme. I have found that cleaning with a velvet pad and isopropyl alcohol is quite effective for dust removal. To echo what was said above, I have had trouble with some inner sleeves lined with some kind of plastic material adhering to the disc after long storage and leaving marks on the record's surface.

If you pick up a pebble on the beach it can look quite dull, then look beautiful and shiny when you wet it - then go dull again when it dries. Just thought I'd mention it!


30 Jan 16 - 07:25 PM (#3769479)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: FreddyHeadey

I wonder if a manufacturing forum might know?
I googled
plastic+injection+moulding+shiny+finish and it looks like a common problem.


31 Jan 16 - 09:05 AM (#3769598)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST,CJB

These are the professional guys to advise you ...

"Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List"


31 Jan 16 - 09:16 AM (#3769601)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST

They've just been discussing this issue -

http://www.arsc-audio.org/arsclist.html

Subscribe &/or search the archive.


31 Jan 16 - 09:39 AM (#3769611)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST

woke up bleary eyed "arse audio .org" !!!???, then My vision started to clear up.


31 Jan 16 - 12:06 PM (#3769652)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

Thank you GUEST, but which page on there? I couldn't find it.


31 Jan 16 - 02:35 PM (#3769682)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST

Unfortunately the cleaning methods discussed here are not capable of thoroughly cleaning disc recordings regardless of the material used in the pressing.

Aside from the possibility that the disc was "cleaned" with a solution that damaged the surface, the primary reason is simply that the most methods can not thoroughly remove the film of mold-release waxes present on the surface of the groove when the stamper is pulled away from the disc. H. Duane Goldman thedoctor@discdoc.com


31 Jan 16 - 04:03 PM (#3769697)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

But it wasn't misty prior to cleaning--only after. That is the source of my confusion.


01 Feb 16 - 01:59 AM (#3769770)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST,CJB

From: ARSCLIST@listserv.loc.gov
...this simple answer may have already been mentioned; if in the past, somebody tried to clean the record with a cleaner containing alcohol, the record will be permanently damaged and nothing can fix it. d


01 Feb 16 - 06:10 AM (#3769808)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

There's a big debate in the record world as to whether alcohol cleans or damages records. It is well-known it damages acetates and very early records, but mine is a 78s from 1950, and by then as far as I can find RCA Victor was making them out of (at least mostly) vinyl. And if enough people use alcohol to clean vinyl, I don't think it would be a problem. Also, wouldn't I have seen something on it beforehand, like misting?


14 Feb 16 - 04:01 PM (#3772710)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

Well, the good news is that now that I got a better way to get audio off 78's, I could listen to the record. And it sounds almost exactly the same as before. Just keeping anyone who was curious posted.


22 Jun 16 - 05:37 PM (#3797085)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

Well, I checked the record again today after leaving it alone for several months, and by now it still appears slightly misty to the eye but still sounds fine. The mistiness is not as severe/prevalent, but it is still there, but really you'll only see it if you look for it.


22 Jun 16 - 09:14 PM (#3797124)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: Sandra in Sydney

One Of Life's Little Mysteries.


22 Jun 16 - 09:32 PM (#3797130)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

The type of alcohol makes a difference.

Isoprophyl (70 percent ika 140 proof USA ) NOT for drinking, available at grocery/drug stores in the USA will leave a visable "white aftermath" on a clear sheet of glass.

ANY alcohol applied to a laquered disk will distroy the recording. (old time shelaque was created from crushed bugs infused into spirits...and for a "French finish" rubbed hot, with linseed oil).


23 Jun 16 - 11:04 AM (#3797242)
Subject: RE: Record remains misty after cleaning?
From: cnd

Other people have suggested it having been previously cleaned with alcohol, but I don't think it was misty before I cleaned it, and I didn't use alcohol. And I think it was made post-shellac use. But either way, just one of those mysteries!