If you do not listen to LPs in your system, feel free to NOT leave any negative reasons why other shouldn't and simply move on to another thread.
In my virtual travels, I have come across various methods to clean LPs. Just about all methods include a variety of steps using several different types of retail or user mixed liquid cleaning solutions. As I have not read any mention of a steam cleaning process on the forum, I created this quick post for all.
I found some information on using a steady stream of steam to cleanse a LP. The steam is produced by a hand held steam generator. Threaders: you can find the method details in the thread “Deep Cleaning Records with Steam?”. A steam cleaning kit is available from Mapleshade providing all the necessary items for cleaning LPs.
I procured a hand held steam generator from a local shop. This unit will supply a continuous stream of steam and has various accessories for directing the steam or cleaning items. The one accessory I find most useful and might be worth looking for is a right angle adaptor to direct the steam down when the unit is held level.
Prior to testing the steam unit, I was mixing a Tergitol solution as per the formula specified by the “Library and Archives Canada” for use on a VPI HW-16.5 RCM. This formula was provided to me by Polk’s Kenneth Swauger. Once again, many thanks for leading me to this formula.
I am using the RCM as a platform for cleaning the records instead of following the outlined method. While the record is rotating on the RCM platter, I direct a steady stream of steam onto the record from about six inches above. This is done for one complete rotation. I immediately follow this with a normal cleaning using the Tergitol solution followed by a rinse using ultra purified water.
All I will say is that after this cleaning process, playback quality is significantly improved. In comparison, cleaning with just the Tergitol solution is adequate and does not produce anywhere near the same results.
I also tried to warp some old abused LPs with the stream of steam from a height of six inches. After a very significant blast, no problems were encountered. The only issue I had was than the LP was very clean and sound much better.
After cleaning some LPs last night, I decided next time I will try vacuuming the condensed steam from the record before applying the Tergitol solution. I might even use a carbon fiber brush to see if this further loosens any particles from the LP surface.
I use the McCulloch MC-1220 hand held cleaner. This was the only model available locally. It is robust and provides a good stream of steam.
I would suggest looking at the linked thread as it provides some alternative units to try including the one in the Mapleshade kit. The Mapleshade kit includes the steam generator as well as additional items for cleaning LPs.