I have a large collection of vinyl records and like to keep them clean. Cleaning solution comes in small bottles and goes for relatively high costs on a per ounce basis. Being a DIYer I did a little research and found that most record cleaners are composed of the following components.
Part 1: Distilled Water
Part 2: An alcohol either denatured or isopropyl to accelerate drying
Part 3: A detergent to clean and help lubricate the record (this may be multiple components)
There are many different “recipes” out there many of which can be found at T.N.T audio’s site, several of which have been created by contributors to prominent audio magazines such as The Absolute Sound and Stereophile.
The mixture I typically use is the following
1 quart distilled water
1/2 quart denatured alcohol
10 drops photoflow (from what I understand this is used for developing pictures, I was able to get some at the local photography store and at 10 drops per batch a I now have a lifetime supply or 8 dollars or so)
Basically its as simple as mixing up the solution and cleaning your records with it. Some notes, make sure to use distilled water, tap water and other forms of water have minerals and other build up that you don’t want on your records. If you’ve ever seen the bottom of a distiller after tap water has been placed in you know what I mean. I typically mix up a batch big enough to fill the clear “ketchup” bottle in the picture and then use that to fill up my little spray bottle which I use when cleaning records.
I typically will spray a fine mist around the record and wipe it in with a soft microfiber covered foam car wax applicator (make sure its clean) and then dry off any excess with a microfiber drying cloth (also available in the automotive section at your local big box store). I have had great results with this solution and for the price of a few small bottles of record cleaning solution you can pick up the supplies to make enough solution to last you years.