on 7 October 2012
I've tried all sorts of cleaning material on old vinyl, but this is the best. Does a good job of getting rid of muck and static. Seems a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. No problems with spray as in previous reviews and it works fine. Don't bother with cheaper products. This stuff even cured a wayward CD that other cleaners failed on!
on 11 April 2012
I received this product on time with no issues whatsoever. A wonderful little anti-static cloth came free with the bottle, plus the bottle itself is of a fairly big size, and so worth the value. I have taken a star away because I too had initial fuss with the nozzle unfortunately, and found that it would leak out of the gap underneath, but the cleaner itself works very well giving your vintage records that new shine. I would recommend this to any fellow collector whom may require to clean their records, but be aware that there will be an initial fuss with the nozzle.
on 7 December 2014
Some of my records are more than forty years old; most have spent years in storage or stacked in cupboards; and many of them suffered long ago (in my careless youth) from the usual effects of lending, such as finger marks and food stains.
I am gradually returning my collection to use after an interval of more than a decade, and Clear Groove has proved marvellously effective in correcting even the most difficult stains and marks. Records that I thought unplayable are now a pleasure to hear. So far (after about thirty records) I have yet to find a stain that it could not handle, and I have only once had to clean the same side more than once.
Of course, Clear Groove is designed purely for cleaning. It cannot repair physical damage. On the other hand, I have found it a useful first step when transferring damaged records to digital (and editing out the worst sources of noise in Audacity). That makes it a useful companion for a good USB turntable.
on 31 May 2016
Much as I have tried to look after my old records (some dating back several decades), replacing them in their sleeves, avoiding touching the groove etc etc, the purchase of a new turntable made me realise how dirty some of them had become. I'm not talking about freely-attracted dust which is easily removed by brushing. To my horror, many of them had cloudy grey-white patches of coagulated mildew, dust, fibre and grease - visible only if you held the record up to a bright light. Brushing would not shift this and, horror of horrors, when you play the record, the stuff collects around the stylus at first causing clicks, pops and sound muffling. Before you know it, the tone arm is skating across the record!!
Horrified, I took to Google looking for an answer. Unfortunately for me, there is a mass of contradictory information out there with as many people saying "Tap water and/or water and/or detergent and/or alcohol are fine"(delete as applicable) as there are people saying exactly the opposite
In the end, an Amazon search led me to where you find yourself now - looking at various proprietary vinyl cleaners with a baffling variety of customer reviews. Still confused, I took a stab and picked the one with the highest number of 5-star reviews. On receiving it, I dug out an un-cherished 7" single and got to work
First observation: used sparingly (two to three quick squirts for a 12", less for a 7") followed by a very gentle (anti-clockwise) rub with the microfibre cloth really does shift the caked-on muck. Held up to the light, the vinyl regains its former shine. Not leaving anything to chance, I allowed 5-10 minutes for drying and then gave the record another gentle buff
The results: so does it actually make a difference? Answer - absolutely, a massive improvement. It doesn't get rid of every single click and hiss (some of which is obviously due to physical damage) but it reduces the background "noise" substantially. And I'm happy because that greasy film is no longer collecting on my stylus
The $64m question is: does it damage the vinyl? A lot of people are saying that some proprietary cleaners do a good job initially but, over time, the alcohol content can break down the surface and affect sound quality. Firstly, I did look into what Clear Groove is actually made of. If you go to their website, it is apparently highly diluted Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and a surfactant mixed with distilled water. As far as I know, this shouldn't damage PVC - especially if used sparingly (as directed) and buffed and dried within a few minutes. I wouldn't go using neat IPA on vinyl as some people have recommended but I couldn't imagine that diluted IPA was going to be harmful. Being cautious, however, I left the 7" for a few days after playing to see what happened and, as far as I can see or hear, it still looks and sounds great. Time will tell and I will update this review if there are problems...
My one criticism is the microfibre cloth that is supplied with the bottle. It does the job but, really, you need two - one to lay out and rest the record on and one to do the buffing. Also, I wasn't completely happy as it is unbranded. I have now replaced it with a couple of 3M branded anti-static microfibre cloths which you can get from just about anywhere
So, that's my review. It definitely does what I wanted it to do and does it very well. You need to be sparing with it and you probably need to get hold of a better, guaranteed anti-static cloth. As I say, if (as I doubt) there is any sign of long term damage to the surface of the vinyl, I will report back!!
on 18 August 2014
There are a few negative reviews of this on here, and I'm not really not sure why. I didn't experience any of the negative things people have said - it's cleaned up a first pressing Rubber Soul I have a treat, and doesn't jump any more. Worth it for that alone, but it's done wonders for loads of old vinyl I've picked up over the years. Will buy again once it's all used up.
on 22 January 2016
First one went missing in the post but fair play to the suppliers they sent another one as soon as I asked:
Mine came with two microfibre cloths (same as the ones you get anywhere) so I used one for cleaning and one for polishing - some of my records have been store for some time so had quite a bit of what looked like a sort of mould on them ( probably from old fingermarks) so these were first for cleaning. They came up very shiny but a shiny record doesn't necessarily play well so proof of the pudding is in the playing and I have to say I'm impressed - gone from popping and crackling to quiet and full bodied - some will need another cleaning but most have cleaned up fine with one go, the cleaning process does generate some static but that seems to dissipate quickly. So far I've cleaned about 150 LP's and used about half the bottle so it goes a long way - once cleaned they shouldn't need it again for a long time. Very plkeased