I have a serious phobia problem with cleaning records

HiI have RCM phobia .And I need help to over come my phobia wiith cleaning records. I'm ok with a Mofi brush or a cloth and just go in a circle and clean the dust off... But I am terrified of liquids and machines. Because I never know the right one to choose. The automation one's that all cost more I think give me some kind of small security but even reading stories on here now give me second thoughts. The machines aren't perfect either. As for doing manually forget it ...
I buy new and vintage records... I have issues more with vintage used depending the condition they arrive in.
I had my mind set on Nitty Gritty 1.5 Fi to the Mini Pro but not sure of the differences. There’s that 2.5 that has 2 pumps I don’t understand that.
Mini Pro should be the better idea as it cleans both sides simultaneously. I have used it in the past with very good results, just do not overdo it with too much liquid application. 2 pumps, one for manualy applying liquid on lp surface and the other for suction? 

Back in the 90's there was a guy Joe at Corner Audio in Portland, had some of the best high end gear anywhere along I5 up to Seattle and beyond. I'm in there one time and he pulls out a record and makes a big deal holding it all wrong, getting his fingers all over it, never touching the edge, probably sat it down on a counter for good effect. You get the idea. Played the record, Santana Abraxas reissue, sounded great. Was only years and years later the wisdom sank in. You can OCD over records, or you can enjoy them. I clean mine, sure. Walker Enzyme. But I do not obsess over it. Nor should you. Nor should anyone. Wind up like the guy with delicious wine unable to enjoy even a sip for fretting if at one time five years ago it was subjected to three degrees too much heat. Do not be that guy.
I have a VPI 16.5. I’ve never had a record sound or look worse after being cleaned. In general with most records, cleaning doesn’t make a huge difference in sound quality (although the US guys claim greater improvements), but there have been times where it made a dramatic difference.

What is it exactly that you're concerned about?
Good question. More to the point, how can we help?
HiI have RCM phobia .And I need help to over come my phobia wiith cleaning records. I'm ok with a Mofi brush or a cloth and just go in a circle and clean the dust off... But I am terrified of liquids and machines. Because I never know the right one to choose. The automation one's that all cost more I think give me some kind of small security but even reading stories on here now give me second thoughts. The machines aren't perfect either. As for doing manually forget it ...

So if we take this seriously one, it's a phobia. An unreasonable, groundless fear. So either he's joking, or he needs counseling. 

He says he's terrified because he doesn't know the right one to choose. Well, it's the Walker 4step Enzyme cleaning system. Or even if not, well any liquid cleaning system is better than what he's doing, wiping the dust off. 

But he refuses to buy a machine, and refuses to clean manually.  

So every single thing we could suggest, he has categorically ruled out. There really is nothing more to say other than seek psychiatric counseling. That's not a dig, just a solid logical conclusion based on everything the OP himself has said. 

But that is if we take him seriously. If we take it as humor then all I can say is, don't quit your day job!
i have an okki nokki - like it, it works well

using liquid soap bath, brush and vacuum takes a little getting used, but like anything else, you learn and get used to it
What happened with me was I kept using one of those kits you buy at radio shack or the red bottle of mysterious liquid with the wood brush and cloth bit ... Where you spray the LP and you like have very little patience thinking it’s dry by using the cloth... Then you put on the LP and that’s the first LP it’s horrendous static ... Then freak out ... Cause it’s just major static thinking what did I do it didn’t sound like this before. You take out a random record do nothing to do it but wipe the dust off it with a different cloth you put the LP on you experience the exact same static you had with the LP you think you were trying to clean and every record after that till you don’t play records for months cause you think you ruined the records the turntable the stylus the cart the tone arm everything till the stylus maybe dries or whatever or you simply ruined the cart .. . Now you put static on your stylus cart maybe thru the tone arm... That’s why I say ............... Phobia ................. So to over come this horror with cleaning records I want a machine to do the whole thing but I don’t want the same results... I liked CD’s where you didn’t have to do anything... But you know that whole story... I really don’t play records I transfer them to digital because well they sound better 75 percent of the time... Sometimes a CD can kick a record out of the park.... It all depends... But records for me many of the time you have to do yourself because the sound just sounds better and usually it’s artist and a album no one cares to transfer to digital it’s a whole science ... Then there’s my vinyl rig not sure what I’m doing with that either... I really like when " rippers " deal with it and do it better cause they have this amazing discipline I been dealing with internet vinyl ripping phenomena since 2007. Before 2006 I was buying CD’s off amazon as stores went out of business one by one ...  And records were over for me in 1987 when I was given a CD player as a present and that went on for 20 years  CD's thousands of CD's .. Then internet 1995 then fiber optic cable 2008 the resurgence of vinyl... But you I'm sure you know the trouble with all that... Still going on today .... I won't go into the details... This was enough ...
Pay someone to clean your LPs! Preferably nearby! I"d do it for you if you were in the neighborhood. I have cleaned over 1000 LPs! I also clean second-hand CDs! Over 1000 of them! 
I use a Nitty Gritty Record  cleaning machine.   It's the manual version, I have to spin the record myself.  The vacuum is a bit loud although. I also use deionized water in a damp cloth.
I also have Okki Nokki machine but I use Audio Intelligent fluids and have no fear of doing anything bad to the records.
I am sure Walker is fine too. I would also trust Walter Davis of Last Factory with anything he makes. For records and for tapes.
You don’t need a large feature set on a vacuum RCM. You need something to rotate the record and some means to deploy the vacuum function to remove the fluid/contaminants. The Nitty Gritty is a bit odd in that it does not have a full sized platter to work the record, and their machines with which I’m familiar (older) all utilized vacuum on the underside of the record.
The various wand machines, like VPI, Okki, Project, SOTA (if it still made) should be evaluated largely for robustness. When I used that type of machine, I had two separate vacuum wands mounted to separate arm pillars so I could switch out the cleaning fluid and rinse fluid wands in seconds. Its a small monetary investment that helps you keep the cleaning and rinse steps separate, along with using different applicators for each.
There are a million different ways to clean, everyone has their preferred machine, fluid, applicators, technique, and sequence of steps. I spent a fair amount of time digging into this, and really dug down by spending the day with the folks at the Packard Campus of the Library of Congress that does intake on their collection.
I’ve experimented with various methods, fluids, applicators and the like. I can’t say I’ve owned and used every type of machine but after devoting a lot of time to the process, there are a few simple truths:
  • Do no harm-- a bad "cleaning" is worse than no cleaning- you are contaminating the record, and could even damage it. (Perhaps part of the source of your worry).
  • If you want to keep it simple, I’d recommend a good basic vacuum RCM without all the bells and whistles- you don’t need two sided reverse cleaning with fluid dispensers. You can manually clean the record-- that’s how most of the vacuum machines are designed anyway, and simply vacuum off the fluid.
  • Dry doesn’t mean clean. Residue from cleaning fluid bound with the contaminants that the fluid is supposed to help remove can leave you worse off than no cleaning. See first point, above.
  • I believe in a rinse step using some level of purified water.
  • There is also a synergistic relationship between manual/ vacuum cleaning on one side and ultrasonic on the other. I use both manual/vacuum and ultrasonic to achieve good, consistent results.

If you have a large enough investment in records, a good set up, which doesn’t have to be terribly expensive, is vital. I got to the point where it was worthwhile for me to buy a big Keith Monks (Omni) and have owned and used several different made for LP ultrasonic machines. You can go fancy or cheap on all of this stuff: one way to do it is a basic vacuum RCM and DIY ultrasonic.
The main thing is method, not the brand names of the machinery. (Though a cheap ultrasonic machine may crap out on you-- but that has happened to expensive ones too).
Neil Antin’s latest version of his paper on Precision Aqueous Cleaning of LPs is essentially a reference to the materials science and chemistry of record cleaning and is very deep and thorough. Nonetheless, Neil  starts with a simple manual clean that involves no machinery and gets good results because his methodology is sound.

As to being phobic about wet cleaning, I think you have to deal with that on your own. I don’t see anything scary about it; I mean, you cue your turntable and if you drop the stylus too fast for some reason, or mishandle the tonearm, you’ll not only risk a record but a potentially expensive cartridge. Like anything, the more you do this, and know about it, the better results you can get. But, the main objective to me isn’t the sonic "lifting of veils" or the dramatic change in sound quality that is like "upgrading a new component"™, it’s that you’ve removed contaminants from the record that reveal its full potential, sonically, and enables you to preserve the record for a lifetime or more without leaving contamination in your wake or adding to it by the "cleaning" process.
look at photo #2 in this LP listing of mine


I make my own mix, scrub away while listening to music, batches of 10, drying rack, it's therapeutic.
  • Do no harm-- a bad "cleaning" is worse than no cleaning- you are contaminating the record, and could even damage it. (Perhaps part of the source of your worry).

remember that damn discwasher with the red squeeze bottle and using the directional pad to push the liquid in???  arrrgggghhhhh!!!!  
I’m totally for buying a machine... I was really thinking about the Nitty 1.5fi or 2.5fi not really the mini pro ... If it came to that I would get that... I can pay the thing off in 2 years ... It’s not about money it’s about doing it right especially those chemicals there’s so many out there I’m not sure what the right one or just water I don’t know I’m not very educated in this or never was being playing records for 50 years... And I just want it simple and it that it works correctly then not....  Or pay to have someone do it... But knows what they're doing ...
Believe it or not, I totally agree with MC. If the OP is serious, he should seek help. If he is joking, OK it’s not that bad a joke. Personally, I am very relaxed about whether I clean an LP or not. I own a VPIHW 17, but I use it infrequently.On the other hand, when I do occasionally develop ambition for cleaning records, I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to see the amount of grunge and crap that can be washed off an apparently good looking LP. The OP seems to expect uniform results from cleaning. But one should not expect uniform results, because every single record is in a different state of use or abuse. So in some cases cleaning will make a big difference. In other cases, you won’t hear much difference at all.If an LP sounds bad due to previous years of abuse under some other guy’s ownership, then you can clean it until death, and it won’t help.
And one more thing that really drives me mad.... When you buy a sealed LP and all this stuff appears on the LP can you get that off the LP... I bought sealed LP's that we're 50 years old and when I undid the old seal Jesus the thing had these spots of whatever it was all over the LP... And no fungal record cleaner could get them out or off and then right liquid equals static for me anyway.  I don't buy them anymore.  But even if they're 5 years old sometimes vinyl has those spots or gunk or whatever it is on the sealed LP's ... Even on used LP's I find that ...  Vinyl drives me nuts ..  Half the time not but when it happens it just sounds like a mess.

Vinyl drives me nuts .. Half the time not but when it happens it just sounds like a mess.


tremendous enjoyment, zero fuss, no fear 👌
We use a painters pad (thousands of little soft bristles)
either Dawn or ivory soap, run the brush around the record numerous times, 
rinse in sink with water on halfway to keep the air out of the stream, the aeration will cause water to not get in the grooves,...use luke warm water (almost cool to touch). 
 I towel dry with a very old worn cotton towel , so there is no cotton, or residue , then I fire up the shop-vac , with the thin attachment, which I cut pieces of felt w adhesive on back side, all the way around the attachment, works a charm, sucks water, dust, dirt, out like a champ!

 Unconventional, yes, works awesome. Takes much longer than a 600$ machine, and I feel works better.  My opinion only.   We each have our own way to clean our lps’

   Also, I bought the mofi and dishwasher rice inner sleeves. And the Japanese resealable mylar outer sleeves.
  All my records are now immaculate and in storage. After I recorded many of them to a computer and burned them to taiyo yuden cd blanks. 

Also, stop overthinking it, they are records.
unless you clean them with a wire brush and comet, you will be fine. 

 Enjoy the music!
I just received the Nitty Gritty Mini Pro 2 got never used for 600 BUCKS not sure if it’s a POS or what.. It was never used but from the guy at Nitty Gritty the machine is 10 years old from the serial number and used what was left of the Pure 2 that came with the machine that was also 10 years old how long are these fluids good for I have a bottle here of MOFI PLUS Enzyme cleaner but was told never put like that type of fluid in the one tank just the Pure 2 only that means manual brushing with the MOFI brush I have probably contaminated I also found this spray bottle of PFAN STAT to eliminate static I can’t remember if that was crap or if the MOFI liquid I have is crap or if the Nitty Gritty chemicals is crap . I used it on a few records. And then played them ... I think I heard a difference in sound but the crackles pops tics were all still there. I felt like throwing the machine out the window thru the glass... I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. And a degritter and that Kirmuss guy sure the machine is the easy part but then it’s like you shave the record manually like 2 times... He’s been called the snake oil in the business. Also the vacuum works like any other but the pump and dispenser doesn’t really coat the record like your black painting a record with fluid... I don’t maybe I should quit LP’s and go back to singing in the shower. Or what I should of done sent 50 records to one of these professional record cleaners let them do for 200 bucks and been done with it.. But no crackles tics or pops. Scratches well the record is ruined. I don’t play those. Then there’s declicking ... Forget that... This is too much as it is... When you don’t what your doing you go mad. Seems like the 2.5 FI - XP with the two pumps it's cheaper but does it do more. Why does that machine have two pumps and the Mini Pro 2 has one I know cleans both sides at the same time... Maybe I should kidnap Kirmuss and make him do all my records since he seems to know everything while banging that bunny on his head.
Listen to whart, a RCM is nothing more than another way to spin a record. How clean it gets has little to do with the RCM and almost everything to do with YOU- what solutions you use with it, and in what order, and especially how fastidious you are about keeping the vacuum nozzle brushes clean.  

Because, if you want your records really clean then whatever you use and however you do it that last final rinse and vacuum is what will determine your final results. You can do everything else perfect and if the last vacuum is done with anything other than perfectly clean bristles all you are doing is smearing goop around on your nice clean record.  

That is why Better-records.com uses the machine that constantly feeds a brand new perfectly clean thread to vacuum. That is why the only thing I use my VPI for is to vacuum off the final rinse.  

A lot of the different opinions and results you will hear stem from this one important point. You can use all the best stuff in the world and get mediocre results because you didn't use it properly. Or you can use Dawn or just about anything else and get stellar results because you did it right. 

It ain't rocket science. It ain't nothing to be afraid of. If you find yourself paralyzed with fear just remember, baby steps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl6s6DGapug
Send your vinyls to perfect vinyl forever and let them handle it. And be done with it. They don’t have to be cleaned again after using their service, if the records are kept in the sleeve they come back in. Aside from maybe an occasional dusting.