Winyl Record Cleaning Fluid offers a novel way for you to clean your black disks. The stuff cost £19.99 for 500ml and here Dave Robson gets down with the sticky stuff. 

Having only a small record collection, as CD arrived pretty soon after the Hifi bug bit, my records are all mostly old from the 80’s. I have bought some new “old” records and some secondhand as I think some recordings just need to be heard on the format they were intended for. I am embarrassed to say, but my record cleaning regime stood at a litre bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol and one of those velvet covered sponges. That and several teenage parties hasn’t left my little collection in the most pristine of condition. I have seen the “Wood Glue” video on social media but thought that was a little too risky. While surfing around Ebay, I did come across this Winyl cleaning fluid, I watched the associated video, and it was the same technique as the wood glue. Better than that it was specially designed for your precious records and looked a simple process. I purchased a couple of the tester sizes 50mm (£2.50 inc free delivery UK). The bottles arrived a couple of days later in a sealed plastic bag containing the fluid, syringe with applicator attached and instructions.
For the test I used 3 LP’s, two copies of Simple Minds “New Gold Dream”, one my old original copy, the other a brand new Abbey Road Half Speed Master, and Dire Straits “Dire Straits” which I recently purchased second hand and which was quite grubby. I gave both the older LP’s a standard “me” clean and popped them onto my Turntable. I listened for a few hours both sides a couple of times. I then popped on the new Abbey Road simple Minds as a reference point.
First off, I applied the fluid as I thought fit to Side A of simple Minds. The easiest way is as the instructions suggested, by making a wavy line from the outer to inner edges. I then used my finger to gently smear the fluid evenly around the record. The depth of fluid looked a little uneven but soon levelled itself out. I added the little bit of paper as was advised to the edge of the disk to aid removal of the film once it had dried. I left this overnight to dry fully. The next day I started the process to remove the now fully dried fluid that had turned into a thin film. I lifted the paper tab that I had applied (don’t forget this as it makes starting the process easy) and started to pull the film up off the disk. It’s quite tough (the film, not the job) but as I worked my way across the record I kept ripping the film, this made it very hard and left some of it behind. I realised by trial that the mistake was mine. That I in my stinginess had put the fluid on too thin! No panic! I set about the second disk, Dire Straits was placed on the table and I set about using about a 3rd more which equates to about three 5ml of the supplied syringes full. I then just happened to notice on the Instructions the advised amounts to use. It says 14-16ml for a 12” LP. I would say this was the right amount per side, it also advises not to go to the outer edge, but from my first attempt I found it beneficial second time around to do this, but I would say not to go to too far over the run out section as per the instructions. I place Mr knoppfler’s finest outside on a flat surface on a nice warm day. It took about 2 hours to dry. I brought it in and let it get to room temperature. Under normal conditions it recommends 5-6 hours drying time. It’s easy to spot if it’s not fully dry too as it looks wet.
This time round, I decided to work around the edge of the disk first, lifting the paper tab and methodically going around the edge first, then slightly more until it came away completely in one piece.
The fluid is comprised of a pair of polymers, a wetting agent, antistatic agent, non-ionic surfactants, water and a cleaner. Once it’s off the record it’s quite a tough material. You can see every groove and indentation from the record surface. I re applied the fluid to my first record to see if it picked up the bits I had left behind by my first bodged attempt. This then came out in the same perfect condition as the Dire Straits disc. Happy with the method and the look of the LP’s, I then proceeded to the turntable to see how they sounded. I cleaned the stylus and set about playing both albums. The results were good! The recording seemed brighter and more detailed, the bass sounded a bit deeper and tighter. There were less pops and crackles and less rumbling. An all-round improvement. It was certainly a closer match to the new copy of the Simple Minds for clarity. How the Winyl stacks up against professional record cleaning machines I’m not sure, as I have never used one. This is quite a simple process and the logic behind it is sound (no pun intended).

Conclusion
This is a great product, it does what it says on the tin and is simple to use. For me my usage would be to clean old or second hand vinyl as a first course of action, then have a good standard cleaning regime.

AT A GLANCE
Pros:
Does what it’s advertised to do.
Cons:
You need to use a more than the instructions say.

Price: £19.99 for 500ml

Dave Robson

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