During the golden age of vinyl, Ronco sold vacuums to keep your records clean. But there was always a cheaper DIY hack — a hack demonstrated in a video created by a Youtuber who simply goes by “ghettofunk13.” Just pour some wood glue on your record, spread it around carefully as the turntable spins (don’t get it on the center label), and you can apparently get rid of those snaps, crackles, and pops. The video is pretty straightforward. But it’s worth noting the addendum “ghettofunk13” later added in text: “You can use considerably less glue and still get the same effect – it cuts the dry time way down. Just be sure that you get the whole record covered!”
Over on Metafilter, one commenter took “ghettofunk13” to task, saying “The bass is muddy and there’s no clarity and sparkle at the high end…. He should have used de-ionized wood glue from a polycarbonate (NOT polypropylene) bottle, and spread it in the direction of rotation with a hand-polished cedar shake. Amateur.” Just something to consider if you plan to do some DIY record cleaning this weekend. You can get a few more details on the process here. Try at your own risk.
FYI, over at Kottke.org, you can see an excellent microscopic photo of vinyl record grooves. Jason writes, “When you look really closely at record grooves, like at 1000x magnification, you can see the waveforms of the music itself. Sooo cool.”