CLEANING CLEANING CLEANING!!!
BUT IT’S ONLY A YEAR OLD
Unless you have a full time made that dusts and cleans your audio gear every week (LOL) then when I get it really has to be cleaned (even mine) and if it’s been sitting in a box in the garage or storage for years… So here’s how I do it.
PAINT YOUR WAY TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE
The first step for me is to use a natural bristle, Made in USA, 2 inch paintbrush. The bristles are soft enough not to scratch or damage anything with enough stiffness to get the dust that has been setting for a long time. I use this all over the entire unit sometimes in conjunction with a little bit of compressed air to blow the dust away once it is brushed loose. I’m always leery about using too much compressed air as I don’t want to force dust into places where it can’t be reached and clogs up the works, like Pots and sockets. Also some areas are just too sensitive to hit with 90 psi. So a little does a little good but hold off on a lot of compressed air is my rule of thumb.
IT’S NOT JUST FOR WINDOWS ANYMORE
I use a ton of Windex multi-surface and buy it by the gallon. It is a nice gentle cleaner that gets the job done without doing damage, many techs even use it clean circuit boards. Of course there is an art to this and I use lots of rags. Just like when you clean your windows you have to clean then polish dry or you’ll have streaks. This is always a challenge for me and many times I’ll think it’s perfect until I start loading up the pictures. So if you see a unit that looks a bit dirty it’s not from lack of effort it’s just sooo easy to miss a spot and sometimes quite difficult to unpack the unit to reshoot the photos.
HONESTLY OFFICER I WAS JUST CLEANING MY STEREO
Alcohol is a great solvent that I use a lot of but you have to be very very careful with it. It’s tempting to just start wiping stuff down with it but if it can solvate grease it can solvate graphics as well. In my early days of this business I removed a couple of logos accidently so I stick to the Windex and use the alcohol only on parts where it’s safe (Heads, Capstans etc).
DIG THE GROOVY KNOBS
Audio manufactures love knurled knobs, especially classic gear. Those aluminum knobs are what add to the charm, beauty and quality of a piece but they always get dirty. Windex to the rescue again, but this time I take all of the knobs off and clean them with a soft bristle tooth brush. Spray a little on the bristles, clean the grooves and wipe the knob clean. Usually one pass will get the job done but some people just really like adjusting their volume with dirty hands.
IT WON’T WASH OFF SO ERASE IT
Life happens and paint and various other things get on gear, like scuff marks from moving and no matter how much you wash they just smile back at you. This is when I break out the big gun: The Magic Erasure!!! Add a little water and these puppys work miracles. You have to be careful though they are rather abrasive and if you rub one place too much you might take off more than you intended, logos paint etc.
DON’T STICK THEM IN YOUR EARS!!!
Q-tips or more appropriately, cotton swabs, are the go to tool for corners, crevices and holes. Just spray a little Windex on one end, clean the area, flip it over and finish off with the dry end. I go through these by the boat load so buy ‘em cheap.
SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND
One of the allures of classic and even some modern audio equipment are the beautiful silver faces and there is certainly a since of satisfaction and pride when a piece is bright and shiny. Too all of my customers I hope you enjoy the beauty of you piece when you get it and sometime in the future I hope these little tips help you to keep it that way!!!