Now here's a thing. Records. Why are these fabulous items so central to your musical inspiration frequently drowned in more pops and crackle than a bowl of Rice Krispies? Dust and static, mate. There's more to disc dirt than you think.
Plain dust rarely damages the vinyl, but makes the stylus skip, and builds up on the cantilever (the bit connecting the stylus to the cartridge) so slowing its response.
Oil from the air and your mucky fingerprints holds the dust in the grooves, but has worse faults. As the tip of the stylus tracks through the sludge it produces a flash temperature of 600-800 deg C, and that's enough to convert the oil to a ceramic-like glaze, polluting the stylus. It's rough, abrasive and grinds away the high-frequency detail in the grooves. Finally, there's static which again holds the dust, but is most noticeable because it forms irregular patterns on the record. Small pockets of charge cause those irritating pops, and they can be 10,000 volts or more, positive or negative. Cleaners which claim to remove static are usually fibbing. What they actually do (usually with conductive carbon fibre brushes) is distribute the charge evenly across the entire surface of the disc - no more crackling hot spots. There is a pricey, professional answer called the Keith Monks machine which does genuinely remove static (along with oil and dust) by washing the records in distilled water and drawing the resultant fluid off with a vacuum pump.
For the rest of us there are commercially available cleaners normally using isopropyl alcohol, on brushes or cloths, to loosen oil and dust. So now you know.
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