This is an improvement to the Powerwash that uses a commercially available high pressure dental spray.
The spray in my shop sink was too messy as it would ricochet off of the album and soak all my tools at the opposite end of the shop. I started using the Oral Breeze in our bathroom… And that’s when the trouble started.
My wife would want to use the tub to take… of all things… a shower. She’d be faced with my equipment strewn all over, plus once, came out with a story of how she had to fight a wildly careening Oral Breeze hose because I’d forget to turn the valve to the off position.
Now, I’ve re-engineered my design so I can once again retreat to the safety of my shop and wash my records there… In peace. Only this time, both sides will be washed at once, with no mess, an automatic detergent applicator, an easy one-handed turn of the disc and one hand free to do other things while my records get cleaned.
I've been experimenting a lot with records lately, so I've been searching for some pretty trashed albums just to see if what I do works. Earlier this week, I picked up a Partridge Family record that came without a cover or dust jacket. Probably played over and over by some pre-teen fan with a hand-me-down record player, this thing should have been delegated to the trash bin decades ago. Did I revive it? Nope... Too far gone. But I DID improve it with sanding and using the modified power washer. My first Instructabe about power washing makes use of a small, hand-held sprayer designed to be used orally. The spray is powerful enough to hurt when used at full pressure, but it isn't as powerful as it could be. This powerwasher is stronger, but it splits the water into 2 streams and fans them out, increasing the volume and reducing it's pressure. If you've followed me so far, you're probably saying "Hey, wait! doesn't that oral thingie shoot out a much smaller stream, and why doesn't that make it more powerful?" Good question: There's something else that needs to be accounted for... Friction. The friction of all that water running through the line leading up to the nozzle robs energy from the stream of water aimed at your record. As you can see in the first photo, the Oral Breeze hose is much, much smaller than a 5/8" garden hose. Like the difference between running down a hallway and moving through an attic crawlspace, it's a lot easier for water to move through 6 feet of garden hose than 6 feet of Oral Breeze hose, and there's more of it moving along as well. Water is incompressible, so when it gets to the end and finds itself being pushed through a small hole, the only thing it can do is speed up... And it speeds up a lot. So... With that in mind, I again modified my record-cleaning box, so I could attack the Partridges with as much power as possible. I'm limited to 60psi at the inlet, so here's how I got as much of that as I could to the record's surface: The second photo shows an inexpensive garden sprayer I dug out of my shed, which I've modified slightly. First, I've extended the handle by epoxying a scrap piece of plastic onto it. This allows me to hold the sprayer and easily control the amount of water shooting out with one hand. I've also tried to reduce the size of the outlet hole by pounding the sprayer's tip with a hammer. It worked up to a point, and then the aluminum split. This wasn't a complete disaster, since the water stream now spreads slightly, covering more of the grooved surface. Same size hole, different shape... I kind of like that. I then chose a section of my box above and behind the Rainbird spray head that's inside and drilled a hole, just large enough to allow the tip of my modified sprayer to enter the box. The sprayer is connected to a 5/8" garden hose, which is attached directly to the water line. Friction is at a minimum until it reaches the sprayer's outlet. The water hitting the record is powerful enough to make the disc vibrate in my hand as I rotate it through the slot in the top of the box. Now, my box will clean 2 sides at a time. And, with a quick switch to a short garden hose, can blast one difficult side with as much pressure as I can produce. If you have a trashed record with imbedded grit, this may be the answer. It worked "somewhat" with the Partridges. Enough so I can at least listen to louder passages without the pops completely hiding the music, but it's still pretty worthless... Of course your milage may vary:)