How to Clean a Phonograph Cabinet
The Phonograph Shop follows this method for every machine brought to us for beautification. Antiques often need cleaning to reveal their potential beauty. Before reaching for stripper try these non-invasive steps. This often yields great results.
- Wipe Down the Surface - Using a damp, clean rag wipe down the entire cabinet to remove loose dirt and grime. Let dry, typically 20 minutes or so.
- Clean the Surface - Using a wood cleaner and 0000 steel wool clean the entire cabinet to remove all remaining dirt and grime. Work in the direction of the grain. This will allow the cleaner to get into the pours of the wood. Let stand for at least 20 minutes. The Phonograph Shop uses Kotton Kleanser but there are several great products on the market. Be sure to read their instructions.
- Wipe Clean - Using a clean rag, remove all excess cleaner. Infrequently a second cleaning may be required.
- Restore the Finish (Optional): This step is not required but can help make the existing finish pop. The Phonograph Shop uses Howard's Restore a finish to tint the existing finish, as it may have faded over the last century. Select a color that matches your cabinet. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
- Wipe Clean - Using a clean rag, wipe off any excess.
- Oil and Wax - The Phonograph Shop uses Howard's Feed and Wax to bring back the original luster. There are many products for this step, just be sure to follow their instructions. Using a clean rag, wipe a thin layer across the entire cabinet. Follow the grain to allow the oil to penetrate the wood. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
- Wipe Clean - Using a clean rag, wipe down the entire cabinet to remove all excess oil and wax.
- Buff - Finally, using a clean rag, buff the finish to the desired shine.