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A (Very Long) Primer on Record Cleaning Fluids

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Justin_Time, Aug 17, 2005.

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  1. the disc doctor

    the disc doctor New Member

    St. Louis, MO
  2. the disc doctor

    the disc doctor New Member

    St. Louis, MO
    Please pardon my sending empty or incomplete replies, I'm a bit rusty with the list. I am not here for free advertising nor am I interested in the flame wars of the past. All I've ever tried to do was inform people of what we've learned about cleaning disc phonograph recording whether it's a 1906 Columbia pressing, an Edison Diamond Disc, a 193o's electrically recorded, modern vinyl pressing or lacquer. Thoroughly cleaned surfaces allow us the hear all that the groove has to offer & serves as a reference point for further improvement. That's why we're also working to find an alternate way to clean lacquers before they're plated.

    I've angered many users unintentionally but chemistry & the method of application determine what a given cleaning solution can safely accomplish & nothing more. The mold release agent most commonly found on the surface of every pressing ARE NOT significantly soluble in methanol, ethanol, 2-propanol (aka isopropyl alcohol) or 1-propanol. PERIOD! Until these contaminants are thoroughly removed it is not possible to accurately trace the groove.

    Observing that a record cleaning solution foams or not tells us nothing about the quality of its cleaning or its safety. Some users think our premier cleaning solution & its accompanying procedure are to much work & would rather work with other products & that’s their choice. Years of blind & double blind studies along with long term evaluations of cleaned disc to resist mold & mildew growth further support the quality of the cleaning. Anyone using our premier product as directed & not hearing an improvement after several playbacks or finding any other product to produce better results is not using the materials properly & should contact us so that we can figure out what they’re doing wrong. Value judgements based on whether a product foams in us is simply absurd. If the MRC is too much effort, try our no-rinse QuickWash solution or visit our web site to read Kevin Gray’s comments on this product. As a multi Grammy award winning engineer his comments may be of value to some of you. For what it’s worth the discs used to produce the Grammy Award winning Lost Sounds CD set were also cleaned with our premier product & applicator.

    I will not get into a pissing contest about this, we’re all allowed our preferences, right or wrong. In closing I offer you the information we tracked down concerning the origins of the use of alcohols to clean records.

    From our investigations years ago, the basis for using alcohols for record cleaning was traced to an engineer at the British Museum during the early days of vinyl record production. He wiped a disc off with wood alcohol aka methanol, & reported that he liked the look. Around this same time the person would brought out the Keith Monks machine [notice I did not say designed it], learned about this observation & decided to use an aqueous methanol solution with his record cleaning machine.

    When the machine came to the US methanol was replaced by isopropyl alcohol, not because it was an improvement but because methanol is a poison responsible for the "Shakey Jake" syndrome that arose during US Prohibition. He couldn't use ethanol because he would have had to pay extra taxes on the alcohol, and thus he was left with the only other readily water soluble, inexpensive simple alcohol.

    regards to all, Duane Goldman
  3. motionoftheocean

    motionoftheocean Senior Member

    Circus Maximus
    Would something like AI #6 be suitable for one step hand cleaning (sans vacuum)? I know , according to AI's fairly thorough directions available in a pdf on their website, they claim you rub the #6 on with a MoFi brush and then dry with a microfiber towel but I'd prefer to consult with those of you who've actually done it.

    I find I get decent results with Groovy Cleaner but wonder if there's a better fluid option.
  4. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    20% window cleaner(alcohol-surfactants-ammonia-water)+80% distilled water. Wet a cottonball and wipe the lp circularly. Rinse with a abundant distilled water. Absorb water with paper towels, leave the lp on a dry, dust-free surface for 10' each side for complete evaporation, blow dust with an enema pear and back into the sleeve. Has always worked like a charm for me. But if I understood the OP's post (I got chemistry notions), my method roughly matches most of the displayed criteria, if in a poorman's manner.:)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  5. JBStephens

    JBStephens I don't "like", "share", "tweet", or CARE. In Memoriam

    South Mountain, NC
    Jake Leg was caused by the addition of Tricresyl phosphate to one specific brand of Jamaican Ginger to circumvent alcohol taxes. It wasn't from methanol itself.

    I preferred Everclear for my record-cleaning solutions, but the state decided that Everclear was a "bad" thing to carry in their stores. So now I have to use cheap Dollar General (91%) alcohol. That's okay... I don't have to pay state liquor tax to Dollar General.
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