Bought a Spin Clean on Black Friday - it's going back this Friday

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by csgreene, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Raleigh, N.C.
    You brush it off with the little red brush every time you use it. Or if you lose that, you can wipe it on your pants, LOL, like we did at my college radio station.
  2. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    Well, my experience is alcohol based cleaners stay on the record. they are hard to get off. Maybe 100% isopropyl would work ok. But alcohol It has a lower surface tension than water, spreads, and is hard to remove except by evaporation, and then it leaves any contaminates that it had dissolved or cleaned, as well as the additives if it isn't 100%. I can always tell when cleaners with alcohol or a wetting agent have been used on a record, as distilled water will not bead up and instead spreads. Also, most records cleaned with these type of solutions end up dirtier over time as they are a bit sticky, the residue actually attracts more dirt.

    Personally I use a diluted solution of an enzyme cleaner and distilled water that does contain some light surfectants, but still has greater surface tension than an alcohol solution or one with a wetting agent. It spreads into the grooves, but then beads up somewhat, puling out debris and making it easy to remove with the vacuum (unlike alcohol). this solution vacuums off well and the rinse does not get affected, the water beads up on a cleaned record, indicating the cleaner has been mostly removed.

    Anyone can hear when enough residue is left in grooves. Doesn't take special ears. I would think people under age 30 would be the most sensitive to it though.
  3. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    A very good point, and the brushes must just touch together. If a space between the brushes is noticed, then they are defective or the spin clean housing defective, and should be replaced. Wear can compress the brushes somewhat, so periodic replacement is a good idea.

    The Chinese Spin Clean knock offs may have a brush spacing problem, plus rough rollers... so, go for a genuine Spin Clean.
  4. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    (a) Alcohol leaves no residue. Look it up.
    (b) Lowering of surface tension is why surfactants are typically added to cleaners. But those surfactants do leave residue. Alcohol lowers surface tension w/o leaving residue.
    (c) A record that has been cleaned with alcohol and has completely dried, will not prevent water from beading.
    (d) If any of what you were saying was true, alcohol would be unsuitable for sanitizing anything.

    "Mostly removed" is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. It sounds mostly like garbage.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  5. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    Sorry, you are wrong. unless you are using 100% isopropyl, it leaves a residue. and evaporation/drying is not a good way to clean a record.

    what you want is a mild surfectant (prefereably synthetic i.e. not a soap). Surfectants are what actually clean things. they cause the dirt to be removed form the surface and suspended in the water (and thus easier to vacuum off). Alcohol is a solvent, and can work with a surfectant, but on it's own is not so great for cleaning (except maybe for grease and oil), because it tends to not allow the dirt particles to suspend that well. you can read about how cleaners work here:

    The Chemistry of Cleaning - Essential Industries

    And, I said "the cleaner has been mostly removed" because this isn't a labroatory experiment. there are probably still some molecules of cleaner there. No one can hear them, including you or even Steve Hoffman.

    nonsense, alcohol specifically works on bacteria/some viruses and fungi becaus eit dissolves (since it is a solvent) their outer membranes. This has nothing to do with leaving a residue. in fact the dead bacteria are left once the alcohol evaporates. Interestingly enough isopropyl and other alcohols are better disinfectants at lower concentrations (70% is better than 99% etc). But the lower concentrations may contain additives such as deaturants and perfumes.
    marcb likes this.
  6. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    I bought locally a Knosti Disco-Antistat to clean my own 100 records collection. It is somewhat similar to the spin clean and I used it with mixed results because its cleaning solution has so much alcohol in it that after cleaning 10 records I was a bit dizzy and felt as if I was well on my way to get roaring drunk.

    Eventually I decided I was not involved enough with records to care and invest in a better product and that's how the story ended for me. I have no idea if you would like to try a Knosti but I strongly advise that you should not attempt to drive a car or operate delicate machinery after a cleaning session.
  7. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    Your post reads like marketing materials from various fluid sellers.

    If you can provide a link to a source indicting 91% iso alcohol has any additives that would leave significant residue, I'll start taking you seriously. Because all I'm using is distilled water (75%) and 91% iso alcohol (25%). Left to evaporate in an open glass container, the bottom was completely devoid of any residue.

    ...and while not necessary, one can source 99% alcohol quite easily:

    Here is my article going to the difficulty of removing surfactants:

    Investigating the impact of cleaning treatments on polystyrene using SEM, AFM and ToF–SIMS

    Depth profiles of the substrate cleaned with the anionic surfactant revealed the presence of a thin layer of residual surfactant. Further examination of cleaned substrates indicated that repeat rinsing did not remove the residue entirely and a monolayer of surfactant is still present on the surface. Repeat rinsing may therefore introduce scratches and contamination to the surface while not resulting in the entire removal of the surfactant.

    There was an article in some magazine in the 70's about how the residues from record cleaning formulas can actually change the friction characteristics of the vinyl/diamond. Does anyone have that article? I read mostly Stereo Review and Audio back then, but not sure it was either, or some British magazine.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
    kronning likes this.
  8. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    marketing materials? how so? I don't market any fluid. I just make my own from some commercially available ingredients. which has had great results, thought hey aren't specifically designed for vinyl.

    that article was a bit TLDR for me, but i'm not particularly sure it was relevant anyway. you think you can here a layer of surfactant that is a single molecule thick? I don't

    Rubbing alcohol - Wikipedia

    there may be additives. but anyway, i'm not sure it is great for removing contaminants. but whatever works for anyone is fine too.
  9. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm using 91%, not 70%. It doesn't leave residue. If anyone is concerned, you can get 99% on Amazon for $5.

    The authors of the study I linked went to lengths to remove all the surfactant from the test surfaces and were unable to do so. That one molecule thick layer stays behind and is great at attracting/holding onto new grime.

    I've purchased used albums that have enough residue to be audible. Some people are clearly much better at rinsing, than others.

    And it isn't easy to remove, the stuff has a half life. Each time I go to clean it off, I get about half. After 2-3 cleanings, the sound improves considerably.

    And again, I'm not saying that is every instance of a used record. But enough to inform me not to use surfactants.
  10. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    whatever works for you. my preference is to avoid alcohol as it does not seem to clean effectively. very diluted surfactant solution is in line with conservation done at library of congress etc, along with distilled water rinsing, which may be the most important step anyway regardless of the cleaning solution used. take it easy--
    ghost rider likes this.

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