Neil Antin's Aqueous Cleaning of LPs- 2nd Edition

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bill Hart, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    There is a big difference between Alconox Powder Detergent and Alconox Liquinox Amazon.com: Alconox - 1232-1 1232 Liquinox Anionic Critical Cleaning Liquid Detergent, 1 quart Bottle : Health & Household. Liquinox is a neutral pH detergent that is a combination of anionic and nonionic surfactants. The Alconox Powder Detergent is slightly alkaline and contains no nonionic surfactant and has limits for what can be dissolved. For general cleaning they may be considered equal, but for record cleaning you want the neutral pH Liquinox with its nonionic surfactants that have a benefit over the carbonates/phosphates for record cleaning - they add foam that is much more gentle to the record.

    Depends on what brush. The occasional cross-action is of limited concern with the Record Doctor brush. Other brushes with shorter/stiffer brushes there could be harm depending on how hard you are pressing. In general there is no benefit to brushing perpendicular.

    That is way too slow. This is what I said in the book: :Step 5....Applying only a light pressure (the brush handle can scratch the record), use the Record Doctor™ Clean Sweep Record Brush (or equivalent) in moderately short, fast, back and forth motions (such as two back-and-forth motions per second) that follow (are parallel to) the arc of the grooves, and clean the record both sides with the CLEANER solution."

    When you are brushing as addressed above, the brush should fill with foam. The quick back&forth motions are CRITICAL to agitating the fluid fast enough to get effective cleaning. If you are only brushing relatively slowly - you are not getting all the cleaning you can get.
     
  2. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    First, the smallest usable tank is ~12" wide x ~6" deep (to fit the record) and ~6" back is 6-liters.

    The time to assemble the label protector, pre-clean with Liquinox, rinse tap water and then rinse DIW and then remove record and move to UT tank will be about 4 min/record. Two records is 8-min.

    The UT process is generally 6-9 minutes - you time so that the record(s) get equal exposure. But there is assembly for cleaning and then disassembly time for drying which will add about 3-min, so the time to clean the 1st 2 records is about 20 min. But, while the 1st 2 records are in the UT, you can be pre-cleaning the next 2 records.

    Here is an estimate for a 132kHz system: UT tank is $599; $189 for the spinner (you can buy cheaper Amazon, but they spin to fast);$250 for the low cost pump/filter option, $20 for a TDS meter; total = $1058.

    Recall what I said in that the acid is doing what the UT can do and leftover pops/hiss can be groove damage. And, recall what I said in "XII.13...It’s important to consider that machines are generally developed for two primary reasons – reduce labor and improve process efficiency. Process efficiency can mean faster (higher throughput) and/or higher probability of achieving quality..." So, the 132kHz UT should make-up for any weakness in your manual cleaning technique.

    Neil
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
  3. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Thank you for your answers Neil. I am trying very hard to keep up with you so there might be some overlap in some of my questions.
    I have just ordered the correct Liquinox.

    1. Does it make sense to re clean the records I used the 3-step procedure using Alconox, repeating the 3-steps when I receive the Liquinox ?
    2. Could using Alconox have potential for any damage ?

    Best 2 you.
     
  4. recstar24

    recstar24 Senior Member

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Thanks Neil! I printed out the manual as well for reference. From what I’ve gathered, I can skip the PVA sponge/dry step and just plop it directly into the degritter from the DIW rinse, correct?
     
  5. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Yes!
     
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  6. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Jenn,

    WRT Item 1: Select some of the most nosiest and reclean with Liquinox using the brush as I said. If no change, go no further.
    WRT Item 2: No, the powdered alkaline Alconox will not damage the record.

    Neil
     
  7. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    @Jenn2021,

    Let me caveat that I have no knowledge of this 132 kHz UCM - CleanerVinyl: Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Cleaning Systems. The one thing that jumps out is the low power for that kHz - its only 180W. For a high kHz UCM, it needs more power than a 40 kHz.

    Here is a USA made 40-kHz machine of the right dimensions with side drain and 2-yr warranty -Sharpertek 6L Heated Ultrasonic Cleaner w/ Side Drain XPS360-6L-D w/ Basket (justmedicalstore.com). Sharpertek Sharpertek Ultrasonic Cleaners, Medical Cleaners, Vapor Degreasers, Pressure Deburr, Ultrasonic Horns, and Ultrasonic Welders. is a reputable company and here is the Operators Manual - SH-Series-Manual.pdf (yahoo.net). Note that for the Sharpertek XPS360-6L, the side drain is an option and Amazon sells its w/o the side drain - you need the side drain for the pump/filter. This 40-kHz UCM is 180 watts (ultrasonic power). It looks like it uses the same control panel that the cheap Amazon unit use - which for this low for USA assembled/serviced unit is no surprise but you do get a 2-yr warranty and USA support.

    Neil
     
  8. bionic

    bionic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal
    Thank you so much Neil, well sort of a thank you I guess as now I have to labor over the cleaning of 2500 records after already cleaning them (wrongly) with a Spin Clean. I have ordered away for some of the items mentioned on your list, including the black UV light and while I'm waiting for the items to show I wanted to know what you think of this method as I would be using a Vinyl Vac and a Spin Clean.
    pre session: clean all spray bottles as per your book, clean Vinyl Vac velvet brushes, Spin Clean brushes, Record Doctor brush and Mofi Brush with mild dish soap and warm tap water.
    1) pre clean with Liquinox and Distilled water, this would be on a lazy susan with label protector and i would be using the MOFI record brush
    2)Vacuum until bone dry with vinyl vac
    3) fill Spin Clean basin with Distilled water and rinse with the brushes as per Spin Clean instructions
    4) put record back on lazy Susan and vacuum until bone dry with vinyl vac
    5) final clean with Tergiclean with the ratio you mention for your Tergitol and Distilled Water. Brush would be a Record Doctor Brush as per your book and would do the same paint stroke technique you mention.
    6) Vacuum with vinyl vac for 2 revolotions on the lazy Susan
    7) Air dry for 15 minutes
    8) Wave plasma lighter slowly on vinyl, check with UV black light and sleeve into new anti static sleeve.

    How do you like my drivin'?
     
  9. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Your process is similar to what @lazydawg58 has developed -
    with some modifications to account for only one basin:

    1A) Add this first step - spray surface with Liquinox and then vacuum. This step is intended to vacuum-up the loose debris on the record. Then:

    1B) I would use the Record Dr brush for this step. The Liquinox (1%; 10-ml/L) is a high foaming solution and you want to take advantage of that. Also, this is the step where the big junk is being removed. The Record Dr brush will allow the maximum amount of foam to develop and that foam is wicked up into the brush so you do grind it into the record which the MOFI brush can.

    2) Vacuum to remove moisture but do not fully dry.

    3) Spray record with DIW and vacuum (but no reason to fully dry) to rinse most Liquinox from record.

    4) Fill Spin Clean basin with Tergitol 15-S-9 at 0.05% (0.5 ml/L) and final clean the record.

    5) Move to lazy Susan and vacuum. Do not fully dry.

    6) Spray record with DIW and brush with MOFI brush and vacuum to fully dry.

    7) Use plasma lighter to neutralize any static.

    Good Luck
    Neil
     
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  10. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    There is also a 'sweep' function 38-42kHz.
    5 out of 5 stars for Sharpertek's help with technical questions on the phone *****.
    They sell models that are 10's of thousands of dollars, I never once was hurried off the phone, all questions were answered completely and with great patience and professionalism... love it, hard to come by and non-existent from the Chinese companies I attempted to get questions answered by phone/email.

    Thank you for the tip Neil.

    If I might chime in on the Plasma for anti-static, this person is testing 3 popular anti-static approaches;
    1. ZeroStat III
    2. Plasma
    3. Destat III

    I tried the plasma, it wasn't even close to what the Zerostat III did. I tried the different methods in the above videos. I don't own a Destat III, but it might be the new one to beat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
  11. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    If you read back you will see where I stated the following. Using the plasma lighter 3" above the record is way too far. FWIW, its not current that produces the arc its high DC voltage. There are many on this site that have had good luck with using plasma lighters to reduce static - just search "plasma lighter". However, you will note that some did not have good luck. The anode charge (+ or - ) of the device for DC determines the ion charge that the corona provides. It needs to produce +ions to neutralize the -charge the records develops (its all about the triboelectric property)

    Industry uses ionizers to prevent/eliminate static Technical Guide - STATIC REMOVERS (IONIZERS) (panasonic.biz).

    Otherwise, Chapter VI of book goes into quite a bit of detail on static; just note that in the discussion of the plasma lighter "electrons" should read "ions'.
     
  12. bionic

    bionic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal
    Much thanks Neil and Lazy Dawg too!
     
  13. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Neil,

    [Update]
    I'm jumping up and down with joy. I altered the procedure per your suggestions... there is a 'big' difference in increased quality in quietness and pop reduction.
    I changed;
    a) Liquinox, not Alconox
    b) Brushing with the Record Doctor following your advise. I think I was too timid in brushing before.
    c) Warmer water on the rinses

    I can't know for sure which was most influencial in improving quality, or the fact that the record was cleaned twice but I don't care... my favorite Joe Cocker album is now pop free and crackleless.

    I have (no surprise) new questions Neil,
    1. Is it possible for the Record Doctor brush to loose elasticity over time where it would be beneficial to use a 'new' brush ?
    2. If there was any slight moisture from the record not drying 100 percent, is it possible for to dry in the plastic anti-static sleeve, in the cover (open end up) ?
    3. I accidentally touched the record with my glove a few times while brushing, am I right that it probably is 'not' a concern since the glove is not rubbing inside the grooves ?
    4. Is wiping instead of patting with the sponge for convenience or is there additional benefit.

    Excuse me if I have asked any of these previously, I tried to review before posting.
     
  14. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    First - good news on your 'new' results. The benefit could be the 2nd cleaning, but the benefit of the Liquinox and the increased agitation is significant. If your curious to know more read Para XII.3 of the book.

    Now to each of you question:

    Item 1: I have been using the same Record Dr brush for >500 records and it works fine showing very little wear. The key is the nylon. As I wrote "XII.4... Nylon absorbs water and softens during use (but returns to original properties once dry).". FWIW: After cleaning I rinse the brush with DIW and then blot the brush bristles on PVA sponge - this packs & aligns the bristles and then place upright (handle down) to dry. After use, I store in this plastic case which turned out to be the perfect size- EXTRA Gum Sugarfree Chewing Gum Mega Pack, 35 Sticks (apologies if I am repeating myself).

    Item 2: First in your humidity the risk of any significant moisture left on the record is very remote. Otherwise, the anti-static plastic sleeves are mostly high density polyethylene (HDPE) and this plastic has a very low permeability (how well does it breath) so a 'wet' record is not going to dry in sleeve. But the record needs to 'wet'; and when you insert you notice almost immediately. But, if the record has some very minor micron-thick moisture - it means nothing other than it may be beneficial because it will increase storage humidity reducing static when the record is withdrawn from the sleeve. The term anti-static for these sleeves is based on that the record and the sleeve have materials close enough on the triboelectric scale to have low risk of causing static, but to my knowledge, the sleeve plastic is not treated with an anti-stat.

    Item 3: The glove material (nitrile rubber) is very soft in comparison to record. You are not going to scratch the record. However, the Record Dr nylon handle has sharp corners - take a nail file brush and file those edges down.

    Item 4: I find it easier & faster - so for me its partly convenience. Use it however it works best for you.

    Take care,

    Neil
     
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  15. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Neil,

    ATROAY (At the risk of annoying you), may I ask your opinion on a new problem please....

    After switching to Liquinox, and vinyl gloves, a very stick residue from the O-ring on the label protectors has developed and is causing sticking to the "Dead-Wax" area after the last song and leaving residue which sounds like a freight train when the stylus hits it. I tried to clean the O-rings with Liquinox, Citrinox, Clear Windex, Dishsoap, and finally 99% ISP, which removed the sticky residue. I'm buying some new nitrile gloves today to use because I am suspicious the vinyl gloves didn't like the Liquinox.

    Now I don't know how to remove the ring left on the dead was area. I tried the 99% ISP on a silk lens cleaning cloth and lightly rubbed of the residue. It worked but there might be a better way ?

    Thanks again.
     
  16. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    The text has helped me immensely with my use of the Vinyl Styl Deep Groove basin cleaner. Based on the text, I use a much lower concentration (approx. 10%) of alcohol (even though alcohol isn't expensive, distilled water is about 1/6th the cost), and now I do my initial rinsing under the sink tap, so I get a much more thorough rinse.

    I mostly don't use any detergent in the Vinyl Styl, there is apparently enough detergent residue on the used albums I buy, to supply everything needed. It is sort of interesting to observe how the behavior of the fluid changes after cleaning even one album. It can go from meh sheeting of the vinyl, to acting like I've added detergent myself.

    I've had fairly good luck air drying w/o the sponge Neil uses. About five minutes after putting records in the drying rack, I remove them and give them a few raps on the work surface (covered with a towel). This seems to encourage any larger drops to fall to the edge, where the towel gets them.

    If my previous non-Neil method would get me within about 80 - 85% or so of the finish line (with the remainder to come from repeated cleanings and/or the Audio Technica pad + alcohol), I think the new method gets me across the line on about 90% of albums.

    When you consider it is actually less expensive and faster than what I had been doing, that is quite an impressive achievement.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Neil, and thank you for all the help you've provided me and everyone else in all these threads.
     
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  17. bionic

    bionic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal
     
  18. bionic

    bionic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal
    ^^^^^oops, inserted the quote wrong there. On step 5, how many fairly clean records would the Spin Clean/Tergikleen be good for before having to change the solution?
     
  19. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    The 99% or 91% ISP is perfectly safe and is the easiest and fastest.

    The Liquinox has the same ingredients as Dawn dish detergent without the other 10 ingredients that do nothing for cleaning. My label protector which was USA made has rubber O-rings and I have never had a problem. As a neutral pH detergent, the Liquinox is compatible with all reputable O-ring materials. Liquinox and Citranox when they dry form a soap-like residue that is easily removed with water. The Tergitol will dry to oil like not much different than the original material.

    The Vinyl gloves should be compatible with Liquinox and Citranox; unless the gloves are of very dubious quality. However, it sounds as if the problem is the O-rings.

    The Alconox powder contains Sodium Tripolyphosphate and Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate Alconox-SDS-english.pdf and these are poorly compatible with Buna-N which is the likely O-ring material download.pdf (aceglass.com). If the O-ring is attacked it can soften the surface and that which makes it flexible can be extracted causing what you are seeing. Also, the quality of the O-rings can be dubious.

    With everything cleaned up, switch to Nitrile gloves and see if the residue still forms, if so, the O-rings need to be replaced. You may be able to buy replacement O-rings if you know the size - they are generally a standard size based on diameter and cross-section thickness - but there are different standards - American, European and Asian. This is unit you said you bought - Amazon.com: WEWU ROUNDS LP Vinyl Record Label Saver Vinyl Record Clean Saver Record Cleaning Protector Waterproof Label Saver Record Cleaner Clamp Care : Electronics; you may be able to leave a question to find out the O-ring size.

    FWIW this is the unit I recommended in the book Table I - the USA made Groovemaster - The Clear Choice For Cleaner Sound® (groovmaster.com) which would have made customer service a bit easier (note the Groovemaster is 3X the thickness of the knock-offs).

    Neil
     
  20. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Neil,

    O-rings still getting sticky after use, too bad because the rest works very well. The size is 110mm OD, 3.53 CS, round.
    I tried to find a size on Amazon but stopped after 20 minutes.

    Nitrile gloves are great, fit well and I have enough to last until 2023 (Wish they had a smaller box).

    I temporarily switched to: WEWU ROUNDS LP Vinyl Record Label Saver Vinyl Record Clean Saver Record Cleaning Protector Waterproof Label Saver Record Cleaner Clamp Care
    It is working so far without making sticky residue, and the O-ring is built in so no slippage.

    I am concerned about the Record Doctor Brush contacting the rubber while brushing and if rubber material might be picked up on the brush and then forced into the grooves, creating damage.
    Maybe it's my sometimes OCD... Ha (Wink). Do you think this might be a concern ?


    Thank you immensely.
     
  21. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    For the O-ring, the standard size should be 3.5mm (CS) x 103mm (ID)/110mm (OD). The 3.53mm and 103mm(ID does not appear to be a standard size. You can buy here: 3.5mm X 103mm (NBR) Buna-N 70 Duro Metric O-Ring [N3.50X103] : The O-Ring Store LLC, We make getting O-Rings easy! (theoringstore.com).

    First the Nylon is relatively soft, and the cleaning fluid acts as lubricant. The risk of the Nylon abrading the rubber is remote, the brush only contacts the rubber on its sides which are mostly non-abrasive. Even if the rubber did abrade ever so lightly, its softer than the record, and the tap water flowing rinse will remove any abraded particles. Don't forget the record is being played by a diamond stylus - the hardest material known to man. The record is some pretty amazing tough stuff, but over use the stylus and it will damage/carve-up the record. Recall what I wrote Chapter I.

    Neil
     
  22. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    It's hard to say. A lot depends on how good your pre-clean process is. Keep an eye on the Tergitol 15-S-9 bath. With the Spin-Clean it may cause some foam, but if a lot foam develops that is carryover from the Liquinox - you did not rinse well. Otherwise, when the Tergitol bath just starts to get cloudy (shine with a flashlight) it's time to replace. Keep a log of how many records you clean before refreshing the bath.

    Otherwise, here is an option depending on how many records you are cleaning and how much DIW you have access to: you can recycle/filter the Tergitol 15-S-9. Just filter through an unbleached coffee filter - they are generally good for about 10-15 microns filtration which is not bad and a pour-over coffee maker such as Amazon.com: Melitta 640616 Coffee Maker, 52 oz, Glass Carafe : Home & Kitchen. In this case, refresh every 5 records or so. And reuse the fluid (after filtering) 3-4 times. So essentially after cleaning 5-records drain and collect to filter and refresh. By the time you are done cleaning five records the fluid should be filtered and ready for reuse and the used fluid ready to be filtered.

    Neil
     
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  23. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Thank you Neil for pointing me to the O-Ring, I couldn't find that easily.

    I will not worry about the rubber shedding, appreciate the analysis.

    C-Ya,

    Jennifer
     
  24. Jenn2021

    Jenn2021 Active Member

    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Happy Thanksgiving to all !

    Regarding: Wet Cleaning Quadraphonic records...

    Is the wet cleaning method safe to use on Quadraphonc records ?
    I cleaned this record: Joni Mitchell – Court And Spark (1974, Vinyl)

    It sounds like there are termites in the groves, no kidding.
    I was told one can play Quadraphonic with a standard 2 channel turntable.
     
  25. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Yes, you can clean Quadraphonic records with a wet process, they were pressed on modern low-wear vinyl.

    If you search the consensus is the record should playback on standard stereo;
    Can I play quadrophonic LPs with my stereo stylus? | Audiokarma Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums
    Quadraphonic Record- Vinyl Engine

    However, the record may be damaged from playing with an overused stylus, in which case, the playback could be as you describe.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021 at 5:24 PM
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