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Record Cleaning

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LTL, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
    This is my first post as a new member.
    I plan to use three different RCF’s to clean dirty records prior to using a record vacuum as the final step in the process. Two of the three fluids will be alcohol based (not isopropyl alcohol) and one will have no alcohol, only surfactants and other ingredients. I plan to rinse the record with high quality commercially available distilled water between fluid applications.
    My question is which fluid should be the final one applied prior to vacuuming or does it make no difference?
     
    dee likes this.
  2. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    Welcome to the forum!

    Im having a hard time following.

    Youre going to put on 3 different solutions but not vacuum until the last one?
    Or are you making the solution on the record?

    Is there a specific reason to use 3 different fluids?
    Cleaning services may do several steps with enzymes and soaps before ultrasonic cleaning the record, but this is home cleaning, will you really go through the trouble to basically clean every record 3 times?
    Just a heads up, very few if any on this forum do that as far as Im aware.
    As for what order, it depends what in the mix, as mentioned I would firstly use enzymes to remove organic material and remove large debris before using a stronger chemical.
    Personally I would not use alcohol though when there are non alcohol based options.
     
    HiFi Guy and displayname like this.
  3. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Why are you using 3 fluids? Honestly, if the record is that dirty, take the record to the sink and flow running water onto it. I usually have 3 different fluids, but I don't use them all at the same time. I usually have an enzyme cleaner for really filthy records. I also have some DIY stuff that I keep as back up. And I also have a bottle of L' Art du Son for most cleaning. The enzyme cleaner is only used when I get a really noisy record, but I don't use it commonly because I allow a 5 minute soak per side after scrubbing, then I scrub after the soak.
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  4. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    This is how to do very deep cleaning @LTL , but as stated, why do you feel its needed for every record?
     
  5. rednedtugent

    rednedtugent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Funk, Ohio
    I use this method;
    "Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill."

    If it is a new LP, I use a deep cleaning surfactant then rinse in distilled water.
    Dirty records get my home brew, then deep cleaning and rinse.

    If non of the above works, the LP goes in the RCM pile.
     
    LTL likes this.
  6. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    If you have the time, reading this document may answer some of your questions - https://thevinylpress.com/app/uploads/2020/05/PAC-Vinyl-Records_2020-05-19.pdf,
     
    gmcjj, Radio and Leonthepro like this.
  7. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
    I read an article posted in this forum from years ago by Michael Wayne and decided I would try his method on a few very soiled records I've owned for 50 years. I do not plan to use this method on every record. I will use an abbreviated version of his process on most records as needed. Based on everything I've read, I want to make sure I do not leave any RCF on the vinyl so the distilled water is something I will employ as a rinse. I've had a Discwasher and D4 since the early 80s, but my intent is to be more thorough, especially on very soiled records that may still play well if cleaned properly. Thanks for responding.
     
  8. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
  9. vinylshadow

    vinylshadow Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    Something I've been curious about. When folks speak of "rinsing" with distilled water or A.I. Ultra Pure, is it a pouring of the water onto the LP in the sink or putting it on the LP, brushing it along and vacuuming the water off.
     
  10. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    I now use an DIY ultrasonic followed by a rinse on a 16.5. Its really simplified my cleaning process, and has given me the best results. There is a ultrasonic owners thread on here with a lot of info.
     
  11. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    When using a vacuum based RCM it means, spreading the water around the record and then vacuuming off.
     
    MGW, rednedtugent and vinylshadow like this.
  12. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Hard to answer that question without knowing what three fluids you will be using and what each is suppose to do.

    Do you have a link to the Michael Wayne post on this forum you are referring to?
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  13. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
     
  14. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
    By the way, I like your MW image. I am an amateur photographer and have dozens of MW images from the local deserts I’ve captured over the years. As an aside, is that your capture?
     
  15. sturgus

    sturgus Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis Mo
  16. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    No it's not, unfortunately. My brother did have a telescope when we were growing up and we attached our parents camera to it to take pictures of the moon mostly. Most of which came out blurry :) I found this image on the net. I can't even remember where I found it, it was so long ago.
     
    LTL likes this.
  17. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm not familiar with the the G2 or Record Doctor formula as I've never used them. I do use L'art Du Son. Looks like all three are alcohol free.

    I have tried all sorts of formulas, Mofi's, home brew, tergitol, AIVS...

    Looking up the G2 and Record Doctor formula's, I think you might be duplicating effort here with different formulas but not necessarily getting better cleaning with each step. What I mean by that is, I think all three of these, the above two along with L'Art Du Son, are likely going to be effective but effective in the same way. If you already own some of them you might as well experiment, separately and as a three step combo.

    But I think you'll probably get better results, for records that need a deeper clean, by using one of those plus something like Vinylzmyme Gold, which is an enzyme based cleaner. AIVS and Mofi, IIRC, also make an enzyme based cleaner.

    AIVS are worth checking out as they have a multi step system as @sturgus linked to above. I tried it and liked it but they were harder to source up here in Canada so went back to L'Art Du Son and Vinylzyme gold with a sometimes use of a tergitol home brew mix depending on the mood I'm in. :)
     
  18. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    I only use L'Art du Son and nothing else when I clean my records on my RCM. If the record is very dirty I use the cleaning solution multiple times repeating- I don't need any other cleaning solution as L'Art du Son is very effective and always gives excellent results. I'm don't rinse the records during the cleaning session, I've done tests in the past but I didn't find any audible differences with or without rinsing so I decided to skip the rinsing process.

    Time is the key when cleaning records. To give the cleaning solution time to dissolve the dirt is essential to get good results. When I look at a lot of people cleaning their records they put on the cleaning solution, spread it during 3-4 rotations with the cleaning brush and then directly vacuuming it off. During my cleaning process I put the cleaning solution on, I spread it, I then let it work for 2-5 minutes before I use the brush again to lift up the dirt out of the groove before it's to vacuum it off. For me this is a foolproof method.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
    LTL and Tullman like this.
  19. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Thanks for your insights. It’s very interesting to dive deeper into the entire process. I have a few very soiled gems that I will soon find out if they are playable.
     
  20. LTL

    LTL New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Diego CA
    I agree. I’ve been letting the solution remain on the vinyl a bit longer than advised by the manufacturers on a few test records. Thanks for the advice.
     
    GyroSE likes this.
  21. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Ultra pure water (multiple steps of filtering, de-ionizing and distillation) is absolutely not necessary. It almost instantly starts scavenging atmospheric gases and loses its ultra pure status almost immediately after opening the bottle. Just use regular distilled water that you get in 5 litres. I use Distilled Water in the UK. They also do triple distilled ultra-pure Triple Distilled Water - Buy Triple Distilled Water from UK supplier but like I say it does not stay ultra pure for long.
     
    LTL and vinylshadow like this.
  22. sberger

    sberger Dream Baby Dream

    Anybody know what the difference is between AI's Ultra Pure Water, and MOFI's Pure Record Rinse? I've been using AI's but I'm almost out, and have a couple bottles of the MOFI stuff that I'd thought I'd try if it's basically the same.
     
  23. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Given the two marketing claims: there will be no appreciable difference.

    AI Ultra-Pure = Water is filtered and de-ionized in a 6 step process, producing a research grade product that is more than 50 times purer than distilled water.

    Mobile Fidelity PURE = PURE has gone through four stages of deionization, after which it is triple-distilled and then treated with high-intensity ultraviolet light to kill all bacteria and microbiological particles.

    FYI - for what its worth ASTM D1193 Standard Specification for Reagent Water, defines Ultra Pure Water as resistivity of 18M ohms which is the lowest ionic level (highest resistivity) water can reach. ASTM D1193 defines purified (simple distilled) water as resistivity of >200K ohms, so the AI ultra pure water claim of being 50 times better is accurate. HOWEVER, as soon as you expose it to the ambient air the resistivity will drop because the water absorbs carbon dioxide from the air to form carbonic acid. Ultra-pure water is commonly used in semi-conductor manufacture. But, storage in plastic can effect the 'ultra high purity' if the plastic has not fully cleaned, stabilized and fully off-gassed (i.e. extractables). Ultra-pure water by itself is very aggressive and wants to pull any thing it can dissolve. At the end of the day - for record cleaning, ultra-pure water for rinsing is way more than required.

    If you wanted - you could substitute simple purified water (distilled from steam; most US grocery stores sell 1-gal for ~$1) and get acceptable results for rinsing. Note that distilled from steam even if performed under partial vacuum will still achieve 165F - the temperature to ensure all critters are killed. Or, use the distilled water as the major 1st rinse, and then use the ultra-pure for just a final-2nd rinse using only a few mL.

    Hope this helps you to make an informed decision.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
    LTL, 33na3rd and sberger like this.
  24. sberger

    sberger Dream Baby Dream

    Whew! Thanks for the info.

    Like I said I have a couple bottles of the MoFi so will go through them and then DIY it.
     
  25. HelpfulDad

    HelpfulDad Forum Resident

    Location:
    El Cajon, Ca.
    The results from an ultrasonic record cleaner are tremendous. I can’t afford one of these beasts, but my local high end store was happy to clean a few for me and WOW! So, Ill save my pennies buy one someday.

    But, as I put one of the cleaned ones on, I noticed it had gathered dust so I used my carbon brush, which left individual fibers from the brush on the record. I took a can of air, turned on the ‘table and gave it a long burst and tried to shoot it all off the record.

    Some of the fibers and dust were really stubborn though and they just wouldn’t blow off. Thinking it was static electricity holding the stuff to the vinyl, I pulled out my Zerostat and give it a good squeeze and release on a clinging fiber and it moved just a little. When I shot air at it, the fibers and all of the dust blew off. I did the rest of the record the same way and voila, the whole record is clean and sounds great,

    This is now my record cleaning method. Obviously, a really dirty record needs the “elvish medicine” like ultrasound, but it’s working really well for me without damaging the record.

    Here’s a few things about this method in case you want to try it.:
    1. A Zerostat alternately shoots positive then negative (or vice versa)charge on the record so make sure you squeeze and release or you make the clinging worse by charging the record pos or neg.
    2. My Zerostat doesn’t have a large dispersion so I go around the record relatively close, like 4”, but I make sure I squeeze and release on the same spot each time.
    3. On really dusty parts, I’ll do it a few times and sometimes you can see the dust particles fly off the record on the squeeze.
    4. I use an air can and I have to be careful not to tilt it or I’ll shoot liquid nitrogen onto the record, which I’ve done. There’s a mark on one of the records where I tilted the can, but it doesn’t seem to affect the sound.
    5. If you happen to shoot nitrogen on it, I wouldn’t play that record until the vinyl has had a chance to warm. I don’t really know if that matters, but flash freezing is done with nitrogen and I’d hate to snap off a frozen ridge in the groove with the stylus as is rakes across it.
    6. Make sure the dust blows off the ‘table and record and not into a cloud against the dust cover over the platter. I always blow right to left at a tangent to the groove, start the table, drop the needle and close the cover.
    7. It doesn’t “clean” the vinyl at all, rather it just blows off loose stuff. Some of my old records, that I cleaned with Discwasher, sound like sh!t, full of surface noise, because the groove is full of residue from the Discwasher.
    I’m sure someone will object and say this is a bad idea, but I’m really enjoying my newly clean records immensely so I thought I’d share.
     

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