VHS tape & floppy drive cleaning solution for head cleaners - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-30-2012, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Still use both of these once in a while. Went to clean out an old floppy drive and the fluid you
use on the floppy disc cleaner was dried up. Went over to borrow some cleaning fluid from a VHS tape head
cleaner and it was empty as well.

Anyone know what is in these two cleaning fluids and could they be interchanged ?

Where to get some ?


I realize this isn't topic correct however the VHS deck is part of a dvd recorder/vhs combo. SO anybody have any ideas ?

Thanks.....................
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 10:46 AM
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Try typing "floppy disk cleaner" into Amazon.com and you get a bunch of results.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 10:47 AM
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I think it's just Isopropyl alcohol. Nothing really special about it. You can get 97% pure stuff at a pharmacy or paint store.

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 10:57 AM
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+1 for ISO(note not rubbing alcohol which is 30% water).
http://electronics.mcmelectronics.com/search?cataf=&view=list&w=tape+head+cleaner&x=0&y=0
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3964922#
Not sure of the makeup or even size of the RS link but 3 stores within 5 miles had it instock for me, IOW it's readily available B&M if you have a RS near you.
MCM sells lots of other cool electronic stuff if placing a order, IOW maybe you'll see something else you need....
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 12:07 PM
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I tell you what, the "specialized" cleaning solution business is a real racket if it's mostly or all alcohol, charging $9 for what looks like an ounce or so. You can get 16oz of the pure stuff for like $2 most places.

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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If its just alcohol I wont bother as two of these little bottles evaporated as it is.

I will just buy the alcohol at the pharmacy. Thanks as always.

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 04:43 PM
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A good head cleaner is NOT just alcohol. The stuff I used to use certainly didn't smell like alcohol at all. A proper head cleaner contains some very volatile compounds designed to dissolve the adhesive that holds the magnetic particles to the mylar and alcohol won't do that, at least not quickly. Alcohol won't hurt, but it alone is unlikely to do the job very well.

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 06:16 PM
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Although alcohol might do the trick I’m pretty sure Church AV Guy is half correct. I remember a tech at one of the work related p-p-houses telling me what Church AV Guy stated, along with saying that the good stuff might include extra ingredients to protect sensitive A/V parts from corrosion. Don’t know if it’s a hundred percent true but I wouldn’t worry about spending a couple of extra bucks for a big can of the real stuff just to be on the safe side.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 07:07 PM
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The head cleaner I use is mostly freon based but then again my cans are 10s of years old, not sure if that type of cleaner is still available. I too have not really used alcohol because I have so many cans of the freon based magnetic head cleaner, purchased when magnetic heads were very common tongue.gif
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

The head cleaner I use is mostly freon based but then again my cans are 10s of years old, not sure if that type of cleaner is still available. I too have not really used alcohol because I have so many cans of the freon based magnetic head cleaner, purchased when magnetic heads were very common tongue.gif

That sounds familiar, but I distinctly remember a combination of something like MEK, Acetone, and Methanol being recommended, though I have no idea anymore in what relative quantities, or even if these are the correct components to the mix. Just plain ethanol is unlikely to clean really dirty heads or guides that have an obvious or intrusive oxide residue buildup.

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post #11 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

That sounds familiar, but I distinctly remember a combination of something like MEK, Acetone, and Methanol being recommended, though I have no idea anymore in what relative quantities, or even if these are the correct components to the mix. Just plain ethanol is unlikely to clean really dirty heads or guides that have an obvious or intrusive oxide residue buildup.
MEK and/or acetone have the potential to destroy plastic parts -- especially if you should get it on the the outer shell or the display bezel.

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post #12 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

That sounds familiar, but I distinctly remember a combination of something like MEK, Acetone, and Methanol being recommended, though I have no idea anymore in what relative quantities, or even if these are the correct components to the mix. Just plain ethanol is unlikely to clean really dirty heads or guides that have an obvious or intrusive oxide residue buildup.
MEK and/or acetone have the potential to destroy plastic parts -- especially if you should get it on the the outer shell or the display bezel.

This is true. It's why it cleans the stuck-on oxide off the heads. You DO need to be careful with where you put it, as in NOT on plastic or rubber, as you point out, but on the heads and steel guides.

MEK at least is now considered a carcinogen, so topical exposure is to be avoided as well. CFCs (freons) are mostly banned (at least in California) so getting them might not be an easy thing to do either.

If alcohol works for you, fine. I'm just saying what we used in the data processing lab to clean the recorders and disk drives. The Q-Tips almost always came out with particle residue on them, so I know the stuff worked.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

MEK at least is now considered a carcinogen,
Not true, it is a heavily used solvent in my lab. It's not on any of the carcinogen lists we go by, which go well beyond the gov't lists. The EPA took it off their list of hazardous air pollutants over 5 yr ago. It's just a volatile and very flammable organic liquid.

Pure IPA cleans a lot more than people realize. I think most people deal with rubbing alcohol which is mostly water and has limited cleaning power. The big advantage with IPA is that it dries without a residue, where acetone always has a residue. Our protocols for cleaning glass slides always end with an IPA rinse followed by N2 blow-off.

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post #14 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Pure IPA cleans a lot more than people realize. I think most people deal with rubbing alcohol which is mostly water and has limited cleaning power.

That's why I suggested the pure stuff. The 70% solution is okay for a non-critical glass cleaner (we use it to clean microform machine glass here at work), but the 97% and up stuff isn't that much more expensive (and sure is a heck of a lot cheaper than some "cleaners" I've seen.)

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post #15 of 15 Old 11-01-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

That's why I suggested the pure stuff. The 70% solution is okay for a non-critical glass cleaner (we use it to clean microform machine glass here at work), but the 97% and up stuff isn't that much more expensive (and sure is a heck of a lot cheaper than some "cleaners" I've seen.)
You can buy a pint of 99% IPA for $4.60 from Amazon -- link
Looks like free shipping.

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