anyone have a home-made record cleaning solution recipe? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-25-2009, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I just bought some used records at a local record store (only $6 for 3!), yet a couple of them have some grime on them. I don't want to play them until I give them a good cleaning. Does anyone have a recommendation on how I should clean them if I don't want to buy a record cleaning machine or spend $20 on a little bottle of D4? Are there simple items around the house that would work just fine? Would a bucket of water some dish soap and a sponge be good enough?

thanks for the input...

9G KURO equipped.
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-25-2009, 07:20 PM
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Ok...time for you to do a little reading !!........

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=3377.0

Don't use tap water, distilled water is cheap (.79 @ my local supermarket)
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-26-2009, 07:35 AM
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Distilled water and a drop of dish soap. Diskwasher used to make nice fine brissel brushes. Not sure how to find something like that now. My old record washing machine used velvet pads.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-26-2009, 08:41 AM
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soap will leave deposits--when iasked this chu gai recommended 50% distilled water and 50% isopropyl alcohol i think
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-26-2009, 09:48 AM
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A good link from twich54! Makes me feel guilty about using tap water, though I suspect soft (acidic)water would be safer than hard (alkaline) water, and that would vary by location. And I have a VPI machine too (two, actually).

CW Hinkle
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-26-2009, 01:43 PM
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I rinse from the label out under the faucet, then rub down with microfiber towel to soak up the water and grime.....

Bo
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-26-2009, 02:19 PM
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Microfibers. Yea. They did not exist when I was washing disks. Reduced lint.
Thinking back, I think it was only Ivory that was recommended due to residue. I like the idea of alcohol rinse.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-27-2009, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

Ok...time for you to do a little reading !!........

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=3377.0


Interesting link/thread that has been going on since June 30, 2003 till this March with a total of just over 100 posts with some interesting ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

Don't use tap water,


Agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch54 View Post

distilled water is cheap (.79 @ my local supermarket)


Also agreed, but with a few footnotes:

You need to buy a couple of different brands of distilled water and *taste* it. There's nothing bad (other than an odd taste) about drinking distilled water. I'd suggest 1st trying those that are marked as *steam* distilled water, but even with that kind of marking there are variances.

A water machine (reverse osmosis) is a cheap alternative which is low in dissolved solids. Every one that I've used *taste* good.

Any distilled water that tastes good almost surely has more dissolved solids than it should for record/vinyl cleaning. A good *steam* distilled water has a weird taste, which is never forgotten.

Another way to tell about how much dissolved solids are in the water is to put a measured amount in a *clean* stainless pot (say a quart), boil it completely off, and check the bottom of the pot for signs of residue. Then repeat the process with a different distilled water.

Cheers

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-27-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

Interesting link/thread that has been going on since June 30, 2003 till this March with a total of just over 100 posts with some interesting ideas.




Agreed!




Also agreed, but with a few footnotes:

You need to buy a couple of different brands of distilled water and *taste* it. There's nothing bad (other than an odd taste) about drinking distilled water. I'd suggest 1st trying those that are marked as *steam* distilled water, but even with that kind of marking there are variances.

A water machine (reverse osmosis) is a cheap alternative which is low in dissolved solids. Every one that I've used *taste* good.

Any distilled water that tastes good almost surely has more dissolved solids than it should for record/vinyl cleaning. A good *steam* distilled water has a weird taste, which is never forgotten.

Another way to tell about how much dissolved solids are in the water is to put a measured amount in a *clean* stainless pot (say a quart), boil it completely off, and check the bottom of the pot for signs of residue. Then repeat the process with a different distilled water.

Cheers

If any "distilled" water fails any of these tests, it is clearly not distilled.
Distilled by definition is "steam". Not to be confused with bottled water that is far worse than that out of the NYC tap.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-27-2009, 04:19 PM
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I like to steam clean my records and then dry them off with a microfiber towel. I like the results and I know there is no residue that is being left on the record. Combined with an anti-static gun I can get very clean sounding playback.
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-27-2009, 05:06 PM
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Russ,
How would you do that? Live steam could easily be above the vinyl melting point. Over a tea kettle maybe? I can see some advantages to that. Hot water is a surprisingly good solvent.
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post #12 of 21 Old 07-27-2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

If any "distilled" water fails any of these tests, it is clearly not distilled.
Distilled by definition is "steam". Not to be confused with bottled water that is far worse than that out of the NYC tap.


That is not accurate.

My point(s) were/are that low cost bottled "distilled" water at your friendly supermarket tends to vary in dissolved solids content.

I've owned/used an expensive fractional distiller (uses a lot of water when you run it from a fawcet, but next to none if you use a source such as a full bathtub and a small pump to pressure water from the tub through the fractional distiller and back into the tub.

I've also seen a much less expensive steam distiller, but have no clue as to how much water is uses in order to produce "distilled" water.

FWIW, I still have some top quality vinyl from the past (a lot of it direct to disc). If I move back to using it, I'll get a vacuum cleaner and do 1st a wet cleaning with a solution of decent distilled, a drop or two of Kodak photoflow, and either a small bit of ammonia or cheap isopropyl alcohol.

And a 2nd wet wash using strictly my best distilled water by itself in order to remove as much of the photoflow/ammonia/isopropyl-alchol as possible.

Cheers

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #13 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

Russ,
How would you do that? Live steam could easily be above the vinyl melting point. Over a tea kettle maybe? I can see some advantages to that. Hot water is a surprisingly good solvent.

http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/aud...ningsystem.php
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 06:49 AM
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A carbon fiber cleaning brush (Either one from Hunt EDA or Audioquest) is all I've ever needed or used on my records.
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post #15 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tvrgeek
If any "distilled" water fails any of these tests, it is clearly not distilled.
Distilled by definition is "steam". Not to be confused with bottled water that is far worse than that out of the NYC tap.



Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post


That is not accurate.

Cheers

Yes, it is. There is only one way to distill water. You boil it until it steams, you capture the steam and condense it back into water leaving everything else behind. That's a fact. Distilled water has NO taste as it has nothing in it to cause any taste at all. That's exactly what people object to about it. They mistake the absence of taste for taste. There is no sliding scale for distilled water. It's either distilled or it isn't. If you buy two bottles of distilled water and one tastes different from the other, then one of them is clearly not distilled. There can be no debate or argument over this simple scientific fact. There is only one way to distill water although one may use different methods to boil it, distilled water is water condensed from steam.
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post #16 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b.greenway View Post

A carbon fiber cleaning brush (Either one from Hunt EDA or Audioquest) is all I've ever needed or used on my records.

Trust me you have no clue as to what your leaving behind.....both in music AND crud !!
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post #17 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schneider View Post

http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/aud...ningsystem.php

Cool.
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 03:39 PM
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Yup, John beat me to it. I use a little steam cleaner that my wife bought a couple years ago and never used. I hold the nozzle about six inches or so from the record and I constantlly move the nozle around from center to edge to prevent warpage. Don't confuse the steam cleaner with a garment steamer. The garment steamer gets too hot and will warp your records. I got the idea from the vinyl asylum forum. Oh yeah I use little pyrex custard dishes to protect the center paper circle.
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 05:11 PM
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In order to clean something, you've got to 'wet' it. That job can be done any number of ways ranging from solvents, like isopropyl alcohol, to surfactants. There are 10's of thousands of different surfactants, many of which can be used interchangeably with no signficant performance difference. That said...

The government uses a solution of 2 mL of Tergitol 15-S-7 surfactant added to 4 liters of distilled water (1 gallon is close enough) for cleaning records and other material in their archives. Since there's no preservative, for example disodium EDTA (it's in a lot of food products, cosmetics, etc.), it's kept refrigerated. Now, you'll probably say, just where the hell can I get Tergitol 15-S-7? Well you can search for it and buy it in small quantities, or you can call Dow Chemical up, pretend you're a business, and ask to whom do you speak to in order to obtain an evaluation sample. They'll send you off somewhere, you'll answer some questions, and in a couple of weeks you'll get more than you bargained for.

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post #20 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 08:41 PM
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Here is a link to a lengthy discussion of steam cleaning records on the Audiogon forums:

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...nlg&1219618900
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post #21 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhasa-lover View Post

There is only one way to distill water. You boil it until it steams, you capture the steam and condense it back into water leaving everything else behind. That's a fact.


You clearly do not have any experience with home distilling units, which vary in price and also vary in the purity of the end product (i.e. the distilled water).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhasa-lover View Post

Distilled water has NO taste as it has nothing in it to cause any taste at all. That's exactly what people object to about it. They mistake the absence of taste for taste.


Generally agreed. Best distilled water I ever tasted was done by me at home using a high quality fractional distiller. Totally *weird* taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lhasa-lover View Post

There is no sliding scale for distilled water. It's either distilled or it isn't. If you buy two bottles of distilled water and one tastes different from the other, then one of them is clearly not distilled. There can be no debate or argument over this simple scientific fact. There is only one way to distill water although one may use different methods to boil it, distilled water is water condensed from steam.


My main point is that low cost bottled "distilled" water at your friendly supermarket tends to vary in dissolved solids content.

You only need to buy a wide variety of them at local supermarkets, and always take a small taste.

Sooner or later you'll find one that tastes like most "drinking/spring" water.

FWIW, I currently have on hand 3 different local brands (Chicago area). Only one uses "steam" (distilled) in it's title, but in fact reading the small print a 2nd also uses the key word "steam" (distilled). To my surprise all 3 have a similar mildly weird taste; which is about as good as it gets with cheap supermarket distilled water.

Cheers

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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