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Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 10:09 am
by theeng
FYI, I have previously posted a bit of information on cleaning, and I have now complied that and much more into a paper titled “Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records”. Bill Hart of The Vinyl Press https://thevinylpress.com/ who has a keen interest in cleaning vinyl records is hosting the paper. He has written an article on the paper that captures it better than I could, and a link to the article that has the free-download load option for the paper (85 pages) is here: https://thevinylpress.com/precision-aqu ... l-records/ . If you have not been to his site, check-it out, there is a lot of good info, and its well written. While at his site, check out the about-tab and then scroll down and click on System-Notes-Austin-2017. He has a pretty impressive system and near the end shows quite a ‘cleaning station’; using both a Keith Monks vacuum-RCM and KL Audio UCM.

Best Regards and Stay Well,
Neil

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 11:09 am
by Gb1
Outstanding information! Thank you.

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 5:50 pm
by madrac
+1

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 6:26 pm
by powermatic
Thank you, great stuff!

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:40 am
by tony22
Great work! Thanks Neil.

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:36 am
by Golear
Many thanks. I downloaded it and started reading it last night. It's an amazingly thorough work.

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 5:04 pm
by theeng
To All,

Thank-you for the acknowledgement, and if you have questions please feel free to ask.

Best Regards and Stay Well,

Neil

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:29 pm
by Gb1
I went through the Precision Aqueous Cleaning Of Vinyl Records process today. I substituted Ilfotol using the recommended mix rate in lieu Tergitol since I had some on hand already. In the past I had been using an Water, Alcohol and Ilfotol mix for wash and high grade water rinse using a HW-16. I cleaned over a dozen LPs, below are my observations.

It was good to have a large work area and large deep sink. Be aware that splashing will happen. I would recommend using a utility sink verses your kitchen sink in case the chemicals have an adverse impact on the finishes on your sink or surrounding areas. At times I wish there was were two handles on the Vinyl Stack. After awhile I got more comfortable rotating my wrist to hold the LP horizontally for washing and tilted for rinsing. I did use two brushes. One for cleaner and one for NID. I typically made three rotations scrubbing the cleaner and NID. At first I was not going to wear gloves, but I did in the end and they seemed to help with LP and Vinyl Stack handling quite a bit.

My biggest take away was how important the rinse seemed after each step in the process. I started paying more attention to the scrubbing with the rinse. After flowing after over the LP surface. I went back and lightly scrubbed the surface under a water stream to remove any residual cleaner or NID. At first I thought my brush may have been pumping out waste cleaner back onto the record. A line of bubbles were visible aligning with the end of the brush strokes. I kept on wiping and rinsing the build up away. After several rotations of light scrubbing in the water stream and rinsing the brush in the water stream the amount of bubbles subsided. When I flipped the LP with what I assumed was a very clean brush by that time, the same phenomenon occurred. This happened with the Cleaner and NID step. My thought was that there was more residual fluid in the groove that a steam of water could not remove or maybe it was fluid and “crud” that was being worked out of the grooves.

I did perform a few “before and after tests” on a few selected LPs that I knew had issues. There was a noticeable reduction of noise. In a couple of cases I went back and repeated the process on a few test LPs. Again there was a reduction in noise but not a complete elimination of all noise. I’m assuming that in some cases the LPs may have physical surface damage.

One “cringe moment” was when I notice that the LP I was cleaning didn’t have a new inner sleeve and all I had was the original 1970s inner sleeve. I felt uneasy putting the freshly cleaned LP into a sleeve that I knew was a bit sketchy. So next time I’ll make sure I have a stock of fresh inner sleeves on hand.

The process is time consuming, but once things were set up and got comfortable the process, things sped up a bit. This was a good rainy day project.

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:32 pm
by theeng
Gb1:

Thank-you for the feedback. For info, the cleaning agents Alconox Liquinox and the NID (be it Tegritol or ILFORD) will not harm any kitchen sink. These products in many ways are safer than standard household detergents.

Not sure why you got a lot of splashing - the procedure with photos was not accomplished in a deep sink, and I was able to perform with minimal if any splashing. You do not need a lot of rinse water, just a steady stream. Your observation of the rinse step is correct - as I stress in the document, rinsing is critical, and a simple water flow may not get all the cleaner off the record - working the brush as you did it is a major factor in achieving cleanliness, as much as the cleaning steps.

Agree that a 2nd handle could make the VinylStack a bit easier to handle, but as you point out, the gloves do assist with the handling. As you point out, there is learning curve, as should be expected for any manual process. But I have now cleaned 100's of records, and I can clean 6 records in about 40-45 minutes. Similar to yourself, I have found a few records for which there were still clicks & pops. But, with the UV light, I have now on more than a few records seen chards from the stamper embedded in the surface, and I have also seen some recently pressed records that under UV light show some fluorescence (from what I do not know) and show a general discontinuity in the color. The best albums all show one continuous color; so pressing quality is an issue, and as I state in the paper, it is independent of weight.

Stay well,

Neil

Re: Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:03 am
by theeng
All,

To any who are using the Kinetronics Tiger Cloth to wipe down a record prior to play - something new to try, ever so slightly dampen the cloth with an ultra-fine atomized mist of demineralized/distilled water. I am using Nasacort (one spray/day) https://www.nasacort.com/for-adult-alle ... al%20Spray, this year to prevent any allergies (sneezing in public these days could putting it mildly cause people concern). However, the HDPE bottle is reusable (label peels off easily and cleanly). Each spray release 0.14 ml of water, and that is equal to about 2-drops. I am now using an empty bottle refilled with distilled water (flushed 3-times to clean-out), and before I wipe down a record before play, I hold the cloth 8-12 inches above the bottle and hit it with one spray. About half gets on my hand (hand feels initially cool - its actually evaporative cooling), and half (equal to about one drop) gets on the cloth. The spray is an ultra-fine mist so that the cloth does not get wet, but only ever so slightly damp - just enough to improve pick-up of dust and improve static discharge from the record because when the cloth becomes ever so slightly damp - it improves its electrostatic discharge (ESD) properties. In the application, the record never gets wet, and the amount of moisture applied to the cloth surface (folded piece about 6-9 sq inches) is evenly distributed and minimal so that by the time you use it for the next record - its dry, and being only distilled water - there is no cleanliness concerns. There are perfume bottles for sale (search Amazon) that advertise having a ultra-fine mist - I have no idea if they will work the same. I worked with what I had - and it cost me nothing, and the bottle I have is good for 120 sprays (60 records). The real test will be this winter when the ambient humidity is much lower, but for now its working and there is some science behind it. FYI - I would not use it on a bristle type brush - not enough surface area and I do not want anything in the groove - I am just cleaning the very surface; but you are free to try.

Good Luck & Stay Well,
Neil