View Full Version : Discwasher D4 Solution?


Tleilax
02-26-2005, 05:12 PM
I haven't had to buy any D4 for a couple years, but when I got some a few weeks ago I was (unpleasantly) surprised with it. Did Discwasher change the formulation? I'm used to that fresh, soapy smell that's been the staple of the solution for the last 30 years, but the fluid in the bottle I got is distinctly alcohol based. Or--because I bought it off eBay--even though it was a sealed package--did I get ripped off with a cheap imitation? :headscrat

dr*audio
02-26-2005, 10:42 PM
I had a chemist friend analyze the Discwasher solution years ago. It is a very small amount of undenatured Ethanol in distilled water. Make your own using Vodka and distilled water.

Tleilax
02-27-2005, 10:55 AM
Thanks for your comments, but can't anyone just answer a simple yes/no question around here without throwing opinions in? Has the solution changed or not?

vintage_silver
02-27-2005, 11:40 PM
No change in the formula over the year's that I know of. Distilled water and Isopropanol is what's in the solution. No smell's from the solution bottle.

shstrang
03-01-2005, 02:56 PM
Howdy Tleilax

I found your posting on this on usenet and sent you an email.

I'm wondering the same thing.


Mine came from turntableneedles.com and they were the only company that seemed to have any in stock.

Also they're made in China and the bottles look very different.

Anyone else noticed this too?

To be honest, I'm reluctant to put this stuff on my records as I used some Alsop cleaner years ago that was alcohol based and it damaged any record that I put it on. Luckily I tried it on less important copies so I ended up okay.

lplover
03-02-2005, 12:34 AM
I just purchased a new bottle of D4 solution on eBay. It is made in China and has a definite alcohol smell. I haven't used this for years, but I don't remember that it smelled so strongly of alcohol, so I would suspect that they have changed the formula. I would like to know the percentage of alcohol before I use it, so I could dilute it if necessary. I can make my own isolpropyl alcohol formula, so I may not be buying more of this.

Mark B
03-02-2005, 01:47 AM
Don't know what a safe percentage of alcohol is, but you don't need very much. The Kleer-Disc concentrate (made by LAT International, Inc) that I buy comes in a 2oz bottle and is diluted with 1/2 gal of distilled water. This cleaner contains some type of detergent, and some alcohol. Even in concentrate the alcohol smell is not strong.

jazzwolf
05-09-2005, 03:07 PM
I haven't had to buy any D4 for a couple years, but when I got some a few weeks ago I was (unpleasantly) surprised with it. Did Discwasher change the formulation? I'm used to that fresh, soapy smell that's been the staple of the solution for the last 30 years, but the fluid in the bottle I got is distinctly alcohol based. Or--because I bought it off eBay--even though it was a sealed package--did I get ripped off with a cheap imitation? :headscrat

They definitely changed the solution. I remember reading a comment on a forum a couple of years ago where it was analyzed and found it to be soft dishwashing liquid (something like Dawn) and distilled water. The new one is definitely alcohol based. As soon as you open it the smell hits you. Hell, I might have to drink it if I run out of beer :naughty:

dingus
05-09-2005, 04:30 PM
i came across a site (cant remember which one now) that said the original company is long gone, and the only similarities between the original and current formulas is the name.

jazzwolf
05-09-2005, 04:41 PM
i came across a site (cant remember which one now) that said the original company is long gone, and the only similarities between the original and current formulas is the name.

I believe it because even the brush is horrible. The old brush which I'm glad I still have was made of some velvet type of material which really picked up surface dust. The new one was made of some corduroy material which is absolutely worthless and doesn't pick up anything but just spreads the dust around the record. I recently bought one thinking it would be the same material and I was disappointed. It is still in the box in the closet somewhere. A real POS! :grumpy:

webbb
05-09-2005, 06:13 PM
I had a chemist friend analyze the Discwasher solution years ago. It is a very small amount of undenatured Ethanol in distilled water. Make your own using Vodka and distilled water.

Well I have some quite old D4 solution, and finally brought it in and analyzed it. It is 0.2 wt% isopropanol and about 0.05 wt% acetone. (No ethanol there). That is not much at all, I don't think I could smell it even.
I asked our Spectroscopy lab to look for surfactants (soap) but I think they forgot, since it was a "government job."
If someone wants to send me some of the new stuff I can at least identify / quantify the alcohols for you. But I'm not gonna go out and buy it for that !! :no:

0luke1
05-09-2005, 10:42 PM
I found that the old diskwasher solution tasted about the same as Hai Karate aftershave.

cfoster
05-10-2005, 05:33 AM
Don't know what a safe percentage of alcohol is, but you don't need very much. The Kleer-Disc concentrate (made by LAT International, Inc) that I buy comes in a 2oz bottle and is diluted with 1/2 gal of distilled water. This cleaner contains some type of detergent, and some alcohol. Even in concentrate the alcohol smell is not strong.
I have been out of D4 solution for years and knew that the company was long gone. Where can I get the LAT international product, I will try anything. I have been forced to use the cheap stuff that Radio Shack sold at one time and really don't like it. It has an alcohol smell, so I use it only on very dirty records that have come from the thrift, and then only once.

Clyde

Wornears
05-10-2005, 11:33 AM
"I found that the old discwasher solution tasted about the same as Hai Karate aftershave."

Now that made me laugh out loud! That aftershave was a stench with legs.

pbda
03-31-2006, 12:40 PM
I recently bought a new RCA/Discwasher brush to replace my old Discwasher brush from the eighties. I wish that I had read this thread first. What a disappointment!

Where the original Discwasher brush was hewn from a piece of walnut, the new one is made of cheap looking and feeling blonde wood. Worse, and as noted by jazzwolf, the fabric is corduroy, and it does not have a directional nap like the old brush. As a result, the unit does not effectively remove dust from the grooves.

Finally, they have certainly changed the formulation of the D4+ fluid: it has a high isopropyl alcohol content now and I'm not comfortable using it on my vinyl. I'm running out of my old "red bottle" D4 fluid, so need to try to find a replacement.

To reiterate, a huge disappointment, and yet another example of a crap company ruining a solid brand.

bigstereo
03-31-2006, 12:50 PM
Hows this for an idea? :scratch2:
If your old dw pad is in bad shape, maybe take microfiber towel (the kind you would use to polish a car with) and just wrap it around the old one. That might work damn nice.

Nat
03-31-2006, 03:52 PM
The original discwasher fluid had some silicone in it, and just based on smell, I think even the later formulations had something other than distilled water and alcohol. I think a bit of surfactant is needed to draw the liquid into the groove and into the nap of the brush. You can look up all sorts of formulas for record clearer fluids, and they all seem to involve very very small amounts of detergent or photoflow and modest amounts of alcohol in lots of distilled water. I use something of the sort, with fair confidence that so little is used, and both the detergent and the alcohol are so dilute, and they are in contact with the vinyl for so little time that there is unlikely to be much interaction.
I believe that the damage caused by leaching by water or alcohol or by detergent buildup is going to be less than the damage caused by static charges and by dirt, so a little cleaning fluid is worth the risk.
It would be great if the Decca record brush and its ilk actually removed the dirt and dust they bring up, but they don't (and don't give me that angled brush moving off the record routine -- all that does is flick all the crud barck onto the rest of the record). So its back to the Discwasher.

Bob E.
03-31-2006, 04:23 PM
The last time I bought Discwasher fluid was from Bags Unlimited (also get your record sleeves and storage boxes there, www.bagsunlimited.com). I see now that they have formulated their own brand, "Groovy". Anyone tried this yet?

--Bob

Jack Lord
03-31-2006, 04:30 PM
Not yet.

I was at an estate sale the other day and procured a Memorex disc washing kit with fluid, brush and brush for cleaning the brush. Cost me $5.00. I have no idea how old it is but it was never used. Anyone have experience with Memorex?

pustelniakr
03-31-2006, 06:48 PM
The older formulation (I have a nice old bottle I don't use) has to have a surfactant of some sort. It bubbles lightly, and smells like it. I use my DW dry, and always have. My gut always told me that mud was not good, and I have always been afraid that what did not come out would be turned to mud at the bottom of the grooves.

98% of my LPs are in super pristine condition, and I have had most of them of around 30 years. If I have to hose an LP down before I play it, I don't play it on my system. I can understand the need for a good deep cleaning, with fluids, if you buy LPs from various used LP sources. No problem there. However, I don't buy from those sources. Just a matter of taste I guess. I only have a couple of hundred super pristine LPs, instead of the walls of them I have seen in some of your collections. For mine, a dry DW is more than sufficient, that and a zerostat shot.

Back in the day, there was a micro-silicone (dry) spray, supposed to lubricate the grooves, that I misted for a while (forgot the name). However, I quickly got over that, since it offered no sonic difference, and I was again concerned about mud.

Now, I do need some of the DW stylus cleaning fluid though. That stuff has significantly more surfactant than the D3 fluid (what I still have plenty of).

My rant is complete. I will shut up now. However, ears are open...

Rich P

Aage
04-01-2006, 12:56 AM
Thanks for your comments, but can't anyone just answer a simple yes/no question around here without throwing opinions in?

The answer to this question is "yes".

And a comment: chill out, dude... It's a free country, and everything that gets posted here doesn't have to be exactly what YOU want it to be.

Strawman
04-01-2006, 02:14 PM
Damn, if all we gave were yes or no answers, this would be a pretty boring place, and I'm sure nothing would ever get accomplished. Example; I have some noise in the right channel of my Pioneer receiver, is there a way I can resolve this?
Answer; Yes.
Crickets.
And BTW, I have no idea if the formula has been altered over the years.

hakka26
04-02-2006, 03:28 AM
As I have a habit of buying Discwasher products when I see them I went to see what I have in stock. Came up with five including one Zerostat System, recall paying $2.00, and one system that includes Stylus Care. Have D3, D4 and D4+ fluids. Honestly can say I don't smell alcohol in any of them. Also have an original manual—no list of contents but it seems to put down alcohol, soaps, silicones and household detergent. So no telling what they promote. Haven't bought any new solution yet. Also have one of the new brown "corduroy" D4+ brushes. Didn't know they changed. Used wood putty in knots, and the fluid chamber is not as deep. However, the cheesy new manual does say it is walnut. I also have a can of Realistic record cleaner. It lists silicones and alcohol and does have a strong odor, can't use on 78's.

hakka26
04-02-2006, 03:33 AM
Not yet.

I was at an estate sale the other day and procured a Memorex disc washing kit with fluid, brush and brush for cleaning the brush. Cost me $5.00. I have no idea how old it is but it was never used. Anyone have experience with Memorex?
I have a couple of those. Back in my budget days they were much cheaper than Discwasher and I find them to be quite effective in picking up debris. Just picked up a Decca brush with some speakers.

gadgetworks
04-02-2006, 12:04 PM
What are your thoughts on diluted simple green?

tentoze
04-02-2006, 12:08 PM
What are your thoughts on diluted simple green?

Probably fine for mopping floors.

pbda
04-03-2006, 04:23 AM
I recently bought a new RCA/Discwasher brush to replace my old Discwasher brush from the eighties. I wish that I had read this thread first. What a disappointment!

Where the original Discwasher brush was hewn from a piece of walnut, the new one is made of cheap looking and feeling blonde wood. Worse, and as noted by jazzwolf, the fabric is corduroy, and it does not have a directional nap like the old brush. As a result, the unit does not effectively remove dust from the grooves.

Finally, they have certainly changed the formulation of the D4+ fluid: it has a high isopropyl alcohol content now and I'm not comfortable using it on my vinyl. I'm running out of my old "red bottle" D4 fluid, so need to try to find a replacement.

To reiterate, a huge disappointment, and yet another example of a crap company ruining a solid brand.


Happy ending to this story: I went back to the site from which I bought the new Discwasher (electrogalaxy.com) noting my disappointment at the quality of the item, and they refunded the purchase price plus shipping, no questions asked. (And they told me to keep the Discwasher...or trash it, as I saw fit.)