New DIY record cleaning fluid...

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by WaynerN, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. HypnoToad

    HypnoToad Ms Puss Puss Subscriber

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    What about Apple Cider Vinegar it's supposed to be good for everything?
     

     

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  2. Joel66

    Joel66 Well-Known Member

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    I'm wayyyy back in the woods in Tennessee. I've been using the moonshine my neighbor makes. Put a shot in the distilled water and detergent...take a shot.....clean a record....and take a shot. I don't remember if it works or not....
     
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  3. MisterDK

    MisterDK Active Member

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    Bet that’s some good alcohol. After a few cleanings, you probably couldn’t see the records anymore either.
     
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  4. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I drink apple cider vinegar every day. It is colored brown, like beer, which means to me that there are particles in there. White vinegar is "clear", no color. It is used in many cooking recipes, so it is safe to eat as well.

    I can get 99% alcohol, they just need me to buy a case of it, which I think is too much for what I want. 99% is not available in any store in my town. It can only be ordered.
     
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  5. Montycat

    Montycat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  6. William907

    William907 Active Member

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    If you are going to mix it with water anyway, why does it need to be 99% alcohol? Isn't the other 1% water?
    If it were 90% alcohol, isn't the other 10% water?
     
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  7. MisterDK

    MisterDK Active Member

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    Healthy stuff, that is. My mom thinks it’s a cure-all. Sure is an acquired taste though. ^_^
     
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  8. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The alcohol that I have been buying is described as a "solvent" on the bottle it comes in. It is not a drinkable alcohol as it also has warnings about doing so and the serious "gastric" disturbances that will surely follow after ingestion.

    I have have been told that 91% alcohol may have "other" products in it, and one of them is petroleum based product. I can get that here, but am reluctant to use it because of the "unknown" additives.
     
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  9. Joel66

    Joel66 Well-Known Member

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    I ingested more moonshine than I put in my cleaning solution. Sorry. Just trying to be *hiccup* humorous.
     
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  10. ripblade

    ripblade Super Member

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    I wonder why that would be. I get mine here in Ontario at the local drugstore. It's the drinkable kind that's harder to find.:rolleyes:
     
  11. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The strongest drinkable alcohol available here in Minnesota is "Everclear" at 180 proof, which I believe is 90%.
     
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  12. William907

    William907 Active Member

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    The isopropyl alcohol I have seen is a first aid antiseptic. The other ingredient is water.
     
  13. MisterDK

    MisterDK Active Member

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    I think the 91% is fine for record cleaning solution, especially if vacuumed off. It’s the 70 something % “rubbing alcohol” that I won’t use for a cleaning solution; pretty sure it’s the one that has some oil in it.
     
  14. TobascoKid

    TobascoKid Active Member

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    Good grief! Ask an old-world, hands-on, enologist. WaynerN, you are on the wrong track but the good thing is that you are going the right direction.

    Vinegar is the natural extension of wine. Wine is hard to make but vinegar is so easy. The hard part is stopping vinegar from being made. Does vinegar help records? Yes. But not the way you think.

    Wine is made from a fermentation process. Yeast munches sugars and grape skins are their vitamins. For what it is worth: 18° brix makes a safe wine with 10% alcohol. Yeasts eat and pee out alcohol. Unless unnaturally stopped, a “stuck fermentation,” ALL SUGARS ARE CONSUMED.

    Normally, we stop at wine. We bottle it without oxygen and add a very small amount of sodium or potassium bisulfate to stop any growth. But sometimes we let it go wild.

    Anything with alcohol in it, nix the sulfates, when exposed to air wine naturally picks up airborne acetobacter bacteria. Or simply add some vinegar to wine to hasten the process. It is a triad: with acetobacter, oxygen, and alcohol, we soon get vinegar. Miss one or add a too much sulfate and there is no vinegar.

    Don’t believe? Easy to test. Go leave an open bottle of wine out for a week then take a large swig of it and gag. If you are not that brave then make oil & vinegar dressing.

    About our records.

    White vinegar with a potent 5% concentration has a pH of around 2.4. The pH of dishwater soaps hover around 9.0 to 10.0. The balance point, neutral, is pH 7.0. With equal mixes, soaps are neutralized and we end up with a weak vinegar solution that tastes ghastly. The way audiophiles make their solution; adding vinegar in your proportion means no soap and a lot of vinegar.

    BTW, pH only applies to aqueous solutions, so pure alcohol has no pH.

    But the vinegar does have desirable attributes. Used to clean hard and synthetic materials like vinyl. The vinegar has positive ions. The ions securely bonds with negative ion vinyl. End result: vinegar cleans, strengthens vinyl, and the excess positive charge actually pushes away the positive charged airborne dust. We want that.

    Your vinegar proportion is strong. It is okay but wasteful and there are better ways but this does work.

    People consume too much alcohol. Alcohol in our beloved standard DIY record cleaning solution, having no pH which is the fancy way of saying it has no cleaning properties, is more of a soul-satisfying surfactant even when used in excess. Efficiently, we want it in our grooves, not all over the record. It is okay but wasteful.

    Bottom-line: your vinegar additive does have helpful uses but not the way you expect.
     
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  15. OttOpixel

    OttOpixel AK Member Subscriber

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    I’ve been using a D4 brush and distilled water for a few years now. Seems to work just fine.

    Is there a reason for the alcohol?
    I’m betting WaynerN’s records are at least as clean as mine.

    Thoughts on 100% H2O?
     
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  16. William907

    William907 Active Member

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    So, using vinegar, but no alcohol, what would be a great recipe for a vinyl record cleaning solution?
     

     

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  17. savatage1973

    savatage1973 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I make my own record cleaning solutions. The most basic solution is distilled water, Triton X-100 and isopropyl alcohol (91%). The 91% IPA is readily available at any pharmacy--I buy mine a WalMart, and have never found it to contain anything other than IPA and water. The commercially marketed "rubbing alcohols" are generally 70% IPA, and may contain colorants, fragrances, and often glycerin--technically glycerides, which are fatty acids used to moisturize the skin to counteract the drying effect of the alcohol--I don't feel that my records need to smell like wintergreen or need to be moisturized, but that is just me.

    99+% alcohols (of any type) cannot be simply distilled, because alcohols form what is known as a constant boiling point azeotrope--basically a small % of water "binds" with the alcohol and has a boiling point very near water that is higher than the boiling point of the alcohol. In the case of ethanol (beverage alcohol), this is reached at 95% alcohol/water ratio. That is why, that even under the best-controlled conditions, you can only distill ethanol to 95% pure--190 proof--so the strongest "moonshine" you can make is 190 proof. Anything beyond 95% ethanol is "anhydrous" ethanol, and is chemically "dried" to remove the residual water.

    The purpose of alcohols (either isopropanol or ethanol) in record cleaning solutions is two-fold. One--it will more easily remove "oily" substances like fingerprints and tar/nicotine, and Two--it acts as a "drying agent" to reduce air-drying times. Pure alcohols also leave no residue in the process. Alcohols will NOT damage vinyl-- very old pressings using acetate or lacquer are a different story and should be treated with caution.

    My basic formula (it is no trade secret) is 1 gal distilled water, 1 qt (32 oz) 91% IPA, and 1 oz pure Triton X-100--so all you need to make it is a gal jug of distilled water, a quart of IPA, a shot glass to measure the Triton, and a clean bucket to mix it up in.

    Triton X-100 (and other Tritons) is a common non-ionic surfactant used in a zillion household products (dish soap, laundry soap, hand/body soaps/shampoos, etc), so it is "safe" and readily available in pure/technical grade on Ebay or Amazon. Other similar surfactants are the Tergitols and Tweens--different brands/manufacturers, similar chemistry and uses. All a surfactant does is "make water wetter"--water is a universal highly-polar solvent, so all the surfactant does is reduce the surface tension of the water to make it more effective.

    I make other solutions for different applications, containing "flocculants" to remove heavy grime, and Sporicidin to disinfect/kill mold and protect from re-infection.

    I try to speak the truth--ask me any questions regarding the chemistry--keeps me on my toes.

    savatage1973--BS, MS, PhD, DABT--my main "mentor" professor (with two PhD's and an MD) used to refer to them as bull-shit, more-shit and piled-higher-and-deeper--so that's what that's worth. I never figured out what to do with DABT. Spent too many years in the chemical/pharmaceutical industry, and now own a construction company--go figure :crazy:
     
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  18. Audiobro

    Audiobro AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have been using a mix of 5% Triton X-100 and 95% distilled water to "scrub" my records first. I then use a light spray of 15% alcohol (ISP 99%) and distilled and wipe down. Then a rinse with distilled and vac. I often have to do a double rinse cycle, it appears the heavy percentage of Triton X-100 isn't coming off quickly enough. it would seem that according to your formula, a little Triton goes along way. Triton X-100 doesn't seem too good at breaking up oils and alcohol would work much better. I'll give your formula a try. Thanks!
     
  19. savatage1973

    savatage1973 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, it does. You are not "hurting" anything using that much Triton, but you are "wasting" a lot of it. It is typically used in far lower concentrations. That is why you are needing the second rinse to remove the excess.

    Good Luck!
     
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  20. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    I just got a bottle of the much vaunted "Groovinator".

    Results so far are impressive.

    Everyone, please take a look at the link in my sig if you have something to add, please do. WaynerN, I'd appreciate it if you could drop in and put this suggestion in there.
     
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