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Record cleaning- you're doing it wrong!

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by guest110, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. punchback

    punchback AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Hamilton Ohio
    Speaking of the premix... I have a little precipitate now that it's been a while. Should I pitch it or just filter it out? Shaking it doesn't break it up.
     
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  2. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    Punchback: Triton X-114 is structurally very similar to Triton X-100. For our uses they are functionally interchangeable.
    Surfactants within the Triton X series only differ in the length of the ethylene oxide unit side chains, (in X-100 it is 9-10 units long; in X-114 it is 7-8). see this reference: https://dowac.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1652/related/1
    Similarly, surfactants within the Tergitol 15-S series differ by the length of their side chains (e.g. 15-S-3 and 15-S-9 have ~3 and ~9 ethylene oxide side chain units, respectively).

    The chain lengths are averages within a mixture, since they are expensive to separate after synthesis (So a S-3 and S-9 mix isn't that much different than S-7). The difference isn't that critical to basic cleaning: they were separated for specific applications, like solubilization of a specific membrane protein in biochemistry or isolation of particular components in an industrial application. However, chain length gives the detergents different physical properties that do concern us (it makes a difference how soluble they are in water, for example).
    The shorter the side chain length, the lower the tendency to foam (lower foam height) so X-114 will foam less than X-100. see https://dowac.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1660/related/1/
    The shorter length also lowers cloud point, so X-114 is less likely to separate or form a precipitate when stored at at lower temperatures.
    If your mix doesn't clear up upon warming, I'd toss it. You do not want any precipitate on your records.

    EDIT: Sorry to some for going off on a technical explanation. The important thing is that non-ionic detergents (whether Triton or Tergitol, whether X-100, 114, 15-S-7, S-9 or whatever) have the ability to disrupt the surface tension of water and solubilize contaminants without introducing any charge into the system. That's why they are recommended for record cleaning and most any of them that are water soluble will do the job. Most often, the choice comes down to what is available in your area.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  3. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,423
    Location:
    Piney Flats, Tn.
    I would like to thank phantomrebel for his considerable time and effort on this topic. He shows the true spirit of AK. :thumbsup:
     
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  4. DaveAl

    DaveAl Active Member

    Messages:
    108
    correction for a previous post--if i shake my 1/2 empty bottle of solution it DOES foam up. I had mis-remembered what happens when I shake it. apologies.
     
  5. gtxtom

    gtxtom AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Looking at EngineerNate's PDFs; if I use the 91% ISO to 99%, should I lower the amount of ISO due to the higher concentration?
     
  6. cafe latte

    cafe latte Active Member

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Ravenshoe
    Point is the tiny amount of time we use alcohol to clean a record it is not significant and there is no evidence I have seen that sell this idea to me. Also how long do you guys want the record to last? I have been cleaning mine with isopropyl alcohol for decades, I am 47 now and hope to be able to still hear well enough to enjoy them the rest of my life, but dont really care what happens to them after that. My test demonstrated one thing that is they wont be in contact with alcohol or any solvent long enough to do any audible damage in my life time and longer so irrelevant Some may claim they can measure so tiny leaching but honestly you are more likely to damage you record by replay than washing it.
    Chris
     

     

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  7. cafe latte

    cafe latte Active Member

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Ravenshoe
    No.
    Chris
     
  8. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,661
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Moderation Note:

    Heads up on your input to this thread. The title of this thread is unfortunate. There are many ways that folks have been using for years. If what you do and use works for you, that is quite acceptable, but it is not the topic or intent of this thread.

    This thread is specifically intended to squeeze the last drop of goodness from our cleaning processes. There is "good enough" and there is "not good at all." This thread is shooting at the getting as close to perfect as we can get. If you want to talk about general record cleaning, there are plenty of threads on the subject here on AK. If you want to participate in the "as good as you can get get with modern science," this is a thread to enjoy.

    Concepts for various chemicals and processes have been discussed previously in this thread. Having addressed those, we are now into serious refinement and understanding. Please honor the intent of this thread, pick another thread to enjoy, or feel free to start your own.

    Rich P
     
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  9. cafe latte

    cafe latte Active Member

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Ravenshoe
    I had no intention of disrupting the thread or moving it off topic, actually it is a topic I am interested in as my albums are into the thousands. I conducted my solvent tests on VE for this reason as there is a lot of internet psudo science on the subject. My reason for posting my comments here on this thread were that the folks here are making a recipe for a cleaning solution which is great. My issue is we are steering the recipe in a particular direction with false facts. I am the dummy in the family, buy I have a masters degree. My partner has a Phd and she has worked many years post Doc and she is seriously well publish in a number of subjects including polymers. Personally one of my businesses steered my the way of plastics. I developed and designed a bipod for FTR shooting and for it to make weight restrictions with increasingly heavy rifles I needed the top and feet and ankles to be made of composites and plastics so I went into business with an expert in plastic moulding. This alcohol and leaching from the plastic question I put to my new business partner. His response was any plasticiser found in alcohol after a contact with a record would almost for sure come from plasticiser dissolved in the release agents. He also said any stripped from the vinyl would be unlikely and if they were it would be totally insignificant amounts. My partner said similar long ago but it was interesting talking to someone in the industry.
    My 2c re the recipe is what damage can be done to the record or the stylus if the record is not cleaned properly? Used records smoking residue is terrible to remove how can this be removed without alcohol?
    I did my own experiments a number of years back and I had some success with photographic wetting agent but nothing removed stubborn grime like alcohol could. I now have my own decent microscope so thinking to do tests again and will try the results of this thread too. My idea is to get a really dirty charity shop record cut it up into strips and examine each strip under the microscope. Then clean each strip with test solution and recheck under microscope to see how much grime has been removed. Plasticisers aside how clean the test samples are after this test will be interesting.
    Chris
     
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  10. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    For records, the effect of solvents on plasticizer is less than leaching of other additives. In modern LPs, the PVC is in a copolymer with PVA, which has the plasticizing effect, and is difficult to extract. The included stabilizers, conditioners, and lubricants are indeed solvent extractable (they can also be extracted with detergent which is why we need to be careful). One can measure increased frictional resistance, and the resulting increased noise, after treating a record with solvent (experiments at RCA and Shure for examples). I would be interested in more scientific measurements on your treatments with stylus friction and dynamic range in mind as I think it is important before proclaiming that it is OK to treat records with solvents. Also, are any of the solvents beneficial to cleaning...do they bring anything to the table by doing something the detergents do not? I previously summarized some of the common compounds in resin formulas in post #1548. Perhaps your partner could contribute to this list. There are others additives that are proprietary, including specialized plasticizers, depending on the manufacturer. All of these additives are all there for a reason, and we need to be mindful of retaining them for both record performance and long term stability. That's all I was getting at. People sometimes misinterpret this to mean we are saying that alcohol melts records. Nothing could be further from the truth.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  11. Klaatu561

    Klaatu561 Klaatu barada nikto Subscriber

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Palm Beach, Florida
    UPDATE: I have done a few hundred Lp's as prescribed above with the exception of adding Tergikleen to the pre-soaking stage (about 25 minutes) . All records are clean and a five have pops and cracks but I think it is a damaged LP and not the process. The rest of them are perfect. After second rinse with spin clean I hand dry and then air dry at 50% humidity for about 10 hours. I think this step is important. If there is any moisture in the grooves it only makes sense that once the LP is put in a dark cover mold will develop and that is where the problems start. If the mixture used has an anti-fungal in it that will kill the mold but wont stop it's development in the future (might be wrong on this one- just a hypothesis). Much of this is also environmental based. I supposed living in the Sonoran desert (as I used to) this would not be an issue. Don't know I would use SpinClean to clean my Lp's but it makes a great final rinse to shed the chemicals used. Just my 2 cents.
     

     

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  12. cafe latte

    cafe latte Active Member

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Ravenshoe
    So we agree that plasticisers are safe, but the worry is lubricants and conditioners which will be basically removed with detergents anyway. There is nothing really that is in the plastic that is going to be removed with alcohol, yes there may be something on the surface that may or may not be beneficial that could be removed but most normal cleaning will remove it anyway. The question of what solvents like alcohol bring to the table is simple, and that is it is almost impossible to remove many types of grime without it. Buy a record used which has lived in a smokers house and alcohol is the only thing that will get it clean.
    Chris
     
  13. dj7675

    dj7675 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    146
    Hello all,
    Been doing my best to digest the info here. This is what I had been using prior to reading this thread:
    Mix of record cleaning solution:
    3/4 gallon distilled water
    1/4 gallon alcohol
    19ml of wetting agent (ILFOTOL)

    What I do:
    Wet the record thoroughly with cleaning solution and let it set for maybe 15-20 seconds.
    Vacuum off with Squeaky Clean RCM
    Thoroughly wet with distilled water
    Vacuum off

    Questions:
    Is my solution too harsh with too much alcohol?
    I have quite a lot of ILFOTOL still. Can someone recommend me a solution more in line with what is recommended in this thread if possible? Or should I ditch the ILFOTOL and just use the recommended solutions here?

    Appreciate any insight.
    Thanks!
     
  14. gtxtom

    gtxtom AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    So I've made my first bit of solution and I have some undissolved bits at the bottom of my mix. I'm not sure if it's the EDTA or not? This is after it sat overnight cause I heard the Triton can take a while to integrate. Any tips?

    IMG_20181102_092055.jpg
     
  15. gtxtom

    gtxtom AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Any help?
     
  16. punchback

    punchback AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Hamilton Ohio
    I had some precipitate in my concentrate and ended up throwing it out. I tried to heat it up to see if it would go into solution but it didn't. I made 16oz of the cleaning solution, from that concentrate, that is clear and I'm still using it. I'll eventually make some more concentrate.
     

     

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  17. T68

    T68 Member

    Messages:
    88
    So, anyone know if and where one can buy triton-x of tergitol in Sweden?
     
  18. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,394
    Location:
    103 miles N. of S.F.
    a note to myself. Start again on pg. 25. Great thread
     
  19. Nashou66

    Nashou66 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,717
    Location:
    West Seneca NY
    Hi I posted this back in January. No one commented on it, Can any of the chemical experts like @phantomrebel weigh in on this product?


    Thanks guys

    Athanasios
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  20. ETLS

    ETLS metacarpophalangealcranium Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,240
    Location:
    Texas
    @phantomrebel

     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018

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