Author Topic: Cleaning vinyl  (Read 16325 times)

Offline dutchdog

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Cleaning vinyl
« on: January 04, 2015, 06:52:31 PM »
Came across this blog from a 30yr vinyl collector.

Great reads. Feel free to comment on your best vinyl clean product or method

http://cleaningvinyllps.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-clean-vinyl-records-right-way.html
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Offline Meddle

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2015, 12:34:40 PM »
That guy is quite pedantic. No isopropyl because it leaches oils? Never read that before. And I use rinse aid in an iso and distilled water mix, and my vinyl didnt go up in smoke.
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Offline DeonC

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2015, 02:46:28 PM »
That guy is quite pedantic. No isopropyl because it leaches oils? Never read that before.

I have read it MANY times before. It is for the same reason that you do not wash your car with dishwashing liquid. It is destructive to the natural oils and waxes.
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Offline Meddle

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2015, 03:32:07 PM »
Any detergent is quite obvious, it will leave residue. But isopropyl alcohol wont do anything to vinyl.
Thorens TD160, Clearaudio Concept V2 / Systemdek iii, SME 3009iii, Ortofon 2M / Rotel BX980, Yaqin ms b12 / Dali Zensor 7 / Marantz PM5004 /Castle Knight 1. Okki Nokki.

Offline young gun

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 03:38:44 PM »
I'm looking to buy a Spin-Clean. Anybody have any experience with this? Is it worth it or does it just drive the dirt deeper into the vinyl?

Right now im just using a Isopropyl/water mixture that works but its not a deep cleanse.
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Offline Meddle

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 03:43:00 PM »
You need to add a surfuctant to that mix, makes a huge difference. I use rinse aid or photo flo. This mixture and a modified works better than the spin clean.
Thorens TD160, Clearaudio Concept V2 / Systemdek iii, SME 3009iii, Ortofon 2M / Rotel BX980, Yaqin ms b12 / Dali Zensor 7 / Marantz PM5004 /Castle Knight 1. Okki Nokki.

Offline young gun

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 03:45:57 PM »
This mixture and a modified works better than the spin clean.

And a modified?

I'll speak to my wife about the surfucant, she sells chemicals so i'm sure she will be able to organise :D
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Offline Meddle

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2015, 03:50:40 PM »
Paintbrush, sorry. Thin it out to about 5mm, like a mowhawk. And cut it down to about 20mm.
Thorens TD160, Clearaudio Concept V2 / Systemdek iii, SME 3009iii, Ortofon 2M / Rotel BX980, Yaqin ms b12 / Dali Zensor 7 / Marantz PM5004 /Castle Knight 1. Okki Nokki.

Offline DeonC

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 04:38:41 PM »
Any detergent is quite obvious, it will leave residue. But isopropyl alcohol wont do anything to vinyl.

It is not about residue. It's about dissolving waxes and oils in the vinyl, which makes it more susceptible to damage.
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Offline young gun

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 05:16:03 PM »
Spoke to my lady and she asked what kind of surfuctant?
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Online fdlsys

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2015, 06:18:28 PM »
No surfactants. Wetting agent. In everyday lingo what is referred to as surfactants defines compounds meant to cling to the surface discouraging further contamination, while pure wetting agent simply allows the (cleaning) solution to flow between the surface and the contamination helping the brush/suction take the contamination out.
Stylus of course doesn't know surfactant from plain dirt so it will sound like dirt and it will collect it from the groove and fuse it onto itself. Oh joy.

Isopropyl alc has marginally lower surface tension than water, so it mostly does the job (ratio: about 1/10 of the solution by volume - 1 part Isopropyl, 9 parts distilled water from the pharmacy).
Will it magically remove the braai fingermarks from the vinyl or years of slowly fused airborne pollution? No, not even close. But, it helps (in combination with "solvent"), plus it leaves no residue and most importantly it helps the solution evaporate faster. Good stuff.

Any detergent is a wetting agent too as well as solvent for most contaminants. Unfortunately, 99.99% of detergents contain surfactants (and gawd knows what else - some are more primitive than the other) which WILL leave gunky residue in the groove. Sunlight is a prime example - even one tiny drop of it per 1/2L of the solution leaves enough residue that your stylus will gunk-up after playing 4 LP sides.

Kleen Green is different from other common household detergents and seems to be the right(est) answer to our needs.
It works perfectly fine for me and a few more people here and I am yet to detect any residue from it.
About 10 fat drops per 1/2L of solution is my ratio.

If you are after the best in wetting agents, Ilford's ILFOTOL is apparently the current favourite.
Kodak's Photoflo has been used by many for a number of years but I heard recently that it actually does contain surfactants thus, rather not.

Back to the article; I have no reason not to believe that Tergitol NP-9 is "it" so ask your wife if she can get you some "nonylphenol ethoxylate NP-9" and then SHARE! :point:

Finally:
If you encounter one (or more) of those pesky permanently crackly LPs that appear perfectly clean after the wash & vac but still carry on crackling, you are most likely looking into one of those that somehow ended up with finest inorganic dust sediments in the groove which was then burnished into the vinyl by repeated playback without cleaning it first. No amount of any of the above cleaning solutions will help with that.

But...! Simple white vinegar often will. It dissolves or at last loosens the inorganic material. 3-5 minutes of vinegar treatment (agitate it with brush, just like normal cleaning process) followed by suction and than a normal cleaning solution & vacuum WILL make a noticeable difference.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline young gun

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2015, 08:01:40 PM »
Thanks for the explanation!

As luck would have it, she has some NP-9 in that car. Though this is the biodegradable variant, evidently normal NP-9 is not good for the environment, who knew?! This is called Tomhdol 900, a direct but friendlier replacement. So I'll try this on some of the dirtier vinyl and see where I end up.

And thanks meddle, I'll try the paintbrush idea :)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 08:21:57 PM by young gun »
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Online fdlsys

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2015, 08:38:42 PM »
"Tomadol® 900 is a nonionic surfactant ingredient that provides exceptional peformance to cleaner and degreaser formulations. Formulation can be optimized by using low levels of Tomadol® 900 surfactant for hard surface cleaners, wetting and emulsification. This product is a readily biodegradable (>60% in 10 days), CleanGredients (DfE) nonionic surfactant replacement for 9 mole and 10 mole nonylphenol ethoxylate (NP-9 / NP-10) and other APE's."

Don't used it pure, mix with distilled water - you only needs a couple of drops. Google for mix/ratio recipes for vinyl cleaning!

Re. brush - use the nylon bristle brushes, the finest "hair" you can find. Natural bristle has a tendency of wearing out, breaking and leaving bits behind, and it may attract fungus growth.
The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. Dave Barry
Come back when you’ve lived a little. Miles Davis

Offline AlleyCat

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 08:02:54 AM »
Tergitol NP9, Dowfax NP9, Synperonic NP9, etc, are all trade names while ethoxylated nonylphenol is the generic name for this range of surfactants. You guys are on the right path regarding more "greener friendly" replacements.

Nice advice  and explanation FDLSYS. Well done!
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Offline young gun

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Re: Cleaning vinyl
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 02:25:17 PM »
Anybody know if you can use RO water rather than distilled water for these solutions? I have an RO unit at home, just saves having to mission out for distilled water, which I have managed to find absolutely no where!
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