Logan, as an extreamly dilute acid, it promotes auto-esterfication, and it create loads of side reactions that form other useful chemicals. Trust me, I used to have a mass spectrometer and gas chromatagraph to confirm this. We are talking probably >10% reaction, but it still works.
No, I don't think cleaners with alot of ammonia in them are good for vinyl, but 2-5% with an equal amount of ethanol added forms ethyl ammoniate, which works as a cleaner/lubricant, and "deodorizes" the ammonia, is in one of the "big 5" record cleaners, one of the ones that says "contains no alcohol", which is technically true, and it has a real nice fragrence added, kinda "rose-like". Many of you know which one I'm talking about by now. I can't confirm or deny anything because of patent issues, but ethyl ammoniate is a "boutique" chemical, and it's present in a tiny amount. Propylene glycol, and polyprolylene glycol (RV anti-freezes, you can drink them, and do in most colas, they're sweet) are also used in tiny amounts as "protectants and groove lubricants", but frankly there's such a small amount of these present (hundreth's of a %) I doubt they
really do a thing. And they fuss with the pH with EDTA and citric acid, and disodium or diammonium EDTA that form "buffering salts" that tend to keep a stable pH over long periods of time. Much ado about nothing, IMO. All record cleaners on the market could be sold in 60ml-240ml (1-4 oz) bottles to be added to a gallon of distilled water. But shampoos and body washes could be sold that way too. Remember Prell Concentrate shampoo? A 1/4" long gel toothpaste-like squeeze would wash my sister's hair that she could sit on and get it clean. Use more and you'd fill the tub with foam. Why do we pay so much for water in products?