Best record cleaner and anti static system???

how clean is your house
Tombo62
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 36
Joined: 21 Apr 2019 01:26

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by Tombo62 » 28 Jun 2019 00:51

Hi All, This is my first post, but I have been lurking around reading the record cleaning threads on this and several other sites for many years. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Vince1, for graciously sharing his years of research into cleaning records with those of us who have not had the time or knowledge to delve so deeply into the subject. I have found the information offered by Vince to be invaluable in greatly increasing the transparency and reducing or often completely eliminating the surface noise on my records. I have been using his formula for over two years and the results are superb. I have been collecting records since the mid 1960's with now over 10,000. I bought the original VPI HW-16 when it was first introduce in ca.1982, updated it to 16.5 status over 30 years ago and am still using it today. Over the last 50 years or so I have use just about every commercial record cleaning product on the market, as well as a dozen or so home brews. The formulas and methods recommended by Dr. Vince exceed or equal the very best and most expensive products out there. I can only hope that Vince will continue to share his extremely valuable insights into the best practices of record cleaning, and will be able to ignore the rude, offensive and quite ignorant comments posted by one reader. Once again, thank you so much Vince, I have learned a great deal from you about a subject that is very important to me.

hruki
junior member
junior member
France
Posts: 22
Joined: 04 Jan 2019 00:17

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by hruki » 29 Jun 2019 02:26

Dimal wrote:
27 Jun 2019 14:24
Personally, I'll stick with vince1's advice. He has displayed his professional approach and years of experience coupled with a very positive attitude and his desire to place his knowledge and experience at the beck and call of we fellow VE-ers; to our benefit.

Very much appreciate your work vince1... 8-)

Mal.
Thank you Mal for your answer and off course, thank you vince1. Let me explain, I didn't ignore what vince1 one is proposing for other reason than my own ignorance. A couple days ago I was hoping to close the subject and go and clean some records. Then I decided to look a little what people say on VE. I'm pretty new to the vinyle passion, and even though I treated my records with lot of respect since I was kid, I didn't have a lot of basics. And as all of you might guess, it's not easy to swim in the sea of informations which are written about TT world. When I red in this thread about quats, I didn't have a smallest idea of what it is. I told my self: too complicated, save it for some other time or you'll spend your lifetime reading about cleaning records instead of actually cleaning them.

I changed my mind. If someone can link me some details about vince1's method, I'll be grateful. All details and options are wellcome!

MostlyHarmless
member
member
Posts: 168
Joined: 20 Apr 2016 13:03

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by MostlyHarmless » 30 Jun 2019 11:48

hruki -

Log in.
Go to Forum Search (upper right corner).
Search by author (second text input field) for "vince1"

The search will yield Vince's posts. He has patiently (and frequently) addressed this question. It is somewhat technical. He has offered advice and alternatives, explaining his thoughts, methods, etc.

I hope this post of mine does not sound patronizing or dismissive. That is not my intent.

Best of luck.

-MH

Tombo62
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 36
Joined: 21 Apr 2019 01:26

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by Tombo62 » 03 Jul 2019 06:11

Although I fully admit that I'm not the best qualified, I would like to attempt to address the questions in the original post. I don't really know a negative ion from a positive one, but it's been said that friction induces static in vinyl records. The friction of the stylus in the groove produces a charge every time the record is played, as does slipping it in or out of the sleeve or lightly rubbing a dry cloth or velvet brush over the surface. Using a vacuum type RCM with dry velvet lips on a dry record produces a static charge that seems powerful enough to draw in asteroids from distant galaxies.

In a interview posted online with Sound Recording Conservationist working for the Library of Congress the question static control for vinyl records was asked. The answer was quite simple, "Maintain the relative humidly above 35% and store your records in polyethylene inner sleeves". Buying a pack of Mo-Fi sleeves is pretty easy, but climate control in your record vault may be a little more challenging.

Record Stores have been selling "Record Cleaning Cloths" since at least the 1920's. After the introduction of the long playing microgroove vinyl record in 1948, it became clear that vinyl records had a much greater propensity to develop a static charge than their shellac brethren. By the late 1950's "Anti-Static Record Cleaning Cloths" were being offered in a sealed cellophane package, which were slightly moist and presumably treated with a liquid containing a chemical with anti-static properties. It was also at this time that record producers began adding anti-static chemicals to their vinyl formulas. The directions that came with the cloth were to hold it lightly on the rotating record and than return it to the cellophane package for storage and maybe if some of the chemical was transferred to the record surface, it could impart some anti-static property for a short time. However, the cloth would soon dry out in a month or so and loose it's effectiveness, so you would need to by another. I also seems that the a-s additives to the vinyl formulas diminish over time.

I also have the original zerostat gun, it works great, but I never use it because the effect is only temporary. The carbon fiber brush does not seem to eliminate static, but it doesn't seem to increase the charge either. I also have the original Discwasher brush and I thought it worked pretty good. By wetting the leading edge, it did dissipate static and rotating it picked up surface dust and any residual moisture. However it did not work well on turntables with low torque motors which would quickly grind to a halt when the brush was applied. Keeping in mind that moisture will dissipate static, a similar and less expensive method would be to use a folded soft cotton cloth lightly misted with distilled water held over the record surface. You can refold the cloth to lightly remove any residual moisture, but use care because a dry cloth on a dry record will induce static, not remove it. An advantage over the Discwasher is that you can wash the cloth and re-use it many times, while over time the Discwasher will pick up residual oils from the record surface and transfer them to other records.

On that note, if your dealing with old dirty records that are contaminated with dried up finger oils, pizza sauce, mustard drippings, soot from smoke, etc., you might want to try adding 91% isopropyl alcohol to your distilled water in a ratio of about 10-15%. Do not add any surfactants (detergents), as when used to clean records, surfactants need to be thoroughly rinsed from the surface. Alcohol is perfectly safe in low concentrations for short time periods and leaves no residue. It is the only true one step record cleaning formula.

All of the above products and methods are for temporarily reducing static charge, most with the added benefit of removing some of the larger dust particles on the surface of the records. None of these methods will remove the oils or very fine particulate matter in the grooves. To greatly reduce the surface noise and improve the sound quality, you would need to do a full wet clean. I would say that the best commercial products for this are by the Disc Doctor. These designer of these products has a PHD in chemistry, and unlike almost all other such products the actual ingredients are listed on the label. The Disc Doctor Miracle Record Wash and Miracle Record Brushes, are widely used by professional conservationists working with irreplaceable disc recordings. The Disc Doctor website also offers valuable information on best practices and proper procedures for cleaning records.

I personally use the cleaning formula developed by Vince1 who also has a PHD in chemistry and has offered a tremendous amount of information to this website over the last few years. It not only leaves records sounding much truer in fidelity to the master tape, it also eliminates static charge. Dr. Vince recommends two rinses with distilled water which I also think is mandatory to achieve the best results. If anyone does not want to search the archives and wade through the good Doctor's technical talk, I would be happy to clearly describe the formula as I make it, including easy ways to measure the simple ingredients. The cost is about $40 for enough cleaning formula (less distilled water) to last a lifetime. I can't answer any technical questions, only the good Doctor can do that. A vacuum record cleaning machine can greatly speed up the process, but is not mandatory. I am not yet personally sold on the need for an Ultra Sonic machine.

Your most humble servant,
Tombo

alexmacphee
junior member
junior member
Scotland
Posts: 22
Joined: 28 May 2019 16:30

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by alexmacphee » 05 Jul 2019 16:37

I'd never been an enthusiast for cleaning LPs, not since that time I tried to clean a snap-crackly copy of Swan Lake (Yuri Faier, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra - some things just stay ingrained) in the bath with bubble bath soap when I'd have been a teenager. It didn't end well. What I hadn't realised was that I was simply emulsifying the dust then letting it set cake-like back into the grooves. It came out worse.

Since then, all I've relied on has been a pretty psychopathic avoidance of fingertips touching record surfaces, and a velvet record surface cleaning pad. Dry dust, the wisdom of the age went, was easier for the stylus to just push out of the way. Mostly it works, though the occasional resistant-to-push speck of dust becomes a multi-coloured three dimensional boulder that ricochets off the loudspeaker.

I bought some 'gash' records recently, to try out the Knosti disc cleaning system. It worked surprisingly well, so well that I tried a few of my own collection. That worked well too. It was only on playing that I noticed a build up of gunge on the stylus that I'd never experienced before - not since I was a teenager and learned to keep records dust-free. Reviewing the experiences of others in this forum, it turns out to be a known feature of this system, which deposits a fine layer of an anti-static compound inside the grooves when the solvent has evaporated during the drying process.

So, I bought a second Knosti cleaning bath. I figured I'd get rid of the anti-static deposit by having a rinse stage to follow the cleaning stage, and this would be with a bath of distilled water containing just one solitary drop of Fairy Liquid to break surface tension. It really had to be just one small drop, and I managed to get a microscopic drop into the rinse bath. The only way that drop could've been smaller was to give the Fairy bottle to my brother and tell him it was his whisky for my glass.

Tried the new wash-rinse procedure on a prized LP set, all Schubert symphonies recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic and Karl Boehm, a truly legendary set. Let all the discs dry overnight.

Tried them out today. No hiss, no crackle, not a single pop, nothing, just the music. Quiet passages are silent, no groove noise. I can pick out the cellos with absolute clarity. It's like listening to a live broadcast ; yet the recording was made in 1966.

I'm definitely not going back to a bathtub and a bottle of 'Matey'.

reynolds617
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 753
Joined: 27 Mar 2017 01:19
Location: Boston-ish

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by reynolds617 » 19 Aug 2019 03:38

Some of the arguing about the most effective/least detrimental methods for cleaning vinyl (new or used) is nothing compared to what else is out there on the internet if you just do a Google search. People are quite often very (some would say overly) passionate about their method.

I chose to invest in a VPI 16.2 vacuum machine, Zero Stat gun (which I only use before sleeving, not on the turntable itself, though it sounds like the Zero Stat frying turntable electronics may have been debunked), and a variety of Audio Intelligence fluids. I've done before and after comparisons, and I think the VPI does a great job and has rescued some used albums in rough shape.

That's just what works for me, but I'm not going to agonize over whether I made the right choice. I actually enjoy the process when I get a new record (or new to me as the case may be). It's kind of a cathartic process and I've been happy with the results. YMMV.

hruki
junior member
junior member
France
Posts: 22
Joined: 04 Jan 2019 00:17

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by hruki » 13 Sep 2019 13:25

Tombo62 wrote:
03 Jul 2019 06:11
If anyone does not want to search the archives and wade through the good Doctor's technical talk, I would be happy to clearly describe the formula as I make it, including easy ways to measure the simple ingredients.
Thank you Tombo62, it would be nice of you (and much appreciated)! I answer late because of summertime on and offs. In general, I think that people here do need some short-cuts, before or after going deep in subject of their interest. Work is all about motivation. Sometimes is better to do something without fully understanding why. The blues way, right? As a guitarist and guitar teacher, I think that I must give to people the highest achievements of my work, even to absolute beginners. I must give them the basics too. This is the frame. What is inside that frame is everyone's lifetime... After I do some disc washing I'll do some in-depth reading of vince1's posts, thank you MostlyHarmless for telling me (and others in need) where to look for the answers :-)
Another "teacher" thing: I would also like to suggest to everyone to be precise when talking about some product. What I mean is to name it correctly, so that anyone can search for it easily. I'm pointing this out, because the vast majority of people posting and reading these pages are here to learn...

Tombo62
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 36
Joined: 21 Apr 2019 01:26

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by Tombo62 » 13 Sep 2019 20:04

Hi Hruki, When I mix a batch of Dr. Vince's cleaning formula, I find it easiest to make in one liter batches. One liter = 1000 ml. or a little over 1 quart. Walmart sells a 1 qt. spray bottle ($0.99 next to the mops) graduated in oz's. and ml's. You can use this to measured the distilled water. I use Triton X-100 at .5% which is 5 ml per liter. The quat (hepastat 256) at .04% which is .4 ml per liter. I also use 99.9% isopropyl at 10% which is 100 ml per liter. I use two separate 10 ml dosing syringes (also called an oral syringe) with graduations every .2 ml to measure the Triton & Quat. You can pick these up at a pharmacy or purchase online. The smaller 1 ml pipette syringes are more accurate and can be ordered online also. Also 20 drops from a standard eyedropper equals 1 ml. After it's mixed I store it in 16 oz. amber glass bottles. I have a VPI vac machine. You must rinse at least once with distilled water. A very slight increase in transparency is gained with a second rinse. The quat will totally eliminate static and will have a slight lubricating effect. Much greater details can be found in the thread "Record cleaning with Triton X-100". Tom

hruki
junior member
junior member
France
Posts: 22
Joined: 04 Jan 2019 00:17

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by hruki » 01 Oct 2019 13:24

Hi Tom,

Thanks you for your answer!

As I've seen by now, it will be hard to get the Hepastat 256, or even Selgiene or Cetrimide as vince1 suggested as alternatives in Europe (https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... p?t=112778).

Vince1 also said:
..."Or, as you mention, just go without the quats. They are primarily included to combat issues with static, as a lubricant, and as a biocide. Folks have cleaned successfully with just non-ionic detergents like Triton or Tergitol for years."

Static might be the problem with some of my records I bought secondhand... I've got (because I forgot to use my nose) a couple of records that might have a mold problem too: covers have some mold stains, so there is no doubt about it... But I was wondering is it likely that the stain contaminates the vinyle itself, as it is not of organic origin...?! If yes, the quats are necessary to fight this kind of problem... Did I got it right?
One more about quats: how do you (or anyone else here) deal with the health and/or environment issues related with quats, as the formula seems to be quite dangereuse (in non diluted form)? What measures to take to prevent something to happen in the background of record cleaning (once we got rid of background noise:)?

I'm going to do "the hand job", as I don't have the money for the machine. Here, I would like to know what do you think: would it be advised to finish with "normal" vacuum cleaner (with some modifications) to get rid of the water and probably some dirt too? Some folks do it, some just wipe the record with a microfiber cloth and let it dry on some kind of stand for a while.

The last question that I can think of for now is about rinsing. To wash the record, everybody agrees that is necessary to brake the water's surface tension with some kind of product, so that water could go deep into grooves. If we rince with distilled water (without braking its tension) aren't we rinsing just the surface?! I don't know, that's why I ask :-)

Hrvoje

Tombo62
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 36
Joined: 21 Apr 2019 01:26

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by Tombo62 » 02 Oct 2019 04:20

Hi Hrvoje,
I have read the posts from people in the EU who have found it very difficult to acquire the American made brands of quats and surfactants (Triton X-100 or Tergitol S-7, both made by Dow Chemical) recommended by Vince 1. It would be nice if there were a chemist in Europe reading these post that could recommend comparable products that are readily available in the EU. Back in 2017 Vince recommended the product "Hepastat 256" because it was easily available through a number online retailers. He stated that their were a number of other manufactures products that were basically the same, including:
3M Quat Disinfectant Cleaner (carried by Office Depot)
Lysol IC Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner (available on Amazon)
Spartan, “Sparquat 256” or "GS High Dilution Disinfectant 256"
Brulin, “Maxima 256” or "Uniquat Neutral Disinfectant 256"
Stetson, “HBV Disinfectant 256”
Multi-clean, “Century Q 256”
Diverse, “Virex II 256”
National Chemical Lab, “Neutra-Cide 256”
US Chemical "Mixmate O" or "Sanitation System Disinfectant 256"

These are commercial cleaning products designed to have a surfactant, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, and used in hospitals, medical clinics, doctor's offices, schools, food service industries, etc. They are normally sold through Janitorial Supply Houses. The people that use these products do not wear respirators and haz-mat suits, although they may wear rubber gloves. In normal use these concentrates are mixed 1 part quat to 256 parts water. Vince's record cleaning formula, at it's strongest, is much more dilute, a 1:2000 mix. I personally, do not worry about any health risk. You can make your own judgement. The quat does indeed eliminate all static.

I have tired most of the expensive record cleaning solutions over the last 50 years and as far a surface noise reduction and especially in an increase in transparency, the Vince1 formula is as good and often slightly better. The main difference is in price, for about $40 usd you can buy enough quat and triton X-100 to make about 1000 or more litres, although you be hard pressed to use that much in a lifetime and the self-life of the products would come into play.

It is important to rinse after using a surfactant based cleaned. Surfactants (detergents) are much more effective at removing oils (fatty acids) than are alcohol based solutions. Contrary to popular belief, leaving surfactant residue on the vinyl surface will tend to leach out the vegetable based plasticizers (soybean oil) used in the vinyl formulation, more so than would any alcohol based solution which evaporates rapidly and leaves no residue. There is also a notable increase in transparency after rinsing off any surfactant residue. For reduced surface tension, you can use a 15% alcohol-H2O solution for the rinse, but H2O alone works well when worked in well with a good record cleaning brush. A second rinse can provide a very slight increase in transparency on better recordings. The purity of the water is also important, but is a whole different subject.

Mold can be a problem and if bad enough can cause permanent damage, a surface stain that looks like a lack of gloss and cause an increase in surface noise. It's easy to remove mold, you don't need a quat, but the quat may prevent any reoccurrence of mold. Hopes this helps.

Kindest Regards,
Tom

vince1
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 218
Joined: 03 Dec 2014 16:32

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by vince1 » 02 Oct 2019 15:02

hruki wrote:
01 Oct 2019 13:24
The last question that I can think of for now is about rinsing. To wash the record, everybody agrees that is necessary to brake the water's surface tension with some kind of product, so that water could go deep into grooves. If we rince with distilled water (without braking its tension) aren't we rinsing just the surface?! I don't know, that's why I ask :-)
Hrvoje
I agree with most of what Tom has told you. As for this last question, I'm not sure what "everybody" is talking about. The first thing a detergent does is break surface tension. This is called a "wetting agent" and people get confused. If you look at wetting agents for photography like Photo-Flo, they are just non-ionic detergents (Triton X-100 in the case of Photo-Flo, though it isn't pure and also contains glycols). Once the detergents do their complete job during the wash step, all that is needed is that they get rinsed away with water. Alcohols, unless they are the long chain type, don't help as much in this regard.

This post may help you understand surface tension and detergent action: https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?posts/13106419

hruki
junior member
junior member
France
Posts: 22
Joined: 04 Jan 2019 00:17

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by hruki » 07 Oct 2019 13:18

Thank you both gentlemen for taking your time for helping me out! Before anything else, let me give a small contribution, it might save some time for people searching in Europe the ingredients of Vince's record cleaning formula. I don't like to post a commercial links, but as these products are not easy to find (and as I write I didn't find no options), let's have them:

Triton X-100 https://www.mon-droguiste.com/triton-x- ... 388VWR.cfm (a french site)

Brulin, “Maxima 256” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002L ... 0DER&psc=1

If there is something wrong with the products I found, please do say so. If somebody has an option for Maxima 256, I would like to know about it, as the one I found is going to do a long travel to get here, but at least it ships to Europe.

Once again, thank you for all explanations. There is only one more thing I would like to hear for now. I'll quote myself: "Here, I would like to know what do you think: would it be advised to finish with "normal" vacuum cleaner (with some modifications) to get rid of the water and probably some dirt too? Some folks do it, some just wipe the record with a microfiber cloth and let it dry on some kind of stand for a while." To remind you, I don't have a VPI vac machine, or any kind of machine to clean my record...

All the best,
Hrvoje

Tombo62
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 36
Joined: 21 Apr 2019 01:26

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by Tombo62 » 07 Oct 2019 22:18

Hi Hrvoje,
I am not qualified to comment on the suitability of the Brulin, “Maxima 256”. Perhaps Vince will comment. I purchased one of the earliest HW-16 VPI Vac machines back in circa 1981 and updated to 16.5 status in about 1985, and have been happily cleaning records with it ever since, still using it today. I believe that a vacuum is by far the quickest and also the most effective way to remove the highest percentage of cleaning fluid (with solubilized waste) and rinse water, with the least amount of evaporation occurring on the surface of the record. Others disagree and think that air drying is just fine and does not induce a static charge. I am opposed to air drying, as solubilized contaminates or surfactants in the cleaning fluid or rinse liquid will be left on the record. This is a major failing of tank type cleaning devices, such as the Spin Clean, Disco Anti-Stat or Ultra Sonic tanks.
Others have reported perfectly satisfactory results by removing the fluids with a soft cotton cloth (micro fiber most commonly recommended). They often claim that they can remove more liquid with less evaporation than a vac system due to an effect rapid evaporation that occurs at the vacuum slot-record interface. This is mostly theory with little or no scientific evidence (to my knowledge) to actually indicate with method removes the most liquid with the least amount of evaporation. My feeling is that a powerful vacuum system will remove the fluid from the depth of the groove, better than would a cloth wiped over the surface (just my option). One thing is certain, brand new cotton cloth has a lot of loose fibers (lint) and should be run through the wash cycle, washer-dryer, two or three times to remove lint before using on a record. Although rarely used, some people believe that blowing the fluid off with compressed air is best (good luck with that and hold on to your record).
A "normal" or household vacuum cleaner is not recommended. If making your own vac system, you will want to get a small (1 gallon size) "Wet or Dry" Shop Vac to pick up fluid. There are dozens of youtube videos about making your own.
The last thing is that your cleaning methodology is as important (or even more so) than the cleaning fluids that you use. Just to give you some good ideas, here is a link to the Disc Doctor website explaining their recommended methods of record cleaning, although, to each his own and everyone seems to develop their own preferred method over years of practice.

http://www.discdoc.com/p14.html

Kindest Regards,
Tom

Tombo62
member
member
United States of America
Posts: 36
Joined: 21 Apr 2019 01:26

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by Tombo62 » 09 Oct 2019 01:58

I just noticed that the Brulin, “Maxima 256” is included in the original list of products that Vince recommend. It should be fine to use that as the "quat" in your record cleaning fluid. Tom

mysticfred
long player
long player
England
Posts: 1844
Joined: 10 Oct 2009 05:42
Location: Sunny Devon

Re: Best record cleaner and anti static system???

Post by mysticfred » 12 Oct 2019 21:42

i found some very good cleaning fluid by Vinyl Shelter, no residue but they recommend cotton wool pads. Zerostat should be used away from the turntable. 😁