Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

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BMRR
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Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by BMRR » 28 Dec 2015 20:27

I would imagine there's a valid reason for not using diluted ammonia, otherwise lots of people would be using it. It works so well around the house as a glass and surface cleaner, especially on anything greasy or sticky. Does it harm vinyl?

Shadowman82
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by Shadowman82 » 01 Jan 2016 17:06

Well this is what I found as far as using ammonia on vinyl flooring is concerned .
Do not use ammonia or ammonia-based cleaning solutions on vinyl flooring; these can break down the material and cause cracks in the flooring.
So I would say yes it would also harm a Vinyl record . Not to mention the fumes from the stuff .

drywhitetoast
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by drywhitetoast » 01 Jan 2016 17:44

Shadowman82 wrote:Well this is what I found as far as using ammonia on vinyl flooring is concerned .
Do not use ammonia or ammonia-based cleaning solutions on vinyl flooring; these can break down the material and cause cracks in the flooring.
So I would say yes it would also harm a Vinyl record . Not to mention the fumes from the stuff .
One of the stupidest things I ever did was put too much pure ammonia in a bucket of water to try and scrub puppy poop from the basement concrete floor. My God, you have to be careful.
I almost lost consciousness and the fumes I breathed for a short period made my throat and lungs feel like they were totally raw.
Damn puppy!

BMRR
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by BMRR » 01 Jan 2016 17:49

It's definitely strong stuff! I've only ever used it in very diluted form, and even then it's quite powerful. Windex, for instance, only has maybe 5% ammonia (it might even be less than that), but you can definitely smell it and it'll cut through grease and grime with ease.

I've occasionally heard of people using Windex on records but I think I'll skip that. Would've been nice if it was safe.

Logan
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by Logan » 02 Jan 2016 05:01

Just to correct yet more chemical misconceptions from people who don't know what they're talking about - the "vinyl" used in floor tiles and furniture coverings is a totally different chemical polymer from that used to manufacture "vinyl" records. That ammonia may interact destructively with one does not necessarily mean that it will do likewise with the other.

As a matter of fact the home-brew I use for cleaning LPs contains about 5% ammonia and has caused no visible or audible damage over multiple cleanings. It is a basic compound which will solubilize and remove acidic impurities. On the rare occasions when this hasn't worked I've added some white vinegar (containing a weak carboxylic acid) to neutralize the ammonia and impart a slight degree of acidity to the cleaner, as checked by a pH meter. This usually does the trick, indicating that the objectionable impurity was basic and thus immune to ammonia treatment.

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by ripblade » 03 Jan 2016 21:47

Liquid ammonia is not recommended in either of two pvc chemical resistance charts I found online. Concentration is not mentioned, so I assume that means pure ammonia.

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by cultjake » 08 Jan 2016 14:24

Ammonia is a strong base, NH3.
In aqueous solution commonly written as NH3OH.

It is strong enough to saponify oils, essentially creating
a soap, which is a weak base. It is likely also strong
enough to saponify polyvinyl chloride, weakening the thin
walls of the grooves.

There is no reason to use an aggressive strong base on records,
even at only the 5% content found in most household ammonias.

The homebrew cleaning solutions using a small amount of
dishwashing soap are safer for your records. And since they
contain a wetting agent as well, they are more effective for
wetting the dirt and dust which are the much more likely
groove contaminants.

I don't recommend it based on the chemistry.

cats squirrel
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by cats squirrel » 08 Jan 2016 15:23

NH3 + H20 = NH4OH, not NH3OH

One cannot saponify PVC.

based on chemistry you don't seem to understand.

Grooves in records don't have thin walls, they are pressed into a disc of pvc.

paulverizzo
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by paulverizzo » 17 Mar 2016 17:16

Or, use Windex or other glass cleaner. It has a small amount of ammonia and surfactant it it, the water is pure, so no deposits. Wipe off with a microfiber cloth.

I find it works quite well. Dries fast. As good as great fluids? I don't know.

boris of tick fen
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by boris of tick fen » 20 Apr 2016 20:22

Not a good plan to use a mixture where ammonia has been neutralised with an acid. When the mixture evaporates, you'll be left with crystals of an ammonium salt (ammonium acetate) in your grooves.
Pure ammonia is a gas, you can get a quite concentrated solution from thich the gas evaporates. It's a fume cupboard job. I would tend to avoid it on H&S grounds.

Logan
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by Logan » 21 Apr 2016 06:39

Double nonsense.

(1) A thorough water wash immediately after cleaning removes all the ammonium acetate plus all other water-soluble residues.

(2) We're talking about dilute aqueous ammonia solutions here, not the pure gaseous or liquid forms of ammonia. And since it is eminently water-soluble there is no need for fume hoods and the like. Otherwise we'd never use Windex to clean our windows and mirrors.

And contrary to a statement earlier in the thread, aqueous ammonia is not a strong base. The aqueous ammonium ion has a pKa of 9.24. The conjugate acids of strong bases have a pKa of at least 14.

paulverizzo
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by paulverizzo » 22 Apr 2016 01:25

There's ammonia as a molecule, and there's ammonia as we know it, dissolved in water. Actually, it's ammonium hydroxide that is dissolved in water, just like in Windex.

Ammonia cleans just like any other alkali such as hand soap, lye, the purple/409 cleaners that use sodium silicate. It does not clean as a solvent, unless the ammonia solution includes a surfactant.

PVC has excellent compatibility with ammonium hydroxide. Look it up, it's on the internet!

Logan
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by Logan » 22 Apr 2016 03:44

More nonsense on the internet - Paulverizzo needs a few chemistry lessons too. A simple calculation based on the pKa of 9.24 for the aqueous ammonium ion shows that when 0.1 mole of ammonia is dissolved in 1L of water. only 1.3% of it is converted to ammonium plus hydroxide ions. The other 98.7% remains as molecular ammonia. Ammonia is a weak base.

So actually, only a negligible amount of an aqueous ammonia solution is "ammonium hydroxide", as any reasonably proficient high school student of chemistry would know.

boris of tick fen
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by boris of tick fen » 23 Apr 2016 22:13

Some people were suggesting pure ammonia was a liquid. I agree the ammonia is a weak base but I don't think a solution dilute enough to use domestically would offer many advantages for record cleaning.

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by paulverizzo » 24 Apr 2016 05:07

Logan wrote:More nonsense on the internet - Paulverizzo needs a few chemistry lessons too. A simple calculation based on the pKa of 9.24 for the aqueous ammonium ion shows that when 0.1 mole of ammonia is dissolved in 1L of water. only 1.3% of it is converted to ammonium plus hydroxide ions. The other 98.7% remains as molecular ammonia. Ammonia is a weak base.

So actually, only a negligible amount of an aqueous ammonia solution is "ammonium hydroxide", as any reasonably proficient high school student of chemistry would know.
Confess that I have no idea what pKa is. But I do know the pH of a solution of ammonium hydroxide is 10.6 @ .01 M to 11.5 @ 1M. Not hardly a weak base, unless you are comparing it to sodium or potassium hydroxide.

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