Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

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

Post by Logan » 25 Apr 2016 13:28

If you don't know what pKa means in acid-base chemistry you should not be discussing the weakness or strengths of bases, since you have no idea what you're talking about.

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

Post by paulverizzo » 25 Apr 2016 14:38

Logan wrote:If you don't know what pKa means in acid-base chemistry you should not be discussing the weakness or strengths of bases, since you have no idea what you're talking about.
Damn, thirty years being into photochemistry, making and creating my own developers and other processing steps, both B&W and color, and I guess I didn't know what I was doing.

I understand pH, and I have even experimented using ammonia as a developer just for the heck of it. If you consider pH 12 a weak solution, have at it.

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by The Gryphon » 25 Apr 2016 15:18

pKa is the -log 10 of the dissociation constant...for the dissociation of an alkali .....however I don't think this is a chemistry forum.

For those interested :http://www.phscale.net/pka-ka.htm
Last edited by The Gryphon on 25 Apr 2016 16:04, edited 1 time in total.

The Gryphon

Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by The Gryphon » 25 Apr 2016 15:20

To be honest I don't really think we are going to find any miracal cleaner by using ammonia ...just worries me that someone is going to give themselves a nasty chemical burn in their experients

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

Post by cats squirrel » 25 Apr 2016 16:43

would it not be beneficial to the discussion to find out what the 'muck' is on the record, before throwing (just about) any 'stuff' at it?

For carbs, protein and animal/vegetable oils/fats there are enzymes, for mineral oils, I use d-limonene as a solvent. Works very well, and smells nice, too! And is extracted/distilled from natural products, not crude oil! :D

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

Post by gorlokrg » 25 Apr 2016 18:03

Maybe one of us should just try it and post our results.... I got plenty of dirty albums that are ruined to begin with. Maybe I should test it out...

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

Post by cats squirrel » 25 Apr 2016 22:23

gorlokrg wrote:Maybe one of us should just try it and post our results.... I got plenty of dirty albums that are ruined to begin with. Maybe I should test it out...

yep, do the old audiophile thing, 'suck it and see' :?

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by circularvibes » 25 Apr 2016 23:08

I have used both ammonia and Windex. pure ammonia dries out the plasticisers in the vinyl, making the plastic more brittle. Windex has dye that stays in the groove and collects more dust on the stylus tip. neither was beneficial to me as a straight cleaner. it will degrease, but there are better methods. Also, if either is used on any type of disc besides true vinyl, you risk breakdown of the surface. Such types would be shellac coated discs like 78's, acetates and many Compo Company (Decca, Vocalion, Brunswick from Canada) pressings that were a mix of cheap plastic and leftover material from 78 production.

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

Post by cats squirrel » 26 Apr 2016 17:09

circularvibes wrote:I have used both ammonia and Windex. pure ammonia dries out the plasticisers in the vinyl, making the plastic more brittle. Windex has dye that stays in the groove and collects more dust on the stylus tip. neither was beneficial to me as a straight cleaner. it will degrease, but there are better methods. Also, if either is used on any type of disc besides true vinyl, you risk breakdown of the surface. Such types would be shellac coated discs like 78's, acetates and many Compo Company (Decca, Vocalion, Brunswick from Canada) pressings that were a mix of cheap plastic and leftover material from 78 production.
according to those who know, there aren't plasticisers in vinyl records. :?

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by ripblade » 26 Apr 2016 18:19

cats squirrel wrote:according to those who know, there aren't plasticisers in vinyl records. :?
That's news to me....I was under the impression that plasticisers are what give vinyl records their flexibility.
cats squirrel wrote:would it not be beneficial to the discussion to find out what the 'muck' is on the record, before throwing (just about) any 'stuff' at it?
The toughest stuff I've come across appears to be a scale of soap and lime deposited by the feeble cleaning attempts of prior record owners or vendors attempting to sell a VG as NM. Only thing that has worked so far is a PVA peel but for a while I was trying muriatic acid as it's what's recommended for cleaning tile grout. Didn't help the record much, but it did remove the spring from the pump bottle after a few days. #-o

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

Post by cats squirrel » 26 Apr 2016 19:35

ripblade wrote:
cats squirrel wrote:according to those who know, there aren't plasticisers in vinyl records. :?
That's news to me....I was under the impression that plasticisers are what give vinyl records their flexibility.
cats squirrel wrote:would it not be beneficial to the discussion to find out what the 'muck' is on the record, before throwing (just about) any 'stuff' at it?
The toughest stuff I've come across appears to be a scale of soap and lime deposited by the feeble cleaning attempts of prior record owners or vendors attempting to sell a VG as NM. Only thing that has worked so far is a PVA peel but for a while I was trying muriatic acid as it's what's recommended for cleaning tile grout. Didn't help the record much, but it did remove the spring from the pump bottle after a few days. #-o
it is usually reported that vinyl records are made from a copolymer of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate, so the assumption is that this copolymer is flexible, and that the record does not require or contain plasticisers.

Muriatic acid is the (very) old name for hydrochloric acid, and therefore of no use whatsoever (except for dissolving some metals and food). You guys across the pond really must drag yourselves from the 19th century, across the 20th into the 21st century. :D

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

Post by ripblade » 26 Apr 2016 19:53

cats squirrel wrote:
ripblade wrote:
cats squirrel wrote:according to those who know, there aren't plasticisers in vinyl records. :?
That's news to me....I was under the impression that plasticisers are what give vinyl records their flexibility.
cats squirrel wrote:would it not be beneficial to the discussion to find out what the 'muck' is on the record, before throwing (just about) any 'stuff' at it?
The toughest stuff I've come across appears to be a scale of soap and lime deposited by the feeble cleaning attempts of prior record owners or vendors attempting to sell a VG as NM. Only thing that has worked so far is a PVA peel but for a while I was trying muriatic acid as it's what's recommended for cleaning tile grout. Didn't help the record much, but it did remove the spring from the pump bottle after a few days. #-o
it is usually reported that vinyl records are made from a copolymer of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate, so the assumption is that this copolymer is flexible, and that the record does not require or contain plasticisers.

Muriatic acid is the (very) old name for hydrochloric acid, and therefore of no use whatsoever (except for dissolving some metals and food). You guys across the pond really must drag yourselves from the 19th century, across the 20th into the 21st century. :D
Some types of PVA are not highly flexible, and PVC is apparently not at all, so I don't know how the polymer gains it, but then I'm no chemist.

Over here muriatic acid is dilute hydrochloric...typically around 15-20% when sold as a grout cleaner. Not nearly as nasty as the pure stuff but nasty nonetheless. :)

vince1
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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by vince1 » 27 Apr 2016 04:23

Interesting discussion. I'd like to add my take: For many surfaces (e.g. glass or stainless steel), ammonia has proven to be a superior solubilizer of oily deposits (like finger prints) and leaves no residue behind. Hence, it is very tempting to apply the reagent to record cleaning. Ammonia is very reactive and potential interactions with vinyl polymers must be considered. A complicating factor is that the actual composition of our records varies, depending on when and where they were made. Generally, vinyl records are composed of PVC polymer either mixed with plasticizers and/or co-polymerized with PVA (more recently) to allow for flexibility. Also present are stabilizers, to keep the polymer from breaking down during heat pressing, exposure to UV light, and other conditions experienced during aging. Fillers, dyes and other additives also are added to the mix. Hence, PVC can actually end up being only a fraction (50-70%) of the composition. So even if PVC may be compatible with ammonia, we must consider how other included components in vinyl records are affected. For example one can solubilize stabilizers, typically metal-stearates (which is what soap scale is composed of by the way) with ammonia. Their removal could render the vinyl matrix less stable as they scavenge acids produced as PVC breaks down (UV light, heat, or pH extremes can initiate this hydrolysis, and it is autocatalytic). In older records that contain phthalate ester based plasticizers, ammonia can cause their hydrolysis, rendering the plasticizer water soluble and more easily extracted (this occurs not only with high pH solutions, but also with acidic solutions, which is why neutral pH solutions are recommended). The point is, vinyl records are quite different from glass or stainless steel surfaces and when one also considers that the vinyl surface is specifically micro-embossed for the purpose of sound reproduction and preservation, I feel we must be very careful when selecting cleaning reagents and select those that retain the unique properties. At the very least, we should avoid anything that reacts with chemicals within the vinyl matrix. This is why preservationists recommend a mild, non-ionic detergent wash followed by distilled water rinse. No ammonia, no solvents, no household cleaners. Vinyl records have been around for many decades and experts have done the research so why take risks?

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by readargos » 27 Apr 2016 21:54

I recently started using Windex with the GEM Dandy pressure spraying system. My initial motivation was to ensure I removed the 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner, after dallying unsuccessfully with that method for the better part of a year. I have continued using Windex because the results are exceptional. It opens up the sound (more holographic) to a greater extent than something like Mobile Fidelity Super Deep Record Cleaner and MoFi or DIY enzymes. The Windex only sits on the record for 30-60 seconds, and is flushed off with the sprayer. Theoretically, there is no Windex left on the record, and it has not been in contact with the vinyl long.

I quickly and lightly towel-dry the GEM Dandied record, then vacuum off the tap water remaining in the grooves.

After reading Logan's methodology earlier in this thread, I then apply a mixture of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 distilled water with a MoFi brush. I let this sit about a minute, occasionally agitating with the brush, then vacuum off. (I apply only light pressure with brush.) This step has removed pops that I thought were pressing defects, particularly on some of the new heavyweight audiophile pressings.

Next is a distilled rinse/vacuum with a dash of 91% isopropyl, followed by a pure distilled rinse/vacuum.

The results are exceptional. Some beat up used classical vinyl has come out well, with reductions in surface noise that are hard to credit.

I have used the MoFi fluids, Nitty Gritty First (the new version), DIY enzymes, the official GEM Dandy fluid, and even wood glue, and none of them yield these results. I do not propose that vinyl should be continually subjected to this process. After doing it once, you can return to using milder fluids like the MoFi should the records need re-cleaning.

I am a newer vinyl enthusiast compared to many on this forum, so I don't have an especially valuable collection. I have many used classical LPs that I don't expect to be reissued, that I bought cheaply, and that I have therefore taken a cavalier approach to cleaning. So far I've not damaged any records, at least as insofar I can tell, and without exception, those I've cleaned sound markedly better, and markedly better than the results previously obtained from using professionally-manufactured conventional cleaning fluids.

Will this cause long-term damage decades from now? I don't know...

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Re: Ever used ammonia as a record cleaning ingredient?

Post by sneaky pete » 27 Dec 2017 15:50

So check it, I lost almost everything from toxic mold and could not and would not let go of my vinyl collection. Ammonia straight out of the bottle is what we used on non-pourous items to salvage them. Furniture and bedding was all thrown away because of the toxic mold spores. I am now on a mission to decontaminate my record collection buying new paper jackets and cleaning off mycotoxins from my records. Reading all of this was quite interesting, I enjoy an adult debate. I'm still on the cliff trying to figure out if I should use ammonia to clean my vinyl because I have to be safe considering my whole family has been poisoned from the mold. Maybe someone could put their two cents in, thank you.