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Record cleaning- you're doing it wrong!

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by guest110, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    I'm using the following formula for cleaning by gentle scrubbing followed by a hand vac:

    HepaStat 256 1.00 ml
    Triton X-100 1.40 ml
    IPA 91% 25.00 ml
    DH20 472.60 ml
    TOTAL 500.00 ml

    I follow with two DH2O rinse/scrub/vac cycles. I read in this forum that some are adding 3% ethyl alcohol to the second rinse. My question is 'wouldn't that wash away some of the desirable molecular residue?
    I asked this about a year ago; but don't believe I ever got an answer.
     

     

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  2. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    NJ, USA
  3. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    I don't think the answer is clear since it hasn't been studied to my knowledge. At this low concentration, perhaps the interaction of the alcohol with water is stronger than that with the quat and the interaction of the quat with the record is not disrupted. This assumes no other ions (like salts) in the mixture, which would change everything since water would rather hold hands with the salt ion then the alcohol (this is how one can separate phases). It's a good question. I believe folks add the alcohol to better disperse the rinse solution (lower surface tension) and perhaps aid in drying. I don't know how this effects the bound quat under dilute conditions, but I use just dH2O since I, like you, rinse using a vacuum (VPI RCM in my case) which leaves the surface fairly dry.
    EDIT: That said, you can strip the surfactant off a record surface with 95% IPA. You can test this as the surfactant surface will normally hold water and the stripped surface will not. This is why some of us also worry about endogenous lubricants. One study on cleaning artifacts (previously referenced in this thread) shows the threshold is above 50% alcohol before extraction takes place. The ability to hold molecular water is what gives quats their antistatic property so stripping them defeats the purpose of their inclusion in wash solutions. I suppose it would be pretty easy to test what effect 3% IPA has on this. Consider though, that the quat bound to the record in a solution that contained 5-15% IPA (in many recipes) to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    2channel* likes this.
  4. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Thanks so much for your cogent explanation. For some reason, the snippet I read referred to Ethyl alcohol as being preferred over IPA; but based on your illumination and the fact that things are working well as they are, it's probably safer for me to just drink the stuff. Once again, I am in your debt.
     
  5. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    Sorry, I missed that you originally stated ethyl alcohol, not isopropyl. By and large they are interchangeable, but the ethanol would be preferred since it is less hydrophobic (smaller side chain) and therefore less likely to compete with quat binding.
     
    2channel* likes this.
  6. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    So what are you really saying?
     

     

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  7. ETLS

    ETLS metacarpophalangealcranium Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,167
    Location:
    Texas
    I think he is saying that a 40 kHz machine's cavitation bubble is small enough to fit in a record groove.
     
  8. periclimenes

    periclimenes AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I am saying that the graph suggests that an entire 40 kHz bubble can fit into the width of a record groove. The graph indicates a *radius* of 8 microns, but I thought it would be more useful to think of the diameter across the entire bubble, which would be 2*radius = 16 microns.
     
    Thunderbox likes this.
  9. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Would that go for the original wash formula as well, or is the objective different?
     
  10. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    My opinion has always been that ethanol is better than isopropanol in the cleaning solution. The issue is that few people have access to 99%+ so they use vodka or something that has contaminants so 99% isopropanol is a better substitute. I suspect commercial solutions typically contain isopropanol in place of ethanol so that they do not require special labelling (or maybe even taxation)?
     
  11. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Would 95% 'denatured lab grade' be OK?
     

     

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  12. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    Denatured is just OK. The lab grade contains methanol and/or IPA (and sometimes other nasties like acetone or MEK) to make it undrinkable, un-purifiable via distillation, and hence un-taxed. It would be better to find a regent or HPLC grade where at least the extra 5% is just water. It's not that the added denaturants are necessarily harmful to records at the concentrations employed, it just that the producer doesn't always disclose what exactly they are. If they are just methanol or isopropanol, then it isn't anything to worry about. If it is some denatonium salt, then I'm not so sure I want to experiment with it. That said, I'm not necessarily the right person to comment as I'm tainted by my frustration of an archaic and stupid system of taxation that results in people getting poisoned.
     
    John James and ETLS like this.
  13. periclimenes

    periclimenes AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Flinn Scientific
    Flinn Scientific denatures the ethanol with isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, and methyl isobutyl ketone. Any thougths on the last one?
     
  14. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    Like MEK, it is rated as incompatible or having a "severe effect" on PVC polymers (e.g. https://www.calpaclab.com/pvc-polyvinyl-chloride-chemical-compatibility-chart/ --compare to methanol which has "excellent" compatibility) so it isn't something we want to expose our records to. That said, it is present at less than 5% in the alcohol and then diluted 5 to 10-fold in the wash solution so maybe not a big deal, but my opinion is...why chance it?
     
  15. periclimenes

    periclimenes AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Thanks for the perspective. It's at 1% in the ethanol, which I'm diluting to 5%, but I guess I'll switch to IPA. And here I thought I was being all fancy by using the Flinn stuff!
     
  16. phantomrebel

    phantomrebel Serial Tapist Subscriber

    You could always drive down to Baja, pick up a gallon of 95% ethanol free of denaturants for $12, fill a canteen, and drive it back across the border!
     

     

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  17. ETLS

    ETLS metacarpophalangealcranium Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,167
    Location:
    Texas
    A spirited drive at that!
     
  18. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Somehow I missed that thanks. Yes with a groove width of .001 inches minimum a 16 micron bubble will get into a groove easily as they are .00063". Even at the bottom of the groove which is .00025" when the bubbles burst they will clean there as well. But no stylus gets close to the bottom of the groove. There is also more energy in a 40 Khz bubble so I would think the 40 Khz machines are probably the most economical and best for record cleaning.
     

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