There are people with a business interest in jumping all over some of what I'm about to say, so keep
that in mind when they jump. I have no business interest in giving you my 2 cents.
1. you may not be able to afford a vacuum cleaning record washing system now, but this should be
2. no matter what fluid you use, you will get better results with a vacuum system that removes fluid
and brush-lifted dirt from the grooves.
3. what fluid you use, as long as it is not harmful to the vinyl, is less important than points 1
4. the brush you use, and how you use it, is as important as the vacuum system, because the brush is
what will either clean or damage your record grooves. Whatever cleaning system you use, study very
carefully how to use it, follow instructions and use common sense.
5. now we're all the way down to point #5 and we'll discuss cleaning fluids. You want to use
something that will lubricate the brush action so the brush and dirt it loosens won't scratch or
gouge your records. You also want something with a soaping action to aid in lifting dirt out of the
grooves. And you want something that is completely removed (ie no residue) when it's vacuumed or
carefully cloth-cleaned off the record surface. I would say any dish soap except maybe unscented
Ivory will have oils that won't rinse or vacuum out. I don't know this for a fact and I'd like to
see science from anyone stating for a fact whether they do or don't leave oil or other residues.
Claims by people selling one fluid or another should be backed by science (ie if you say "our
research showed... " please provide proof such as groove-level microscope images or the like). I
would guess you want to use distilled or RO water, free from gritty minerals and the like. I'm not
convinced (but microscope images could convince me) that the grit is really that terrible in the
tiny concentrations of "untreated" water, but distilled or RO water is cheap so why not use it?
6. washing a $1 used record with Dawn under the tap is probably just fine. Washing a $50 new-issue
2x45RPM album that way is probably dumb.
7. make sure to get a half-decent stylus cleaner (the Stanton-branded brush and fluid seems to work
just fine here) and use it regularly. I've also had good luck with that Japanese silicon-resin thing
that you rest the stylus on for a few seconds. Despite some doomsday claims I've seen on the net,
hundreds of uses have not loosened any stylii or damaged any cantelevers here. I do question the
build quality of super-delicate equipment that could be damaged by that tiny amount of stiction,
considering the forces on a stylus tracking at 1.5 grams in an LP groove.
8. take care of your records now, while you have the $500 system. One day you might have the $5000
or $50,000 system and won't want to go and re-buy the records. Vinyl columnist Mike Fremer has made
a convincing case that proper care of your records allows for dozens if not hundreds of plays with
minimal buildup of ticks and pops. This assumes also proper stylus care and a history of
light-tracking and properly-aligned cartridges.
9. for what it's worth, I've long owned a VPI HW-17 brush/vacuum system and have enjoyed good
surface wear and successful cleanup/playback of used records I buy. I use the standard VPI fluid,
which seems to be made of a Photoflo type soaping agent and a few other chemicals. I buy the
concentrate and dillute with a gallon of standard distilled water from the drug store. You can get
much more fancy than that as far as cleaning fluids. I haven't messed with DIY fluids because the
VPI concentrate isn't that expensive given the numbers of platters that a gallon cleans. I do
sometimes pre-wash really nasty platters with distilled water. The lower-priced VPI system includes
the vacuum but the application of fluid and brushing of the record is manually done by the user.
Finally, LP records are somewhat fragile, and it's important to keep the grooves as clean as
possible, as well as keeping crud off the stylus.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Whiteman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:25 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The guy who cleans his 78s with spit.
> Not to open a can of worms, but I recently started a small LP collection
> and I have been researching on the internet for the best way to clean LPs.
> I've seen so many different methods and opinions on cleaning them that I am
> unsure what method is best. Is there any sort of consensus that Tergitol
> 15-s-7 is the best way to clean LPs? If so, are there vendors who will
> sell it to someone without a business license? I've seen some people use
> original Dawn as a surfactant. If someone uses a vacuum system, would using
> Dawn be an issue since the vacuum should suck up all of the liquid and not
> leave residue?
> Mr. Goldman mentioned mould-release compounds. Will Tergitol or Dawn
> remove these? If I play a new LP without wet cleaning it first with some
> kind of surfactant, will it damage the stylus or permanently affect the
> LP's sound quality? FWIW, I'm running a budget setup (meaning less than
> $500). Any advice would be appreciated.
> On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 11:26 AM, Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Enzymes are proteins.
>> On Jun 24, 2014, at 2:28 AM, Don Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> > I thought the main digestive enzymes in saliva were amylases, for
>> > digesting starch (and other polysccharides ?) rather than proteins.
>> > Regards
>> > --
>> > Don Cox
>> > [log in to unmask]