The benefit of a Keith Monks RCM is that it uses minimal contact as it removes the fluid and contaminants. The thread is used to maintain a gap between the suction head and the grooves - the thread doesn't actually clean the grooves.  The thread spool is on a slow continuous gear motor, so new clean thread is continuously in contact with the disc surface. The thread is fine, synthetic, and lintless.

I mention all this because it might be conceivably possible to achieve similar results to the Keith Monks with a manual method, but efficiency, proficiency, and consistency would all be challenges with any manual technique. For example, removing excess fluid without leaving any dust or lint behind would be a challenge without using a vacuum of some kind. If a cloth is involved, discipline and careful technique would be needed to dry the disc with anything but clean, dust-free and lint-free cloth.

For any volume work, manual techniques may not be practical. Again, automated cleaning tends to be far more consistent.

After testing a variety of archival cleaning solutions and recommended formulations, we've chosen to use Disc Doctor cleaning solution AND cleaning brushes.  The Disc Doctor brushes, in our experience, outperform the vaunted Keith Monks brush when proper technique is used.

To remove palmitic and stearic acid deposits from electric transcription discs, we modify the Disc Doctor solution slightly for more efficient cleaning (resulting in less mechanical scrubbing and shorter fluid contact times) based on much research on our side. If you search my past ARSC list postings, you'll find all the details (ca 2005).

~ Eric Jacobs

The Audio Archive
mailto:[log in to unmask]

On Jan 16, 2016, at 10:42 AM, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Surely you're not suggesting that any manual drying with any kind of cloth or brush is as thorough as a thread connected to a powerful vacuum that lifts the cleaning fluid residue and whatever else remains at the bottom of a groove out and removes it completely. 


Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 16, 2016, at 1:19 PM, H D Goldman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Frank,
> I’d suggest that the first the evaluation of a cleaning approach is thru listening before & then again after the cleaned disc has been played several times.  The safety of the chemicals involved can be evaluated readily from their known chemical properties & simple testing.  Further validation comes from long term study of treated surfaces under environmental challenge.  Ultimately it comes down to the perceived value of the cleaning itself. 
> Finally you run larger studies of the approach involving varied substrates & end user methods.
> Electron micrographs & vibrational correlations are a wonderful idea but they won’t change the real-time data that has already been accumulated by tens of thousands of users over 25+ years.
> Regards,
> Duane Goldman
> H D Goldman Lagniappe Chemicals Ltd. 
> PO Box 37066 St. Louis, MO 63141 USA
> v/f 314 205 1388  [log in to unmask]
> n Jan 16, 2016, at 11:20 AM, Frank Strauss <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I have viewed this subject on the ARSCLIST several times over the past
>> ​ ​
>> several​ years, often with a fair bit of
>> ​flame​
>> attached​​​, and I think Tom is right.  Someone needs to study the effects
>> of different cleaning regimens
>> ​scentifically.  Anybody can say their system is the best, but until
>> someone actually examines the whole groove before and after cleaning, there
>> is no way of knowing for sure.  How to examine the whole groove before and
>> after cleaning is a grand question.  Can you do it with an optical device?
>>>> Date:    Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:16:30 -0500
>>>> From:    Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Subject: Re: Cleaning stylus
>>>> Hi Steve:
>>>> Could you cite the presentation, preferably a link to the conference
>>> page? I would like to study
>>>> that presentation, see what their methodology was. LOC has resources
>>> where we may have the
>>>> microscope photos and the like. I also hope they addressed the issues of
>>> every day cleaning of
>>>> regular records, not just fragile problem cases.
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Steve Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2016 9:59 PM
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Cleaning stylus
>>>> The results of the Library of Congress' rigorous testing of record
>>> cleaning products were presented
>>>> by them at a recent ARSC Conference- last year of that of the previous
>>> one.
>>>> Though not named, the product that best the others, and by a
>>> considerable margin, was Disc Doctor.
>>>> There are legal reasons such Government testing does not identify
>>> products going back to NSIT's
>>>> earlier days.  The presentation was made in such way, however, that it
>>> was murkily clear that Disc
>>>> Doctor prevailed, and this was confirmed to me privately elsewhere.
>>>> Steven Smolian
>> -- 
>> Frank B Strauss, DMD