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Best Fluid for Ultrasonic Record Cleaning?
Best Fluid for Ultrasonic Record Cleaning?
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Old 18th July 2015, 03:42 AM   #1
DougB59 is offline DougB59  United States
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Default Best Fluid for Ultrasonic Record Cleaning?

I've read a lot of posts (here and elsewhere) on ultrasonic record cleaning. People use a variety of formulas for the fluid. Most consist of one or more of the following:

(1) Distilled water. Some use this alone, and I think it is by far the major ingredient in all the formulas.

(2) A surfactant, which I believe breaks the surface tension of the water and aids in cleaning in the record grooves and helping the water flow off the record cleanly without leaving droplets/spots. Kodak Photo-Flo is popular. Some use Jet-Dry or Finish (these are "rinse agents" for use in dishwashers to prevent spots on dishes). I think Jet-dry and Finish are much less expensive and easier to find than Photo-Flo, but in the small amounts needed, cost isn't a big factor.

(3) Alcohol (often 91% Isopropyl alcohol).

(4) Sometimes an additional detergent (which, I think also serves as a surfactant). Some use dishwashing liquid. One recommended Fisher Versa-Clear (a "lab grade detergent specially formulated for plastics"). I think these are particularly helpful in removing oily/greasy residue (such as fingerprints). The downside is that they may leave a residue unless rinsed off. This may depend on the concentration and/or type of detergent used.

Some rinse in distilled water after cleaning - others don't.

So, what formula do you use, and why?

Do you rinse after cleaning with this?

How do you dry your records after cleaning? (Air dry, microfiber towel, spin the record with an electric drill, compressed air, hair dryer, or what?).


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Old 20th July 2015, 02:38 AM   #2
esls is offline esls
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Join Date: Nov 2014
I'm the Versa-Clean villain.

Yes, it leaves a mighty residue unless washed off. I rinse 4 times, the last with distilled water, and let the records air-dry in a dishrack, in a moderately dust-free room. Most of my audiophile friends are amazed at the results, especially on their own records.
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Old 5th December 2016, 10:45 PM   #3
jalls is offline jalls
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Join Date: Nov 2016
I just tried distilled water, 91% alcohol, a drop of liquid soap and iSonic® Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution Concentrate that you could easily find in Bed Bath & beyond a less then $10. Is the first time I try ultrasound so not much to share other then that using this formula, and after 25 or so records the water ended turbid and with lots of residues at the bottom. I was wondering if they were vinyl parts... but they do not look like.

3% of volume was alcohol, iSonic as directed, 35 Degrees celcius (about 105 F)
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