Type of alcohol for cleaning records

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Type of alcohol for cleaning records

Postby Christine » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:11 pm

I apologise if this has been discussed before, but a search didn't answer my question.

Before recording, I always clean the record with 90% denatured alcohol by wetting a tissue and rubbing it over the record along the grooves (so as not to go against the "grain").

lately I have been reading about what type of alcohol to use: isopropyl or ethyl. I gather that "denatured" alcohol is the latter category. I see very divergent accounts of which type damages records. One webpage will say isopropyl will cause microfissures in the vinyl while another webpage will have half a dozen recipes containing isopropyl alcohol.

It seems to me the first rule of vinyl recording is "do no harm", since most of these records are not easy to replace. So can someone shed some light on this?

Regards, Christine
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Postby Christine » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:13 pm

Ah, never mind... I see that the "old, worn vinyl" topic discusses this somewhat.

Sorry.

Regards, Christine
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Re: Type of alcohol for cleaning records

Postby adaywayne » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:40 pm

Christine wrote:I apologise if this has been discussed before, but a search didn't answer my question.

Before recording, I always clean the record with 90% denatured alcohol by wetting a tissue and rubbing it over the record along the grooves (so as not to go against the "grain").

lately I have been reading about what type of alcohol to use: isopropyl or ethyl. I gather that "denatured" alcohol is the latter category. I see very divergent accounts of which type damages records. One webpage will say isopropyl will cause microfissures in the vinyl while another webpage will have half a dozen recipes containing isopropyl alcohol.

It seems to me the first rule of vinyl recording is "do no harm", since most of these records are not easy to replace. So can someone shed some light on this?

Regards, Christine

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stay away from that Devil alcohol, Christine. Plain distilled water (or with a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent in a pint of water) are all you need. Use a velvet cleaning brush "against the grain of the velvet." If you use just a little detergent, there is no need to rinse since the detergent acts a an effective anti-static agent. And yes, wipe parallel to the grooves.
Arnie
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Postby citguy » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:39 pm

Hi Christine. Can't help you with the science but based on a web site recommendation I found, I use 50/50 isopropyl and distilled water with a 'drop' of liquid dishwashing soap. Isopropyl alcohol is 70 % alcohol so 30 percent of it is water. So a 50/50 mixture is actually 35 % pure alcohol. I use 'discwasher' (wooden with micro fiber cleaners) scrubbers that I find in good condition at thrift stores. I suspect 'micro fiber' cloths would make good cleaning material. I have seen all kinds of recommendations on various forums but not much consensus.
Stan
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Postby Glenn » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:07 pm

Hi all,
There is some consensus on the use of secondary alcohol ethoxylate - better known as Tergitol, a surfactant used in the production of various cleaners. Both the US Library of Congress and the National Library of Canada recommend its use for cleaning records. Though the formulations differ slighly, Tergitol is recommended because it has no known adverse effects.
You can read up on it here:

http://www.loc.gov/preserv/care/record.html

and here:

http://cool-palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/st-laurent/care.html

Both links are very informative and well worth the visit.
By the way, common alcohol of any kind is definitely not recommended for 78rpm records, as it will permanently damage them.

Glenn
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