YouTube Features

Vinyl Cleaning, Surfactant Tests!

Paul Rigby tests four different varieties to find his recommended product

For this vinyl cleaning test, they include the liquid supplied by Kirmuss for use with its ultrasonic machine…

An external application of the popular Audio Desk Pro liquid…

The wetting agent from Ilford, called Ilfotol…

And the substance often used on the vinyl preservation industry, Tergitol…

To see the video, click the image below:

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    S
    9th February 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Hi,

    Did you invetigate and manage to resove the issue raised by Mr K on the Record Cleaning Forum Video (AP) about Tergitol being potentially damaging to vinyl and cleaners? PS I bought Tregikleen through Amazon.com and thought the results excelent but different from a full clean with the KA cleaner.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th February 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Hi S – bottom line? I disagree. But then I disagree with several points made by Kirmuss re. vinyl cleaning.

  • Reply
    James Thurston
    10th February 2020 at 5:52 am

    Are you familiar with MastersounD, Unison Research? I am considering a Class A SE amp. Small listening space, low to moderate levels, playing jazz to funk on vinyl or cd. My speakers are bookshelves/stands an efficient pair of Omega SAM’s and a pair of Audel Magika MK2’s that I go back and forth with. Do you have any experience with or have you reviewed these companies products before?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th February 2020 at 6:26 pm

      Hi James – I haven’t done formal reviews but yes, I’m familiar with the brands. What budget do you have for this?

  • Reply
    Rui Resende
    16th February 2020 at 11:48 pm

    Hi, I own an Audio Desk Pro and use the cleaning fluid as recommended. Your video about surfactants took me to raise the question if you consider the possibility of using Ilfotol instead/or in conjunction with Audio Desk Cleaning Fluid on the normal cleaning process of this machine.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      17th February 2020 at 10:08 am

      Hi Rui – for my Audio Desk, I currently use Tergitol (I did previously use Ilfotol which I moved to from the Audio Desk liquid). So I’ve seen several upgrades over the past few months!IN the Audio Desk bath, I use distilled water and 7% alcohol. Hang on in there and I’ll be creating a vinyl cleaning video which will explain all – although you can get a rough idea from my Alcohol video on my YouTube channel.

  • Reply
    Mike
    13th March 2020 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Have you ever had any experience with L’art Du Son?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      14th March 2020 at 3:22 pm

      Yes Mike – used to be my ‘go to’ cleaning liquid for many years but no longer, I’m afraid. I’ve moved on. If you’re looking to use it, it remains a good cleaning liquid though.

      • Reply
        Richard Pike
        29th March 2020 at 3:23 pm

        Paul,
        You have mentioned you were going to do some videos on the best methods of cleaning records and the best solutions to use for the various methods. Are these coming out soon as I am holding off buying any cleaning solution until I see your advice!

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          30th March 2020 at 9:35 am

          If you need specific help now Richard, we can talk about that Not a problem.

  • Reply
    Richard Pike
    30th March 2020 at 10:16 am

    Thanks Paul. I have a Knosti Disco- Antistat and have been using Art Du Son rather than the Knosti liquid. The results are mixed so I was keen to try something else now I have finished the bottle of the Art du Son. On the strength of your video I have just bought some Ilfotol and use an atomiser to soak the record before immersing it into the Knosti. I have only just started using it but I can’t really tell the difference and I think this is probably due to the Art du Son/Knosti part of the process. I still get static and the clean isn’t always particularly good. Would you recommend another product or a home made product to use in the Knosti?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      30th March 2020 at 1:27 pm

      I’m looking to do research on this and have yet to come to any conclusions so these thoughts may very well change, Richard. So far I’m looking at applying a surfactant to the vinyl – you’ve grabbed Ilfotol so that’s fine – then putting the vinyl into the Knosti bath filled with distilled water mixed with 7% Isopropyl alcohol. Incidentally, I like to mix Ilfotol with Glycol (see my Kirmuss review for more details on Glycol). The latter keeps the Ilfotol in place during cleaning (it does nothing else), preventing gravity pulling the Ilfotol off the grooves because the vinyl is vertical in the Knosti. The alcohol melts the Glycol during the clean.
      During cleaning, the alcohol removes any greasy substances in the groove but the main cleaner of larger mucky bits are the Knosti brushes which provide a gentle attrition (so rotate your discs clockwise for a while and then anti-clockwise for a while). This is why the Knosti is superior to the Spin Clean which provides pads only, less effective than the brushes.
      I’ve also been looking at buying a second Knosti to act purely as a ‘rinse’. So, after cleaning, you then put the vinyl into the rinse bath with no surfactant added. Just 7% alcohol and distilled water. Then do your clockwise/anti-clockwise rotations again to remove any dregs. Problem is that your stylus is not intelligent. It will play anything in the groove so if there are remnants of cleaning solution in the groove, it will play that too, dulling musical detail.
      This is all work in progress, Richard which need thorough testing but that’s where I’m at so far 🙂

  • Reply
    Richard Pike
    30th March 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Paul, Many thanks for such an informative reply, much appreciated. I have just purchased some Isopropyl alcohol from ebay and will make a batch of 7% strength with distilled water and see how it goes. I will use the ilfotol beforehand as suggested..
    I currently use a plant sprayer with distilled water to clean off the cleaning solution which I will continue to do but will add some Isopropyl alcohol this time. A second Knosti is a good idea! I will keep an eye out for any updates from you.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      30th March 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Richard – when applying liquid to vinyl I would recommend a pipette for more accurate application. Firstly, to avoid wetting the record label but also because sprays have a kick-back which bounces off the vinyl, then you breath it in. On health grounds alone I’d use a pipette.

      Draw the surfactant on the vinyl surface as 4 lines, with the pipette, from the run-out groove to the outside. At the 12 o’clock, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions so you end up with a cross shape of lines on the vinyl. Use a lady’s Kabuki make-up brush to spread it around the vinyl then work it into the grooves clockwise and anticlockwise in a spiral fashion. When you’re working it in, move your fingers to the edge of the bristles on the brush to stiffen them. It’s more effective that way and forces the liquid deeper into the grooves and prevents accidentally missing spots on the vinyl surface.

  • Reply
    Richard Pike
    30th March 2020 at 4:49 pm

    That’s very useful advice, thanks Paul. I will certainly give that a try…. now I just need to surruptitiously acquire a make up brush from my better half!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      31st March 2020 at 11:59 am

      Hehe – good luck Richard 🙂

  • Reply
    Joe
    22nd April 2020 at 3:51 am

    Hi Paul, I’m waiting for your further reviews on cleaning vinyl. I’m using a Loricraft PRC-4 and using the Pure Vinyl record soap, actually I have very little left and a full bottle of concentrated L’art Da Son that came with my Loricraft. I checked online at the Tergikleen is $50 CDN plus shipping and most likely duties of 13% and the IlfoTol is $23.50 CDN plus taxes from a Canadian photo site. So I will decide shortly which to go with but the IlfoTol will take less than a week to get. I usually clean my new vinyl after I open it and store in MoFi like record inner sleeves. Question: How so should I use the diluted surfactant when using my Loricraft? Do I apply the surfactant on the record surface (spray bottle on) then use the brush, leave it on or do I remove it before applying the cleaner? Once I remove the cleaner I apply distilled water and remove it as well? Should I reapply the surfactant instead of just the distilled water and dry Sorry, I’m a bit confused as I don’t use an Ultrasonic cleaner.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      23rd April 2020 at 9:15 am

      Hi Joe – sorry for the delay. I’m still looking to do tests on a RCM like the Loricraft so my advice is rather sketchy right now. What I have here, so far – and it is very early stages – is to use more attrition in vinyl cleaning. Gently applied of course but still… To do that, I’m looking at a pre-clean using the fine brushes of a Disco antistat. That will apply the scrubbing action needed and one that any RCM doesn’t offer. RCMs only focus on spreading liquid over the grooves and then hoovering it all up again. Nothing more than that. Hence, I’m looking at a 7% alcohol/distilled water combo in the Disco’s bath, surfactant applied to the LP before it’s inserted into the Disco, clockwise and anticlockwise rotations in there. That’s one cycle. I’d be looking at 5 cycles in total but it’s really up to you and your patience 🙂 That supplies the attrition. Then use the RCM as a hoover, nothing more than that.
      As I say, I need to do more tests but that’s what I have so far.

  • Reply
    Joel
    19th July 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Paul, the video is down. What did you conclude? Also, a test between a basin-type cleaner (Knosti or Spin-Clean) with a vacuum dry vs. a straight RCM with vac dry would be enlightening, to say the least. I’m very curious to learn if the scrubbing action of a Spin/Knosti is superior to the spreading fluid-type cleaning on an RCM. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      20th July 2020 at 10:41 am

      Hi Joel – and longer than I anticipated. Apologies. I wanted to update it but other things got in the way. It will be updated and re-loaded along with a text version. I’m adding a new surfactant that took a long time to get to me.

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