Help me make sense of cleaning fluids!

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
11
38
Calgary, AB
#1
Looking through the accessories on the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs website I see the following cleaning fluids for use with RCMs:

Super Deep Cleaner
Super Record Wash
Plus Enzyme Cleaner

My cleaning regimen is fairly simple and I'd also like to keep the costs down, so which of these three would you recommend I use. And really...what are the differences and could I tell?

1. Spin-Clean to remove surface particles.
2. Nitty Gritty with Super Record Wash for a deeper clean and then a vacuum.

I was using a third step, but I found it not worth the effort, although I'm open to reintroducing it, should you feel it is of importance.

1. Spin Clean to remove surface particles
2. NG with Super Record Wash for a deeper clean
3. Spin-Clean with distilled water for a rinse
4. NG to vacuum dry.

Is using distilled water on its own as a rinse good enough?
 

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
1,806
394
135
Greater Phoenix Area
#2
The Spin-Clean rinse step with fresh water has had huge sonic benefits for me and is part of my permanent routine.

I too am on a RCM fluid search,

My routine was Enzyme (Record Time) fluid and Discwasher brush scrub, then Spin-clean with their fluid and then Spin-Clean again with Fresh water. This for first time clean, after that just water before each play.

I am working on if I want to buy or build a vacuum machine. I like the fact that their is no static out of the Spin-Clean, something Vacuum induces.
 
Last edited:
May 31, 2010
295
4
18
Covington, LA
#3
Looking through the accessories on the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs website I see the following cleaning fluids for use with RCMs:

Super Deep Cleaner
Super Record Wash
Plus Enzyme Cleaner

My cleaning regimen is fairly simple and I'd also like to keep the costs down, so which of these three would you recommend I use. And really...what are the differences and could I tell?

1. Spin-Clean to remove surface particles.
2. Nitty Gritty with Super Record Wash for a deeper clean and then a vacuum.

I was using a third step, but I found it not worth the effort, although I'm open to reintroducing it, should you feel it is of importance.

1. Spin Clean to remove surface particles
2. NG with Super Record Wash for a deeper clean
3. Spin-Clean with distilled water for a rinse
4. NG to vacuum dry.

Is using distilled water on its own as a rinse good enough?


Hi John. I finally settled upon this cleaning concentrate for my VPI 16.5

L'art du Son.jpg

Then distilled water for rinsing. Works great.
 
May 31, 2010
295
4
18
Covington, LA
#4
The Spin-Clean rinse step with fresh water has had huge sonic benefits for me and is part of my permanent routine.

I too am on a RCM fluid search,

My routine was Enzyme (Record Time) fluid and Discwasher brush scrub, then Spin-clean with their fluid and then Spin-Clean again with Fresh water. This for first time clean, after that just water before each play.

I am working on if I want to buy or build a vacuum machine. I like the fact that their is no static out of the Spin-Clean, something Vacuum induces.
I have never experienced static issues with my 16.5. That said, there has never been a need to let the platter spin more than two or three revolutions to completely dry the lp.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
11
38
Calgary, AB
#5
I have never experienced static issues with my 16.5. That said, there has never been a need to let the platter spin more than two or three revolutions to completely dry the lp.
Reducing the number of vacuuming revolutions on an RCM to either 2 or 3 (2 works great on my NG) will solve any issues with static.
 

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
1,806
394
135
Greater Phoenix Area
#6
Hi John. I finally settled upon this cleaning concentrate for my VPI 16.5

View attachment 21511

Then distilled water for rinsing. Works great.
I have considered the L Art but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

What different fluids did you try and why did you settle here?

I think I might try the Record Time fluid straight to distilled rinse and skip the Spin-Clean fluid and see what happens.

Have you tried Record Time fluid?

Thanks
Mike
 

Hi-FiGuy

Member Sponsor
Feb 24, 2015
1,806
394
135
Greater Phoenix Area
#7
Don't you hate it when you have a tremendous interest in something any nobody responds. :eek:

Anybody have any real world experiences with Record Time enzyme cleaner? Are all enzyme cleaners the same?

Just what is everybody using?

Inquiring minds want to know, or at least two of them do! Ok 1 1/2 inquiring minds! :p
 

ACHiPo

Active Member
Feb 22, 2015
58
0
38
Pleasanton, CA
#8
I used to use what is now MoFi record cleaner on my Nitty Gritty. I now use a Spin Clean pre-wash per directions and rinse with 50% NG Pure2/50% RO water. Switched to the Nitty Gritty solution because I couldn't find what I used to use and ordered the Pure 2 before I discovered the solution is now made by MoFi. Happy with the results, but still want to try a Klaudio.
 

Bill Hart

Active Member
May 11, 2012
2,592
1
36
#9
Don't you hate it when you have a tremendous interest in something any nobody responds. :eek:

Anybody have any real world experiences with Record Time enzyme cleaner? Are all enzyme cleaners the same?

Just what is everybody using?

Inquiring minds want to know, or at least two of them do! Ok 1 1/2 inquiring minds! :p
I think it becomes very subjective; for the most part, we don't know what's in the commercial fluids, and don't know (at least I don't) the chemistry of how they interact with various contaminants. So, a lot of the reported results are anecdotal, and since each record is sui generis in its history of contamination (if you are cleaning old, used records) it is difficult to draw meaningful comparisons. Other variables include the type of machine you are using, and how many steps you want to go through (a question of labor and time as well as expense). I think the Record Time fluid was a 'one step' especially suited for the Clearaudio Matrix because the machine's automatic dispensing system made multiple fluid steps more difficult.
My experience: I like the enzyme-type cleaners for old, grotty records; I used the Walker Prelude stuff for years, and switched to AIVS No. 15, which is a mixture of enzyme and other surfactants. It is designed to be applied, agitated, left on, re-agitated, and then removed, followed by a pure water rinse. The manufacturer mandates a rinse step for this stuff, but I do a rinse no matter what fluid I'm using, to remove remaining fluid/contaminant residue.
I've used a variety of fluids, but not 'L'Art du Son' so can't help you on that one. Some fluids tend to foam, so check to see what your machine manufacturer recommends in that respect. I have found that, with the exception of really nasty old records, the fluids seem to matter less on the Monks machine, owing to the effectiveness of its vacuum action. But there are still occasions when I use the AIVS No. 15, which will work great on a basic 'wand style' vacuum machine like the VPI. For less problematic records, I have been using the Hannl concentrate (from Germany) mixed with reagent water. It works well with the Monks. Monk's own fluid is pretty good, but it seems very sticky- again, don't know what's in it. Brooks Berdan's shop re-booted the old Torumat- it's called 'Groovy' fluid or something silly. I have a bottle of that, which seems ok. The Walker stuff is fine, but I got the same results using AIVS No. 15 and lab water in 1/2 the steps. You can buy the lab water (at least in the States) from supply houses at far less cost in bulk than the "audiophile" branded water. My suggestion- try a small container of several fluids and see which one you prefer.
 
May 31, 2010
295
4
18
Covington, LA
#10
I have considered the L Art but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

What different fluids did you try and why did you settle here?

I think I might try the Record Time fluid straight to distilled rinse and skip the Spin-Clean fluid and see what happens.

Have you tried Record Time fluid?

Thanks
Mike
I have not tried that one. I've used the bespoke L'Art du Son and the Mofi wash, the VPI wash, and my own concoction which is supposed to be the same formulation as the VPI wash. the L'Art du Son has shown superior results to the others that I have tried.

Don't you hate it when you have a tremendous interest in something any nobody responds. :eek:

Anybody have any real world experiences with Record Time enzyme cleaner? Are all enzyme cleaners the same?

Just what is everybody using?

Inquiring minds want to know, or at least two of them do! Ok 1 1/2 inquiring minds! :p
Patience grasshopper. I don't live on this board. ;)

I think it becomes very subjective; for the most part, we don't know what's in the commercial fluids, and don't know (at least I don't) the chemistry of how they interact with various contaminants. So, a lot of the reported results are anecdotal, and since each record is sui generis in its history of contamination (if you are cleaning old, used records) it is difficult to draw meaningful comparisons. Other variables include the type of machine you are using, and how many steps you want to go through (a question of labor and time as well as expense). I think the Record Time fluid was a 'one step' especially suited for the Clearaudio Matrix because the machine's automatic dispensing system made multiple fluid steps more difficult.
My experience: I like the enzyme-type cleaners for old, grotty records; I used the Walker Prelude stuff for years, and switched to AIVS No. 15, which is a mixture of enzyme and other surfactants. It is designed to be applied, agitated, left on, re-agitated, and then removed, followed by a pure water rinse. The manufacturer mandates a rinse step for this stuff, but I do a rinse no matter what fluid I'm using, to remove remaining fluid/contaminant residue.
I've used a variety of fluids, but not 'L'Art du Son' so can't help you on that one. Some fluids tend to foam, so check to see what your machine manufacturer recommends in that respect. I have found that, with the exception of really nasty old records, the fluids seem to matter less on the Monks machine, owing to the effectiveness of its vacuum action. But there are still occasions when I use the AIVS No. 15, which will work great on a basic 'wand style' vacuum machine like the VPI. For less problematic records, I have been using the Hannl concentrate (from Germany) mixed with reagent water. It works well with the Monks. Monk's own fluid is pretty good, but it seems very sticky- again, don't know what's in it. Brooks Berdan's shop re-booted the old Torumat- it's called 'Groovy' fluid or something silly. I have a bottle of that, which seems ok. The Walker stuff is fine, but I got the same results using AIVS No. 15 and lab water in 1/2 the steps. You can buy the lab water (at least in the States) from supply houses at far less cost in bulk than the "audiophile" branded water. My suggestion- try a small container of several fluids and see which one you prefer.
Nice post. Well thought out, and I agree with your observations.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
11
38
Calgary, AB
#11
I think it becomes very subjective; for the most part, we don't know what's in the commercial fluids, and don't know (at least I don't) the chemistry of how they interact with various contaminants. So, a lot of the reported results are anecdotal, and since each record is sui generis in its history of contamination (if you are cleaning old, used records) it is difficult to draw meaningful comparisons. Other variables include the type of machine you are using, and how many steps you want to go through (a question of labor and time as well as expense).
This is the answer I was looking for....thanks Bill! I've been happy with the MoFi Super Record Wash and my current cleaning regimen, so I think I'll just stick with it and not worry about it (not that I did). I like using the Spin-Clean first as I still buy used records and I have about 500 LPs that were affected by a flood. I have no idea what contaminants are on those and I figure a good manual brushing with the Spin-Clean would help to get rid of a good portion of grime or whatever. This dual method takes me about 4 minutes per LP, which I can live with.
 

Mosin

[Industry Expert]
Mar 11, 2012
891
1
0
#12
Consider this...

Big money is often paid for records that saw use on cheap all-in-one consoles, record players with stack spindles, non-aligned ceramic cartridges, tonearms with pennies taped to them, etc., etc. So, do we fret too much about the nuances of cleaning? I suspect we do, but speaking for myself, I ain't gonna let the facts stop me. :D
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
11
38
Calgary, AB
#13
Consider this...

Big money is often paid for records that saw use on cheap all-in-one consoles, record players with stack spindles, non-aligned ceramic cartridges, tonearms with pennies taped to them, etc., etc. So, do we fret too much about the nuances of cleaning? I suspect we do, but speaking for myself, I ain't gonna let the facts stop me. :D
Can I ask what your cleaning regimen is?
 

jn229

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2012
108
0
93
Southwestern Ontario
#14
I have been getting good results with an Okki Nokki and the following routine.

First wash: Spin Clean cleaning fluid mixed double strength with two drops of soap.
Second wash: Spin Clean cleaning fluid mixed as directed.
First rinse: Distilled water (steam distilled)
Second rinse: Distilled water.

New inner sleeves
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
7,116
359
235
Northern NY
#15
You will still have some level of static charge on the LP using vacuum cleaners even if you are only doing two to three suck revs. The only way to get a completely free of static LP is via the Audio Deske or KL Audio.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
11
38
Calgary, AB
#16
You will still have some level of static charge on the LP using vacuum cleaners even if you are only doing two to three suck revs. The only way to get a completely free of static LP is via the Audio Deske or KL Audio.
Unfortunately, those are not in my budget. Having said that, I don't really notice any issues with static using my method.
 

jn229

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2012
108
0
93
Southwestern Ontario
#17
A couple of friends use an ionic air purifier about 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" suspended over their tables to eliminate static. It has reduced static from their system and vinyl by half. I have purchased one but have not decided how to install it just yet.
 

Johnny Vinyl

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 16, 2010
8,571
11
38
Calgary, AB
#18
I used to have major problems with static in my Oakville apartment, but now that I'm in Calgary (system is in the basement now) that seems to have diminished. Odd really when you consider it's much drier here.
 

Joe Galbraith

Senior Member/Sponsor
Apr 23, 2010
214
0
0
www.arsetmusica.com
#20
My rcm is the HannL GmbH wand based cleaning machine. I use the Walker Prelude 4 step (enzyme, cleaner, reagent grade water rinse, 2nd rinse), followed by a couple of shots with a Zerostat. Wand based cleaning systems can create a bit of a static charge, eliminated with the Zerostat.
 

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