I think the LeArtDuson (spell check) has been the best that I have used so far.
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Don't know about "best". Home brew 7:1 distilled water:IPA has been working for me. (recommended by others here on A'gon w/the addition of a small amount of surfactant which I omit). I apply with "lintless" makeup remover pads (buy a stack of 50 or 100 in a sleeve from the cosmetic section at the grocery store....very soft). Follow up by vacuuming off with a RCM. The water/IPA solution is in contact with the record surface only 1 min or so before vacuuming. Then clean again with "proprietary" record cleaning fluid (still using KAB's that came with the EV-1 machine)applied via LAST-type brush. Vacuum off again. Finger prints do go away. The IPA - even diluted - is a decent solvent for oils.
Well, looks like four of us are going to give you five different recommendations... With fingerprints, an enzyme cleaning step is very effective because it will get at the oils from the fingerprints. I've used various home brews and various commercial products over the years. The best cleaning fluid system I've used, bar none, is Walker Audio Prelude. The similarly designed Audio Intelligent is also good. Both of these cleaning fluid systems use an enzyme cleaning first step followed by a cleaning fluid, followed by an ultra pure water rinse. Other may also recommend Bugtussel enzyme cleaner.
I agree with Rushton, enzymes are highly effective for breaking down organic compounds like fingerprint oils. Here's a link to Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions, which I find more effective than Buggtussel on more kinds of contamination. It's also easier to use than Prelude (no mixing required) and has a longer shelf life. Works better than anything else I've tried.
Several vinyl audiophiles recommended Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions to me. I can honestly say it the best cleaner Ive ever used in all respects, and really brings out some detail in my LPs that Ive not heard before in my analog system, (Teres 360, Tri-Planar arm, ZYX R-100 cartridge)
Its a three step cleaning system starting with their Enzymatic Formula.
Just to expand on what Dougdeacon and Lak mentioned, if the fingerprints have been on the records for any length of time, the skin oils will etch the surface of the record. This means that even though you have removed the skin oil contaminant from the record a fingerprint-shaped mark will likely remain. This mark may result in a very low level hiss or crackle during playback, or may not be noticeable at all.
Osage Audio Products, LLC
"IPA is a lousy solvent for grease and oils."
Audiofeil - you're kidding right? I have to beg to differ. The topic was cleaning fingerprints off a hard surface, not laundering clothes. IPA is widely used in industry as a solvent for a range of organics and as a degreaser and cleaner (e.g., for optics). One of the concerns using it on LPs (as I'm sure you're aware)is leaching out plasticizers and other additives (hence the 7:1 dilution and comment about limited time on the vinyl surface).
To Rushton, Dougdeacon and others - wasn't claiming dilute IPA is the best but it is certainly cost-effective and as such is an economical first step for removing heavy soiling and conserving more expensive proprietary products. BTW - once I get through the KAB solution I'm using as a 2nd step, I'll begin using the AI products I purchased.
IPA is seldom used for degreasing in industry. It has a very low kauri butanol (KB) value in comparison to aliphatic, aromatic, ketone, ester, chlorinated, and flourinated solvents. I can email a chart of KB values if you wish.
It is used in many record cleaning solutions as a drying agent not a detergent. The surfactant (Surface Active Agent) serves that purpose.
Good luck to you however.
Audiofeil - Let's stay focused on the original statements. My initial response had to do with removing skin oils (fingerprints) from hard surfaces. I work in the chemical industry and have for over 25 years. I'm aware of the difference between an organic solvent and a surface active agent. Google IPA uses. Degreasing is listed along with the other purposes I mentioned. Are there better hydrocarbon solvents? Yup - but IPA has a relatively benign profile compared to things like hexane or dimethylformamide. It gets grease splatter off our glass top cook range, fingerprints off my eyeglasses etc. As a microscopist, alcohol was regularly used to clean immersion oil off lenses. In any case, we can agree to disagree. Use what works for you. [by the way, - what do you like?]and enjoy the music! Peace.
Thought I'd update this thread. I bought the Audio Intelligent three step system with the Archivist as the 2nd step. I also purchased three brushes and three vacuum nozzles for my VPI to keep from cross-contaminating.
So to experiment, I decided to go to work on the worst looking LP in my collection. A US Harvest pressing of Dark Side of the moon that looks like it's been abused to hell and back. Following AI's instructions to the letter, I can honestly say I'm impressed. The level of noise in the groove was reduced to an occasional click and pop (remembering this is a well played and abused 35yr old LP).
I thank everyone for suggestions and think I have found the solutions that works for me. Oh yeah, and it does a great job on fingerprints too.
Samuellaudio: My best answer is conditional; should the CD be smeared with greasy fingerprints most likely , should the CD have non-organic smears most likely from breath vapors to very mild cleaners will do.
LPs are side walled deep gorged affairs that can trap all sorts of junk, CDs flat and shiney ,no gorges here only surface junk.
Personally, I steam clean LPs and rarely CDs ;I find steam superior to the exclusive use of chemicals & RCM's. I have the RCM's , cleaners and steamers so I use them all very sucessfully to cleanse my record/CD collections.
I am taking this thread to acknowledge experiments with patient pending active micros created specifically to devower organic materals on non-organic surfaces including vinyl. The initial results are mind-blowing in terms of surface cleansing.The listening experience is so different on LPs and marketly improved for CDs. As far as I can tell from years of experimentation , no cleaner on the world-wide market does a better job. The product continues in the experimental phase and is not yet available/ released to the public.
Ok,you all are going to think I am nuts but here's how I clean my records. I learned this by cleaning fingerprints off of my telescope mirrors which have silver coatings a few microns thick. I don't use a brush on my mirrors but soft cotton pads instead.
I put 2 drops of a non scented detergent in a quart of distilled water, pour the solution over the LP and scrub with a cleaning brush (use any of your choice). Then I rinse it off in a hot water shower, rinse again with distilled water and air dry in a dish rack.
The LPs look like new and the fingerprints are gone