Finding ultra-pure water locally...

I've been reading up on record cleaning, and there seems to be something of a consensus that rinsing with ultra pure water / lab-grade water / triple distilled water (I'm assuming these are just different names for essentially the same thing?) helps. Where does one buy such water locally? I would imagine paying postage to ship 10 lbs of water would be rather high. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tks!

If I were you I would investigate a reverse osmosis system for your home from a local vendor that installs on demand RO systems for drinking water. You could have a tap installed straight off the unit so the water is not traveling through household plumbing. I know that lab grade RO systems provide water that is much, much, better than any water that can be produced by distillation. I assume the home units are pretty good too. Purified water, once its dechlorinated, can go septic pretty quickly, so you want a system that produces it as you need it.
To my knowledge the purest water (h2o, nothing else) is from a reverse osmosis filter. Aquarium stores sell it as it is used to top off salt water / reef tanks as water evaporates, but adds no minerals, chemicals, or anything else that may hurt the tank. They call it RO water, and in my area I pay about 50 cents per gallon.

Regards, Alex
Any Pharmacy will likely have distilled and often including deionised water too and usually pretty cheap. I can get 4 L = 1 gallon worth for $2.00.
Not an expert here but wouldn't boiling water then running it thru a charcoal filter work?
I have heard automotive stores carry it, although I have not checked myself.
*Reverse osmosis water filtration system
- easy to install
- cheap in a long run
- DRINK AND SAVE - not only money.
Ultrapure/lab grade/triple distilled/reverse osmosis water are NOT the same thing.

For example, while reverse osmosis is effective in removing a wide range of impurities including ions and distillation is another technique to head water in the right direction, ultrapure water (also known as Reagent Grade water) will typically involve 6 other processes including, softening, activated carbon filtration, micro/ultrafiltration, ultraviolet radiation, and deionization all done in a certain order to achieve "ultrapure" status.

Ultrapure is a step above Pure/Analytical Grade water and two steps above Pure/Lab Grade water. In my experience, Ultrapure is great for cleaning records.
You can buy a jug of distilled water at any reasonably stocked drug store.
WOW !!!!
HDM, any idea about difference between 9800-1 and 9800-5 grades of Reagent grade water?

I looked on the web and there are several companies that sell this.
Hi Albert: I just did a quick web search, coming up with Nerl Diagnostics Reagent grade with those numbers on the Nerl website without pricing and another website offering the Nerl water for sale with pricing.

If I'm not mistaken and reading the priced website properly there is no difference between the -1 and the -5; those numbers appear to be product numbers specifying the amount of water and number of containers (ie. 4 x 32 oz bottles vs 1 x 1 gallon or 5 gallon for example) but the reagent grade water appears to be the same whether -1, -3 or -5.

That being said, the Nerl site appears to show three grades of water with High Purity appearing to be the lowest, the Reagent Grade next and the "best" being described as "Safe and Sure Ultrapure Water". Unfortunately I could not find any pricing on the Nerl website or any other website that offered the "Safe and Sure". So that might warrant a bit more investigation and if the price was not outrageously more than the Nerl Reagent Grade (I would expect that it probably wouldn't be, at least in audiophile terms!), might be the one to go for.


You'll find everything you need to know (and LOTS more) on this thread: Finding Pure Water for Record Cleaning posted by user Justin_time. It is one of the great gems of this site, and a true magnum opus!

Thanks again, Justin_time, for a great piece of work (and I don't even "do" vinyl).

Makes sense, the ad I found list 4 gallons in a case and a price of $105.95. and I can't figure if that gets all four gallons.

If it turns out to be $423.80 plus shipping for four gallons I will be forced to pass. I'm going to call tomorrow and ask for clarification.

FYI, The text says:
Our Price $105.95
Size 1 gallon
Qty/CS 4
Unit Case of 4

I appreciate your input and clarification. Also hope this ultrapure grade of water does not turn out to be $105.95 a gallon.
Sonically, there is a major difference between using "Ultra-Pure" water and R/O and distilled water.
I did a comparison between rinsing an LP using Ultra-Pure water vs. tripled filtered water that was then distilled 8 times.
The rinse was done on a record that had been first cleaned with a 3 step process using Record Research Cleaners followed by a 4 step Audio Intelligent process all done on a Loricraft RCM.
I took water that was triple filtered (ceramic/charcoal) and then re-distilled 8 times (each time the water was charcoaled filtered except the final & 8th time so as not to allow any charcoal particulates to enter the water).
I used my filtered/distilled water as a rinse (3 times) and then played the record. I then re-rinsed the record with the Ultra-Pure Water, listened again and there was quite stunned by how much better the Lp sounded (more detail , extended highs, and blacker backgrounds).
The Ultra-Pure rinse was audibly far better than my supposed very pure water.
“Ultra-Pure Water” is far different than R/O or distilled and easily worth the trouble and expense to obtain.
Yuo may be able to buy reverse osmosis water from an aquarium shop. The one I use for my fish tanks sells RO water for $0.25/gallon.
I believe John adams sunnyvale is asking about a product that has undergone an extremely more rigorous purification process than either RO or distilled water commonly available for sale in grocery stores. The ultrapure water is likely used in special laboratory processes. John, you might consider determining the uses for the ultrapure water, then contacting local area firms who do that type of work to determine their source. If you are simply looking for a gallon of the stuff to try, maybe one of the firms would sell you a gallon. If you are looking for a long-term source, maybe if you find out what supplier the local firms use, you could set up your own account with that supplier and they could drop off an occasional shipment to your residence or workplace since they already deliver in the area. Or, you could see what Albert comes up with and order from the source he uncovered. Let us know how it works for you.
I own an aquarium shop in Michigan. We use RO water in our reef tanks. I also use the water as a rinse on my VPI record cleaner. It works very well. I don't know anything about ultra-pure water, but I find it difficult to believe that it can be significantly superior to RO-DI water in purity. I regularly check our RO filter with a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter. Our water fluctuates between 0-4 mineral PPM... I don't think that anything purer will make a significant difference for record cleaning applications. Laboratory applications? I wouldn't know...

Our shop sells RO water, 39 cents per gallon... We don't ship the stuff.


Ivan, near St. Joseph, MI?

I am afraid not. I live in Ann Arbor.


Another great reason not to own vinyl. I just spit on my CDs and wipe them on my T-shirt. -:)
Ivan. Thanx anyways.

Go Spartans.
I just spoke to, they confirmed that the web site offer of a four gallon case of Reagent grade type 1 water (the best lab grade) is $105.95.

Free shipping during this sale, meaning it's delivered to your door for $26.48 per gallon.

I have enough coming to share with friends and at that price it's worth knowing the end results are the best it can be for all the labor and time it takes to clean an LP correctly.
The Pure Water thread referenced above recommends some products at Whole Foods. I don't have a WF store in my local area, but when I was in DC recently I went to a Whole Foods and bought a couple bottles of some type of higher-than-normal-purity water. At the time, I couldn't recall the details from the Pure Water thread, and it turned out that what I bought was not the specific brand Justin_Time recommended. Nevertheless, records that I have cleaned and then rinsed with that water have sounded distinctly better than records rinsed with ordinary grocery store distilled water. Much quieter, and no crackling noise that often develops after a few playings following a distilled water rinse. The crackling issue is explained quite thoroughly by Justin_Time in another thread.

As far as I am concerned, Justin_Time is THE MAN when it comes to water quality issues.

I know my comments don't directly address the question of where to buy ultra-pure water. But I did want to throw in my 2 cents on the whole issue of ultra-pure vs. distilled water. Going to extreme lengths on water quality really does make a difference.
Give a call to your local kidney dialysis center.They use the purist form of water for their patients.I just got two gallons and they didn't even charge me so I donated 10.00 Works for me.
John, go to , then "Product Information." Scroll down to their Ultra-Pure water. For $18 they'll quickly ship you a 32oz. container of lab grade water which will be perfect as a final wash when cleaning vinyl.
Tks everyone for the informative responses. This is obviously a more complex subject than I had originally imagined. But I now have some great leads to get me started. Much appreciated.

Albert, thanks for the info. This evening, I just followed your lead and ordered a four-gallon case of my own from
Albert and Cincy_bob - what sort of storage container do you plan to use? From the Finding Pure Water thread, I read amber colored glass jugs should work better than plastic.
I'm keeping my Reagent grade water in whatever kind of gallon jugs they ship in.

I have an IKEA roll around that was supposed to be for a kitchen that I use for my RC machine. I keep all the cleaners in the drawers below the work surface.

Guess I could refill the 64 ounce container supplied with my Walker Prelude kit as it empties. That's a handier and more manageable size container than the gallons.
I have a 180 gallon saltwater aquarium with a 55g sump and had to purchase an RO/DI unit due to well water. They are not expensive. I think mine was less than $150 for a 75 gallon-per-day. I need to add nearly 2 gallons a day due to evaporation and I do a 35 gallon water change monthly. Remember, it takes about 4 gallons to make 1 gallon of filtered water. I have the "waste water" going to my washing machine. Do not store in any ole plastic jug. Glass or a #6 plastic container will not leech. Not a bad idea to own a unit for drinking and getting out all of that garbage that they treat with. You should only drink "RO" and not "RO/DI". Most units have simple valves for using either/both. That will be the day that I pay(get ripped-off) for water!
Jtimothya, maybe it's naive on my part, but I figured that whatever sort of storage container the Reagent water has been stored in to date will be fine for continued storage at home. So that's what I am planning on doing unless I find it's a bad idea...
Guys, I have had a home RO filter for 30 years. It get replaced once a year. At the end of the year the water has about 300 non-water parts per million. After it is replaced this is 3 per million. Our chemistry department has a much higher quality RO device. They certainly were not impressed with my home results but did not mention what theirs yielded.

Hdm, assuming that you meant to add distillation to reagent water, I cannot imagine that adding salt back in as a softener would be used.

Cello, my tests also show that ultra pure water is superior at least as a final rinse to RO water.
Tbg: My comments regarding distillation were only with respect to the fact that distilled water is a far cry from ultrapure as the original poster intimated (ie. ultrapure, lab grade, triple distilled all essentially being the same).

With respect to softening, it can be and is often used as the very first stage (followed by 5 or 6 others) in producing ultrapure water.
Hdm, the reason we have a RO device is that the sodium content of our water is quite high, but it could not be softer or we would never get soap off our bodies. I would just imagine that even a home RO machine would easily get lime or other minerals out of the water as easily as it would get salts out.
The Rep for Peak Battery Water has said that their water has been de-ionized and de-mineralized. He also said the water had been subjected to RO and repeatly filtered. I purchase Peak @ Pep Boys Auto for $4.00 a Ga.Very little information on the water product beyond Battery Water is listed on the lable. Since I use Peak to Steam Cleaning LPs combo'ing with RCM and a fast acting record drying/destatic machine, used in that combination, I haven't had static problems w/ cleaned recordings.
Readers: A funny thing happen on the way to Super Pure Water.

Following suggestions made on a couple of Threads I set out with correct vinyl Gallon container in hand for Water from three recommended places Whole Foods, a Organic FoodStore and a Pet Fish Shop.

Firstly, the water sources available for people consumption had all been doused with minerals, and Fish Shops in my area say the source water in this part of Maryland is so clean out of the tap they only charcole filter before using in the fish tanks.

Well no brass ring, so the journey continues for cheap sources of SP Water .
Following is a link to the reagent grade water Albert Porter ordered. One can buy 5 gallons for $50-the issue then is to have some smaller containers to transfer into. While $50 for 5 gallons of water may seem expensive, it is dirt cheap in terms of buying commercial cleaning solutions (and I have found the commercial solutions to be worth their price compared to DIY solutions so I am certainly not a cheapskate). I'm still experimenting with cleaning and steaming ONLY with ultrapure water and no commercial cleaning fluids and beginning to lean toward the opinion that only ultrapure and steaming may actually be the best way to clean records or at least the vast majority of them, and if that is indeed the case, 5 gallons of ultrapure will clean literally thousands of records.

I can't comment on the quality of the linked water as I'm using ultrapure from my wife's lab which essentially goes through the 6 stage process I outlined above in this thread. I know that what I'm using is very pure and I've been really pleased with the results having formerly used the RRL/Mo-Fi products (both Super Deep and SVW). I'm still unsure as to whether I can do without the Super Deep, but I've long since stopped using the Super Vinyl Wash as the Ultrapure Water I'm using is, in my opinion, both a better cleaning agent than the SVW and leaves absolutely no sonic signature like the SVW.
With regard to storage, I ran across the following from a Wikipedia article on Dionized Water:

"Laboratory grade ultra pure water cannot be stored in glass or plastic containers because such materials leach contaminants at very low concentrations into the water. Storage vessels made of silica are used for less demanding applications but for highest purity uses, containers made from ultra pure Tin are used."

With regards to buying, to follow up on Hdm's earlier posts, the numbers 9800-1, -3, -5, appear to be product numbers for different packagings of Reagent Grade Water from NERL Diagnostics, a division of Thermo Scientific. Likewise the "Safe & Sure Ultra Pure Reagent Grade Water" appears to be a higher grade and has a different product number. It doesn't seem to be sold on-line by the various supply houses, however one can get a quote for it from Thermo Scientific

If that is the case, is offering the 20 liter (~5 gallon) 9800-5 Reagent Grade water at $25.32 plus shipping ($8.27 UPS ground to my zip in upper Midwest where it is a balmy 3 degrees F.)

I'll find out how much fun is a five gallon box of frozen water. (Not just any water, Mr. Bond, reagent grade laser water.)
Thanks Jtimothya, good data.


If that is the case, is offering the 20 liter (~5 gallon) 9800-5 Reagent Grade water at $25.32 plus shipping ($8.27 UPS ground to my zip in upper Midwest where it is a balmy 3 degrees F.)

Prices vary by packaging with the gallons costing several times what the larger packages go for. The 32 Oz. bottles are a real killer, adding up to about one gallon for $64.00.

I can't explain why packaging cost varies so much, unless it's as much trouble to get clean packaging and ship as it is to make the water :^).

I thought the gallons I got were a good compromise as the manufacturer says the expire date begins once the cap comes off. Wish we could buy the 32 Oz. size bottles equalling 5 gallons at that same bargain price.

I was worried about the issue of splitting this with my audio buddies if I bought the 5 gallon container. Splitting it up into other less than perfect containers may ruin the purity.

It appears I bought the second best grade possible. I'm glad you found that next level (the ultimate level??)

I'm going to call those people and see how much that "Safe & Sure Ultra Pure Reagent Grade Water" costs, but I'm almost afraid to ask.
Albert: My guess is that the higher grade "Safe and Sure" will not be much more expensive. This product is being marketed for scientific use and not to audiophiles.

Once the audiophiles start to buy it, someone else will, of course, repackage it and sell it for 5X the money.
My theory is that the "Safe & Sure Ultra Pure Reagent Grade Water" could be a marketing niche than a unique product. First off, no one is selling it on-line which makes me wonder about demand. Secondly, I think the key words are 'Reagent Grade Water' - those words *I'm speculating* have an "industry standard" meaning, wherease the additional "Safe & Sure Ultra Pure" may not - at least I certainly don't see the latter terms in use beyond the seller. But that may not mean much, although, neither the NERL nor Thermo Scientific site specifies a difference other than claiming the one is "our highest grade".

I would like to know the physical difference between the 'Safe & Sure Ultra Pure' product and the other Reagent Grade Water. And of course .... can we hear a difference, and is it a positive improvement. Heh. Listening to water ... you got ears only an audiophile's mother could love. :-)
The little I know and the information I have would suggest that there would indeed be a difference between the two products; my guess is that it would probably involve higher levels of ultrafiltration. Nerl themselves appear not to apply the "ultrapure" name to their reagent grade water.

That being said, I would expect the reagent grade to be very good and your point as to whether one could "hear" the difference between the reagent grade and the "Safe and Sure Ultra Pure" is well taken.
Threaders : The information that I have been able to verify indicates the Peak Battery Water sold @ Pep Boys Auto Shops @ $4.00 per Gal is the cheapest currently available alternative to Lab grade water sold nationally. According to information shaired with me by the Consumer Rep for Peak , the product has undergone multiable cleaning stages not noted on the container. While I personally do have other SP Water options my object is to locate other water products at the cheapest price. As for SP Water I believe L. Walker sells it by the Gal. I do not know the price but it should be higher than Peak.
the information I have would suggest that there would indeed be a difference between the two products; my guess is that it would probably involve higher levels of ultrafiltration. Nerl themselves appear not to apply the "ultrapure" name to their reagent grade water.

This makes sense. That Thermo Scientific is packaging Safe & Secure UltraPure as qty 6 1- pint bottles suggests this is water for special needs not requiring larger volumes and those needs are not so great that it is commonly saleable on-line.

As best I can tell, the description for both the 'simple' 9800-5 Reagent Grade Water and the S&SUP read identically, viz.: "ideal for reconstituting chemistry or coagulation products, preparing analytical standards, or rinsing delicate electrodes. Prepared at 18 megohm/cm specific resistance using reverse osmosis, mixed bed deionization, activated carbon filtration and final filtration to 0.2 micron, our water is essentially free from organic and inorganic particulate and soluble contaminants."

Fwiw, the folks shipped the 44lb box in less than 24hrs, so that's a good sign. I didn't do the math but I'm gonna guess that at roughly $34 for 5 gallons, its still cheaper than Dasani. :-) And if its as good as the stuff Lloyd sends out then my wallet, my records and Ms. Loricraft will all be happy. I'll clean, listen and letcha know.
Jtimothya: From the description you posted above, I think you'll be very happy with the water you ordered and that it will every bit as good, if not better than the "ultrapure" being shipped by the various manufacturers of record cleaning products.

In looking at the description compared to a "Contaminant Removal Profile" on ultrapure as described by Pall Life Sciences, the company who provides the water purification equipment used in my wife's lab, the only stage that seems to be missing from Pall's ultrapure profile is a combination Ultrafiltration (UF) and UV photo-oxidation stage just prior to a second stage of deionization and the final .2 micron filtration. This is just a guess, but I would guess that the Nerl "Safe and Secure" ultrapure might be subject to this stage to qualify for its "ultrapure" status.

Good luck and keep us posted. I'm pretty sure you and Albert are going to be quite pleased with the results.
FYI, Lloyd Walker sells his UP Water for $44 for a half gallon jug.
So, let's see....

By my calculations, that makes the Nerl Reagent Grade $5.06 gallon when purchased in bulk (so you'd have to possibly factor in buying a few smaller containers) vs. Lloyd Walker's water at $88 gallon.

Crem1, I went to pep boys and the battery water was $2.99 a gallon, not $4. Am I getting the right water? I should email you directly as I got the prefection steamer and am getting some spitting. Obviously, I'm very impressed by the results.
Let see to really do this right we would need to have a broad range of purity as well as price. We would need to do a broad sampling of records to be cleaned and then rinsed with our rinse water. From my experience with Walker's water and both distilled water bought at the grocery store and RO water from my unit where I heard a cleaner record with the Walker, we might well expect a strong relationship between price and purity, but would we see a strong relationship between purity and cleanliness of records and their sound? Or would waters with relatively high to high purity sound the same down to some point where the sound went bad. The lowest purity before the sound went bad would be the best buy. Do we know if it is a linear and smooth relationship or a step relationship where there is a sudden jump as purity increases? I don't think so.
I generally take great interest in threads such as these, and others about cleaning-rinsing, etc., as well, that can discuss the actual science, and appropriate products, without perhaps the need to shell out $40 for a 1/2 oz of cleaner, such as what LAST charges for thier Power Cleaner.

I'm sure we would all like knowing to what point of purity is "ideally" needed, then to what point there are then diminishing returns, and what boundary we should recognize for a "good enough" grade of water.

Of course, we all read the posts day in, and day out about those who will claim 'Hey, I use my Tap Water run through my Britta, or Wally World Distilled with perfectly flawless results, without any scientific testing-study-research to back those claims.

Out of curiosity, I've browsed suppliers like Fisher Scientific, and seen water prices that would make even Michael Jordan cry. Things like DNA grade, which I'm sure does not need to be in a Vinylphile's aresenal.

Part of the ethical problems I see, is while many of us patronize many good companies, we all mostly trust such good companies such as Walker to provide us with very good products.

With that being said, I would not at all feel comfortable contacting somebody such as Lloyd, and saying something so stupid, such as: "Hi Lloyd, what grade water do you use, I like it very much, works fantastic. but wish to bypass spending $88/gal for your products". See what I mean?

About expiration dates, and of course suitable storage containers, and transference to them, do we actually need to don clean room-biological repellant suits so we now look like the folks in the Dustin Hoffman movie "Outbreak"? Mark