I try to follow the instructions...draw it up into the turkey baster to the line, and slowly run it across the brush. Seems to last, no pun intended, pretty well.
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I have been using Last Record Preservative since the mid-eighties to treat my 4500 strong record collection. I have learned a lot about Last, both the preservative and the stylus treatment.
To counter Ebm, this stuff is close to a miracle. It works just like the Last factory claims. Of course, washing and good liners are very important. Last takes record care to the next level. I have run carefully controlled experiments to try to refute the claims. All I accomplished was confirming the claims. Ebm, you should take a closer look.
Application for me is centered around my VPI 17 RCM. After I have washed the record, and while it is still on the platter, I use the eye dropper with about an inch of Last contained and apply it evenly to the Last applicator. I apply by turning on the VPI platter and pressing the applicator down on the revolving record. You can see the Last being applied and then it evaporates quickly.
Apply to the second side then you are done except for marking the jacket and you have a happy, static free, protected record. It only needs to be done once.
I think your priorities are correct. I guess I don't understand your reluctance to use well proven cleaning solutions. Yes, distilled water is not very effective but if the record is clean to begin with water would at least remove the surface dirt. It would be better if mixed with a tiny amount of dish washing detergent to act as a wetting agent.
Why don't you call the Last factory and get their thoughts on the issue. Personally, I think you are making a big deal out of a non-issue. After all, I have many collector records that I would not think twice about cleaning. And, I haver harmed one of them since I bought my VPI 17 which was a long time ago.
Also, you should realize that if your record care habits are solid, cleaning is not often necessary.
I don't really have a reluctance to use proven things, that's why I asked you specifically about Last. But I would be suspicious of 'new and improved better than anything else' cleaning solutions.
Ebm, what do you hope to accomplish? First, when we were talking about Simon Yorke turntables you jumped in with your TW Acoustic, and now you say that Last stuff is no good without elaborating.