Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records

FYI, I have previously posted a bit of information on cleaning, and I have now complied that and much more into a paper titled “Precision Aqueous Cleaning of Vinyl Records”. Bill Hart of The Vinyl Press who has a keen interest in cleaning vinyl records is hosting the paper. He has written an article on the paper that captures it better than I could, and a link to the article that has the free-download load option for the paper (85 pages) is here: . If you have not been to his site, check-it out, there is a lot of good info, and its well written. While at his site, check out the about-tab and then scroll down and click on System-Notes-Austin-2017. He has a pretty impressive system and near the end shows quite a ‘cleaning station’; using both a Keith Monks vacuum-RCM and KL Audio UCM.

Best Regards and Stay Well,



More drum beating on denatured alcohol. It is just ridiculous to use it or any product that contains it, for record cleaning when anyone can buy nearly pure propanol or isopropanol for this purpose. Not only does denatured alcohol contain up to 10% methanol, a poison, but it also may contain more than one other constituent that may damage LPs. I advise anyone who doubts me to read the wiki entry on denatured alcohol. If one insists on using it, wear gloves that are impervious to methanol. It can be absorbed through the skin.


You are preaching to the choir, this what my book PACVR 3rd Ed states:

VIII.8.1.a Denatured Alcohol. Denatured alcohol that is purchased on-line or at a hardware store is generally ethanol (drinking alcohol) that has been denatured (made undrinkable) by generally adding methanol. However, methanol can be very toxic (absorbed through the skin) at higher concentrations. It’s important to read the label and/or the SDS. There are many grades of “denatured alcohol” and the methanol content can range from relatively safe 0.5% in reagent-grade to hazardous >25% in industrial grades.

VIII.8.1.c Methanol: Wood alcohol is methanol. Methanol can be very toxic; both through inhalation and skin absorption. Ingestion can be lethal or can result in blindness. Methanol vapors have an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)allowable 8-hour exposure limit of 200 ppm. The reported odor threshold for methanol is between 100 and 1500 ppm.

Antinn, I was mainly countering Mijostyn’s inference that denatured alcohol is essentially harmless. According to wiki, in some cases DA MUST contain at least 10% methanol in order to be labeled as such. That’s bad for us humans, but other potential constituents of DA could also be bad for LPs, based on the wiki entry. Moreover, I would think that propanol, being more polar than ethanol and a little less volatile, would be at least a bit better for the job of solvent than even unadulterated ethanol.


Agreed, however, I an not sure wiki is correct - here is just one example of reagent 'denatured' alcohol contents ( and methanol is just 5%.  However, this form of denatured alcohol \\TAHOE\APPS\MIRS\REPORTS\MSWRPTM.FRX ( is just nasty.  But, if you or anyone else wish to dive deeper, there are legally two types of denatured alcohol - specially denatured alcoho (SDA) l and completely denatured alcohol (CDA) - TTBGov - Industrial Alcohol Denatured Alcohol and the variations in SDA alone should be enough eCFR :: Home to give one  pause let alone the CDA.  Take away - when it comes to denatured alcohol read the SDS.  Otherwise, as @lewm says and I agree  isopropyl alcohol (same a 2-propanol/ CAS # 67-63-0) is the solvent of choice if that is your preference - but know the risks (flammability and toxicity - do not ingest) and stay away from rubbing alcohol - that is another mine field - see the book Table VIII.  

I do not wish to delve deeper into denatured alcohol. I would steer clear of it for anything except mandatory use. And that does not include cleaning records. I think it is ill advised to go out and buy products of complex composition, when really what is needed to clean a record is only a fraction of what is in the solution, and one has to be concerned about what else is in the solution. In this case, we are talking about alcohol. First of all denatured alcohol is derived from ethanol, and I believe for reasons stated above that propanol is slightly superior for the job of cleaning a record. And on top of that you can acquire nearly 100% pure propanol  without going to the black market or a guy named Joe. But that’s just my opinion and I commend you for the tremendous effort you have made to codify the subject.