Proper Use of Record Research Lab Cleaners

The directions on Super Vinyl Wash say to "apply SVW with soft applicator brush to fully wet record". I'm not sure how to start off with a fully wet record. Should I be dipping it in DI water? How do you do it? Thanks, Peter
Go to a Craft Store / Hobby Shop and buy a small plastic squeeze bottle with a curved, hollow, stem for a lid (about $.50). Fill it with the distilled water, and use it to apply a first wash to the record.
Next, apply the cleaner, and then rinse using the squeeze bottle and dist. H2O. Vacuum between applications.

Saturate your record cleaning brush with SVW ONLY, with the SVW bottle's flip top cap. Next, spray a small amount of SVW onto the record surface itself, enough to insure that the record surface will be completely wet. Gently rotate brush around the record, vacuum clean.

Do NOT use any grocery store distilled water before or after. Grocery store distilled water still contains many impurities that will attach themselves to the record surface.

RRL fluids do not require a rinse cycle. Following up with a distilled water rinse actually leaves behind contaminates.
Hmmm - the directions say apply RRL fluids to "fully wet record". I'm still not clear how to achieve that. What about getting triple de-ionized water somewhere and using that first?
Hello Peter,

The label of the Super Vinyl Wash bottle states, "Apply Super Vinyl Wash with soft applicator brush to fully wet record. Vacuum dry. Repeat process."

This suggests that you place SVW on the record, via flip top cap or fluid dispensor if your RCM is so equipped. You then rotate the brush around the record surface to fully wet the record. It's that simple!

Feel free to ask any further questions.

Good luck,
Brian Weitzel
Record Research Labs
Thanks Brian. That clarifies it. I do find the text a bit confusing, in that (to me) it implies that the record is already wet when you first apply SVW.

Can you recommend a soft brush to use as the applicator? Also, would you recommend creating a small container to function as a "trough" of SVW (or super deep cleaner) to soak the brush in before applying it to the record? Finally, is it OK to use the same brush for SDP and SVW?

All the Best, Peter
Hi Brian,

First, let me say that I also love RRL fluids. I don't have a RCM yet, so I brush them on by hand, let them sit a minute, then vacuum off with a handheld wet vac. Is that okay?

Second, are you suggesting that even a filthy record should not be water-rinsed before RRL-ing? Seems like I should remove the worst of the loose stuff before brushing the deep cleaner on. I understand about not rinsing after, but won't the SVW remove any contaminants left by an initial water rinse?

BTW and FWIW, here's the fussy English major's analysis of your instructions:

Peter_S is correct when he states that the phrase, "apply SVW with soft applicator brush to fully wet record", is ambiguous. It can be read either of two ways because a clarifying word is missing.

Since the SVW is meant to do the initial wetting, you should have written, "apply SVW with soft applicator brush to fully wet THE record." The placement of the article makes your intention perfectly clear.

Peter thought you meant, "apply SVW with soft applicator brush to A fully wet record". This of course implies that the record should already be wet. Since you didn't include either article in the sentence, we have to guess.

Proceeding madly, I might as well mention that another word is missing. The lack of the article "a" before "soft applicator brush" strongly implies that such a brush was included with our RRL fluids, which of course is not true. The best phrasing of all would be, "apply SVW with A soft applicator brush to fully wet THE record."

I can't believe I just wrote all this, in public. Feel free to ignore it and answer my first two questions if you'd be so kind!
As many know, I use only RR fluids after having tried umpteen commercial and home-brew fluids. I have no interest or connection with RR except that of a satisfied user. I speak from my expereince, hoiping that others will have equal success. If you are happy with your own regimen, though, I am happy, too. This, in general, is how I proceed.

I nearly always use the Deep Cleaner first because it does the job on the pressing release agent on new records and most gunk on old records like virtually no other. I use LAST brushes. Using one, I saturate the pad so that it is good and soaked. Then, as I place the brush on the rotating record, I squirt a bit from a smaller squirt bottle in front of the leading edge of the pad. This ensures a good wet record bit is, perhaps, overkill. I then give it another pass using the same method with a separate brush, except this time using the Super Vinyl Wash.

I submit, though, that the directions could possibly stand a rewording. It does seem from an initial reading that one must wet the surface before using the fluid and that begs the "How" question. I think it just means don't start with a dry brush and then put the fluid on after you've started.

One school of thought holds that the entire record should be "flooded" so that liquid "stands" over the whole grooved surface in order for particles to be suspended and "float" out of the grooves. I use the RR fluids liberally, but not that liberally. In my experience, the vacuum pass is what really carries away the particles (making sure to vacuum the wand after each record. Using the RR fluids in this manner, I rarely have to wash an LP a second time and have no sonic signature when finished (something I cannot say about certain other fluids or especially when using distilled water. In fact, when I originally used distilled water as in a final "rinse" pass, I very often had surface noise to the point I thought the record was worn out. Using the Super Vinyl Wash in the final pass identified the real culprit.
Hello Doug,

My US Distributor, Garth Leerer made up the labels and instructions. I'll admit, the instructions could have been better. Unfortunately, Garth ordered another 15K labels for each product, so it may be while until the instructions can be changed.

To answer your first question, Doug: Your method works well, as long as you have a soft surface for the record contact area. I suggest white velvet in these areas, as white shows when the velvet is soiled much sooner.

Your second question: I normally dry brush a record prior to wet cleaning using a dual row carbon fiber brush. Don't use much pressure, you just want to remove the large particles. If you rinse the record with anything but RRL, the water you'd be using would likely allow more mineral contaminates to attach themselves to the record, especially if you do a follow up rinse. Remember, this fluid does not need a final rinse as others do.

To answer Peters questions: There are a variety of brushes that a guy could use. I've recommended using a dual row carbon fiber brush in the past. They work well for me and insure that little pressure is used to avoid harming the record. Last brushes, as 4yanx mentions, work well. Disc Doctor brushes are great, but rather expensive. A cheap alternative may be the foam style paint pad brushes seen in larger hardware stores. They will have foam padding and a velvet like contact area. Extra care will be required when using this type of brush, so be careful. You will need 2 application brushes, one for Super Deep Cleaner, another for Super Vinyl Wash. I'd avoid keeping a trough of fluid to soak the application brush. The trough will easily become dirty just with what is in the air and cross contaminate the record application brush, then your record. Every record cleaning fluid bottle that leaves our plant has a flip top cap that comes with it. The flip top cap should be flipped using a small stick pin, never your finger as you may cause cross-contamination. Once the cap is flipped, place enough fluid on the brush to soak it. If the brush is dry, you could scratch the record. If it is wet, there is enough surface tension to avoid scratches. Next you spray enough fluid to thoroughly cover the record and gently move the application brush around the record in a circular pattern. Then you vacuum and play!

I'll cover more on proper record cleaning machine maintenance, if you'd like.

Brian Weitzel
Record Research Labs
I, too, use the paint pad brushes that Brian mentions in conjunction with the Groovmaster (see E-bay) for washing filthy garage sale LP's in the sink prior to VPI cleansing. They work really well and are almost exactly as wide as the grooved area.
Thanks Brian. It's great to have your help here. Maybe I'll order 15K bottles right now and help you clear out those old labels!

Thanks to 4yanx I already use the white painting pad sponge/brushes you mentioned, a seperate one for each solution. Walmart sells Rubbermaid brand ones with replaceable pads. Good tip about saturating the whole surface to avoid scratching. I suppose the Last brushes must be even better. No thick sponge to absorb tons of liquid and hold onto contaminants.

I confess it didn't occur to me to open/close the flip tops other than by fingertip. I am ashamed...
Hi Doug,

Thanks for the info on the Rubbermaid paint pads. I'll check them out later today. Garth Leerer, my distributor, always wanted me to sell an application brush. I just couldn't see re-inventing the wheel. There are so many household and hardware based products out there that work very well.

Remember to always keep your brushes in a container of some sort, so that the brushes aren't exposed to dust and other contaminates. Keep those vacuum tubes clean, too. Rinse them off every 3 to 4 cleanings, or as needed. Keep an old ruined record sitting on your record cleaning machine while not in use to help keep the record contact area dust/contaminate free.

Oops, I almost forgot. I'll process your order immediately, Doug. Which shipping company do you prefer?

Brian Weitzel

I'm not sure the Rubbermaid pads are ideal for RRL fluids, they do hold alot of liquid. Bare nylon or carbon fiber bristles with no sponge would be best I think. Easier to clean. I'm going to try the Last brushes David uses. Let us know if you decide to offer something.

I do keep the cleaning stuff containered after it dries out. One problem with the Rubbermaid pads is that the metal back to the sponge rusts if left wet. Iron oxide particulates scrub vinyl really clean, right?

For that big delivery, how about driving over in a limo with a Walker Proscenium installed in the back? You should still have enough torque to tow a U-Haul trailer.

First, as an aside to Doug: As a writer and sometime English professor, I loved your post regarding the wording of the RRL instructions--one of my favorite yet on Audiogon. Nice to see that some folks here pay attention to language as well as to our systems!

I've been following the various cleaning threads in this forum for some time. The 16.5 I bought used 5 months ago came with some DD brushes and fluids; I've been using both by default, and rinsing with the dreaded grocery-store distilled water (in fact, I've tended to do anywhere from 3-5 rinse passes, since after the first two rinses I'm often still lifting suds with the vacuum tube). I've noticed that sometimes all my cleaning and rinsing has really improved the surface noise of certain LPs, but other times hasn't done much with others. (Recently I even made some pre- and post-cleaning recordings on CD-R to see what kinds of surface noise improvements I was getting.) So I think I'll be trying some RRL fluids soon too.

I came into this hobby via the software route, and was at first suspicious about cleaning LPs with a vacuum machine; the 16.5 and my own odd method have already turned me into a believer. If the RRL fluids are as big an improvement over others as David suggests, I think I'm in for a real treat (now I just need to upgrade my entire analog front-end!).


Thanks for kind words! ;)

Perhaps Audiogon should open a language forum. After all, spoken or written language is just another transducer. Language converts my mental energy patterns into a physical medium for transportation to you, for conversion back into your mental energy patterns. I wonder if we're wired as MM or MC?

David's not the only experienced user who recommends the RRL fluids. Albert Porter is another. Very few of us would question his LP playback methods, and even fewer of us should. By all means give the RRL stuff a try.
Ha! Doug is correct. I am not even the only one in my house that uses the RR fluids. My son, a recent convert to vinyl, is now stealing mine to clean some of his new acquisitions!

I will place a qualifier with respect to the LAST brushes. Some will say that they feel the LAST brushes do not have sufficient "nap" to reach the bottom of the grooves to scrub out gunk. Many of these folks use the carbon fiber brushes or similar. As always I respect the , "whatever works theory". I use them mainly because they are effective for me and relatively inexpensive, especially if one gets gunked by accident and I feel it should be pitched.

Without going into boring detail of my admittedly anal regimen for cleaning, which is posted elsewhere, I will only say that I think it obviates the need for other brushes. Unless an LP is new or is less than moderately soiled, I give it a good cleaning at the sink first. This step allows deep cleaning of the grooves and, as such, the LAST brushes are always sufficient for me when using the VPI.

However, the actual brushes used (unless they could scratch) are less important than a good, clean, effective, no-signature fluid. RR is that for me.

As for Albert, my front end pales in comparison, and he bows to very few. But, I'll wager my records are just as clean! :-)