Record Cleaning Fluid?


Does anyone use just plain distilled water with their record cleaning machines??
stringreen
I rinse with it at the end of an Audio Intelligent 2-step process. VPI 16.5... start with Audio Intelligent #15, Vac with wand only for #15. Then rinse with Distilled H2O, drying with different wand. 
Not sure if this helps. I'm setting up an ultrasonic rig. Research suggests using 90% distilled water, 10% isopropyl alcohol and a few drops of Photo-Flo. Before that, I used a Spin Clean with distilled water only. Worked well.

I really like the Spin Clean fluid with distilled water as well.

Matt M
As in no surfactant- just plain distilled? Not for the vacuum cleaning system. For the ultrasonic, yes. (a KL, which as far as I know, doesn't contemplate anything more than some grade of purified water). 
As in no surfactant- just plain distilled? Not for the vacuum cleaning system.... 
Oh boy- I was told by an industry professional Plain old distilled H2O from the store is fine as a rinse. I even expressed a willingness to go with a regeant H2O, or use a H2O product sold by a manufacturer. As far as using plain distilled, I've had good results. Thanks whart. 
plain distilled water works well after a trial run test.  Much less expensive and readily available.
The Klaudio US cleaner uses plain distilled water and that has worked fine for me. I haven't had to use the vacuum machine since getting the Klaudio, and will probably end up selling it.

I'm impressed with you guys that experiment with various cleaning fluid formulations, but it just sounds like too much bother to me. I really like the one-button, one-step convenience of the Klaudio. And because it's more convenient, I'm more likely to use it. That means more clean records.
@fjn04 - distilled as a rinse is fine. I use reagent grade 1, but I’m a bit anal. The folks at the Culpeper facility (the intake archive for the Library of Congress) told me in an interview that deionized water is sufficient for a rinse.
@cleeds - I like the KL. But as mentioned elsewhere in some of the DIY threads, using a surfactant (which is inappropriate in the KL) with temp adjustment, degassing the water, etc. can enhance cavitation.Along with a recirculation pump and filter to keep the bath clean. More work, since you have to rinse rather than forced air dry, but my experience with challenged records is that I get better results from pre-clean on the Monks, including rinse, then US, then final rinse on the Monks using reagent water and vacuum rather than forced air to suck up any remaining contaminant.  Lot more work. Probably unnecessary for new or pristine records, but I’ve been buying a lot of stuff from the late ’60s and early ’70s- proto-metal, early prog obscurities, just straight up hard rock, and despite the high grading, many of those records need help. I don’t go through this more involved process with every record, but it’s good to do when the old pressing is hard to find or rare, and has some grunge.
@stringreen I do think with conventional record cleaning, you need a surfactant, but I’ve never tried just water alone and am simply restating a "truth" that I’ve never tested. The trick in my estimation is to find a fluid you like and to be able to remove it from the record once it has done its job. I use different fluids depending on the condition of the record. Less may be more though.
Thanks for the comments.   I have a NittyGritty which sucks off the plain distilled water.   I use a microfiber clean cloth to distribute the water when its on the record...and to wipe the record dry before playing.
Sorry, just a quick side question: any recommendations for a cheap and easy to buy surfactant?
1 or 2 drops of Dawn dish washing detergent (or other cheaper store brand if so inclined) in ~250 mls of a 10:1 distilled water:99% Isopropyl alcohol solution will work just fine.  You just need enough to produce a little stable foam when shaken.  No need to get into industrial grade chemicals like Tergitols.  You'll be rinsing with pure water after a vacuuming step to remove the DIY cleaning solution so don't ask about which color Dawn is better.  Leave that for the OCD-types that swear they can hear a difference depending on which Dawn is used  :-)
I’ve always wondered how some Jet Dry would affect the performance of a KL Audio US machine. In theory, it seems like an ideal additive. Borrowed from another site…
Finish Jet-Dry rinse aid has a bunch of stuff in it, but it isn’t complicated, really. Here’s a rundown of the contents:

  • Water is necessary to dissolve all the other stuff.
  • Alcohol ethoxylate is a nonionic (uncharged) surfactant that helps the water slide off your dishes better and thus helps them dry faster. This ingredient is probably the most important bit in rinse aids; more on how it works in a minute.
  • Sodium polycarboxylate is an anti-redeposition polymer that wraps itself around the crud that the dishwasher just washed off so that the bits don’t get stuck again on your dishes.
  • Citric acid, which RB (the company that makes Jet-Dry) calls a complexing/sequestering agent, is really good at grabbing calcium ions out of hard water. Calcium can bind with surfactants and keep them from cleaning and rinsing dishes, so citric acid acts as kind of a sacrificial lamb to keep calcium from interfering.
  • Sodium cumene sulfonate is another surfactant but with an electric charge, so it’s a bit better at breaking water’s surface tension on your dishes than alcohol ethoxylate, but it’s also more foamy (PDF). Foam is bad in a rinse aid, so that’s why such products use both kinds of surfactant.
  • Tetrasodium EDTA is a chelating agent. EDTA is short for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. It’s this funky-looking molecule that wraps its four arms around dissolved minerals in the water (such as calcium). The word chelate comes from the Greek word for “claw,” so you can imagine this molecule sinking its claws into minerals and whisking them away, similar to what citric acid does.
  • Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone (aka MI and MCI) are both preservatives, meaning they keep bacteria from growing in your bottle of rinse aid. Both are capable of causing skin allergies and are sensitizers, meaning that if you’re exposed to them over and over again, you can develop an allergy. But since rinse aid doesn’t sit on your skin and washes away completely from your dishes, I wouldn’t worry about it here.
  • CI Acid Blue 9 is dye. It makes the rinse aid blue. Why does it need to be blue? I have no idea, although colored solutions are easier to see in that little rinse-aid compartment.
@stringreen,

Your welcome to join the "Thumbs Up For Ultrasonic Record Cleaning" thread.

( let's let by-gones be by-gones)

Cheers!
I use distilled water plus 2.5% VersaClean (Fisher Scientific) for US cleaning. Distilled water is my final rinse. Plain old drug store distilled.
@nrenter - fascinating. I usually regard using things like toilet bowl cleaner and magic eraser as not good for vinyl LPs, but I re-read your post and am curious. (Not that I’m gonna go stick one of those things in my KL any more than I’d eat a Tide Pod). Do you have a background in chemistry or materials science? Can one buy those chemicals (sans the blue dye, say), without going all Walter White? And how would one determine that something like that (which we use in our dishwasher as well although for some reason, i think the detergent and rinse aid are a single ’pod’) is ’safe’ for LPs?
When I look at the CVs of folks in a chemistry or material science department at a major school, I rarely see anyone who would be familiar with applications involving vinyl, let alone vinyl records unless it just happened to be a hobby in addition to their profession. Pray tell....
Jet Dry is just a rinse aid liquid - you’re thinking of those Finish tabs. I’d never consider putting one of those in my US machine. A few ml of Jet Dry? Perhaps. You can find Jet Dry at any grocery store here in the ‘states. 

No chem degree here. Just thought Jet Dry would bring a few missing elements to the US party - surfactants, chelation agents, and a touch of preservatives. Now I’m waiting for someone to try it out and report the results. ;) 
Well...someone had to try it. But what's a repeatable test? I'm not saying the following is definitive (or even valid), but here's what I've done and my very, very early conclusions...

I had no idea how much Finish Jet Dry Original rinse aid (http://www.finishdishwashing.com/products/enhancers/jet-dry/jet-dry-rinse-aid-original/) to add to a COMPLETELY full Klaudio KD-CLN-LP200 reservoir (I'm guessing it holds 3 liters, but need to measure). I first tried 5 ml (1 tsp.) of Finish Jet Dry Original rinse aid.

Now, what to test? I've noticed that the Klaudio's KD-CLN-LP200 isn't very good at removing fingerprints from an LP, so I pulled out my Hi-Fi News Analog Test LP, wiped the side of my nose, and put a greasy fingerprint on the blank area between tracks 5 and 6 on Side 1. After a 5-minute clean cycle, the fingerprint was completely gone. However, there was a bit more "foaming" in the reservoir than I would have liked.

So I flushed the reservoir (twice) and filled, again, completely full, with distilled water, and repeated my greasy fingerprint test. 

Distilled water alone would *not* remove the fingerprint.

Since I know 5 ml of Finish Jet Dry Original rinse aid would remove the fingerprint, I want to determine the minimum amount of Jet Dry to achieve the same results. Long story short, 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) it not sufficient to cause a sufficient wetting of the LP (water beads on the LP as it rotates), nor it is sufficient to remove the fingerprint. However, 2.5 ml IS sufficient. For now, this is where I've landed.

I boldly just cleaned a noisy MoFi LP...and the difference is significant. 

I'm not making claims if this is 1) safe for the US machine, 2) safe for your LPs, or 3) produces an audible difference. But I can say that it helps remove fingerprints.