We owe more to Crem1 than a lot of people realize. It was a shame to see the old thread turn into a personal attack on him. A new thread may be a good idea. I continue to use my Perfection steamer without fear of the lead issue. I would like to hear of the experience others are having with other products though.(steamfast, monster, etc.)
Ericjcabrera, For the price of your hair drier, or less, you could get a Perfection steamer from Walgreen's. I'm sure your method works too but the steam should be purer reguardless of what water source you use and steam will penetrate the groves even more than hot water will. It might be worth a try. Of course, there have been recent concerns over lead warnings on the Perfection steamer(mostly in the power cord?) but if you live in the modern industrialized world like the rest of us, I suspect this is the least of your worries.
1)Just replace the powercord. 2) Lop off the connector, cover the whole thing with techflex using a zip tie to hold it at the steamer end. Then put a new connector on (use a Furutech or Oyiade - it will sound better) running the techflex into the strain relief. Now you have a cord that is safer, just don't chew on it!
My Perfection steamer box does not say anything about containing lead. Maybe it only has to say it in certain states? Anyway I'll continue to use it. At my age something else will probably get me first.
Tvad, I don't have a steamer, yet. I would think the question about mold, etc is valid. I would also think you could address this by running a diluted bleach solution thru the unit. Of course, you would want to thoroughly rinse before the next use.
California Proposition 65 is the law requiring disclosure of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
But, we're off topic.
I have been using steaming as an initial step, and as a finish rinse. However, the issue of potential bacteria and mold growth in the steamer is one that might require some investigation as both elements would be counter productive to cleaning records.
I'm in full agreement that Crem gets his due, thanks again Crem and hoping all is OK.
On the bottom of my box there is a statement "Warning this product contains chemicals including lead known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm wash hands after use"
It does not say which part on the steamer. I'm going to call customer service tomorrow when they are open and get there thoughts.
I cleaned several lps yesterday that were cleaned by other than steaming. Hands down improvement to those lps. Quite and better sound.
Ericjcabrera i had many methods of cleaning my vinyl and resisted steaming. With the time it takes to clean your lps do your self a favor get a steamer and hear the difference. At this point i will be steaming lps in my collection that has not been steamed. The fact is steaming hands down is the best way to clean your vinyl records.
Dear Posters, I deeply thank you for you willingness to stand on the the principals of Steam Cleaning. Lets move forward , together.
Deep Stean Cleaning , in my view, is a scientifically sound, practical method to clean vinyl recordings. You 'Goners have proven that as fact. Tvad noted recently the importance of the final rinse. I believe his view can not be over-stressed. Without the final rinse ,certian record cleaners will not be removed and the benefits of deep steam cleaning may not be fully realized. In our discussions it appeas what water product is to be used for the final rinse continues to be an open question. I use Peak Battery Water ; former postings on AG make us aware That "Peak" is an option among many options. For instance, in the latest edition of "Stereophile" Mr. Fremer reviews the Gem Record Cleaner, that relys on a final rinse of pressured tap water. Tvad's remarks highlighting the final rinse are instructional. I hope further discussion as to product A VS product B shall continue.
Friends, I have requested AG delete the hurtful words in recent weeks on the closed thread ; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to express your opinion. The closed thread contained factual, helpful information; why not restore it to the dignity that AG & we deserve.
I use the Disck Doctor brushes to apply the cleaning fluids, but use a carbon fiber brush to apply the 2 rinses. My thoughts are that the carbon fiber brushes retain less junk and get down deeper into the grooves. What do people think? - Any other suggestions? One other thing I have been thinking about is when using reagent water (which is what I use), does the water really get down into the groves given there is no surficant.
On an unrealted point, the other night I cleaned a bunch of records with the Perfection steamer, but forgot to unplug it. i realized I left it on 3 days later. Thank goodness nothing happened (I assume there is some sort of protection built into the unit), but just a warning to people out there.
All Perfection users heres the answer to the lead question. A response from the lab using the phone number on the box stated that lead is in the power cord as Tvad mentioned but not on the outside, as long as you dont chew or cut and rub the inside of the cord on you no problems.
Cohnaudio i also use Disc Doctor Miracle cleaner. Along with Nerl lab water for the double rinse i use in my cleaning method. I use VPIs nylon brushes the one they include in there 17 machine. I believe using this brush in my rinses i'm getting the water to the bottom of the LP grooves. I can see a wake in front of the brush as the LP turns on my 16.5. By the sound i am now getting i would say that a double rinse is a must for the best in sound from a cleaned LP. I guess you have done the longevity test with Perfection glad you remembered to unplug when you did.
08-26-08: Stltrains All Perfection users heres the answer to the lead question. A response from the lab using the phone number on the box stated that lead is in the power cord as Tvad mentioned but not on the outside, as long as you dont chew or cut and rub the inside of the cord on you no problems.
Stltrains, thanks for doing that research. That's very good news. I'll go repurchase a Perfection at a lower cost. Win-win.
In response to Ericjabara's thread; a review of the GEM on the 6 Moons web site & Stereophile's review of the GEM, I am prepairing to experiment using hot/warm tap water & concentrated record cleaning fluids inconjuction with deep steam cleaning w/ a final rinse.
The tap water delivey system was developed from of parts sourced @ Home Depot , as well as, a deep discounted , professional all purpose end sprayer for outdoor gardens , sourced from a local store w/deep end of season discounts.
The Tap Water Delivery Parts : A GE 4' Universal Washer Hose, stainless endings w/ S.S. mesh covering triple-ply hose ($13.00), Watts all brass adapter A-665 ($4.00) and Gilmore Manufacturing Co , brass , metal & plastic complete hose end sprayer, the 362-D, (80-90% off $7.00).
The 362-D sprayer is very compact & adjustable; the 362-D comes with a lifetime replacement policy. The 362-D unit is very powerful , it's small , easily attaches to the utility tub faucet's with lots of room to spare for the GEM record holder to sit on the base of the tub.
I must admit, the sprayer has the vague appearence of a water gun but it is far more powerful and fuctional; Its all metal w/ a solid brass nozzel with an adjustable deflector for precise spray pattern.
As an altermative to the 362-D unit, I purchased a Vigoro goose neck all brass neck w/ a shut-off valve ($7.00) and a "needle-type" Vigoro Sweepe brass & Plastic Nozzle ($3.00).
Crem why go through all of that trouble when a simple steamer is all thats needed? You got me here with steamings ease and profound use as a vinyl record cleaner. I'm a very happy vinyl camper with my steamer and not looking back any time soon.
Ok, I am going to try and set the record straight and then depart. I apologize since it looks like I have been labeled the bad guy but evidently some of you did not follow the thread very closely. It did not "turn into a personal attack on him" until after he flipped out and attacked me.
Towards the end Crem dismissed those with small collections and less than state of the art systems saying his process was better used by large collectors like himself who could afford to pay people to find records for them. I found this just a bit arrogant and I merely stated that in my opinion the process was impractical for large collections due to the time it would take and said
The amount of time spent in this thread on the minutia of the process is time wasted that could have been spent listening. I propose that you have become so eaten up with the process of cleaning that you have detracted from the joy of listening.
I fail to see how this is offensive unless you think "eaten up" is an attack but I don't see it, and I still believe my point is valid that the amount of time spent on this had become excessive.
Crem then took it up a notch by responding with an incoherent rant
Herman your distorting what I ment but you have a point, even if your needle is gouging into the vinyl . Had I understood how far reaching & insiteful you are I would have never given you the time of day much less taken 100's of hours of my time to carefully doctument the process & testing Steam Cleaners to save YOU money. Herman, I plead guilty for misunderstanding the creatant thinking. You have a perfect right to be a lug and your right again. Responding takes away from my precious time that I NEED TO STEAM !! So why waste your time sending me tripe? Oh Herman thanks I think I'll listen to the needle slaming into the label full tilt , thanks again, Hey gang what a guy...Oh Doctor, Doctor do you have any little green pills to make him go away ? Thanks, Doctor I FEEL so much better...Herman get a life. Ha, Ha Ha .... Ah, just one question before I go ... What have you ever done to advance the SOTA in record enjoyment besides writing this ? Now, I'll have another pill Doc... All the best & don't be too insulted , you already did that to me.
I should have dropped it at that point but it irritated me that he would start yelling at me about what I considered a perfectly valid point and I took it up a notch. I should not have done that and I sincerely apologize for doing so.
If you agree that my statement quoted above was not meant as an attack, and I truly did not mean it that way, then it did not turn into an attack on him until after he turned and attacked me.
Thank you for your time. I will leave you all to your discussion.
Herman- I found your question(s) most valid, the attacks made in response. This is an open forum and the more ideas and people that participate the better it becomes. Sometimes these threads become a pulpit for prophets, again all good, an open forum. Take what you want leave the rest. If someone wants to make their lifes ambition being the best steam cleaner ever, God bless them. They could be doing a lot more harm. I like to steam clean because it is affordable and easy. I do it to keep my records sounding good, playing good music. I am not interested in spending more time getting one more pop out of my album when I could be using that time listening to records. The music is so much more important to me than the process.
Vinyl cleaning methods were in the dark ages with cloths , buffers and sprays until vacuum based record cleaning machines which, in my opinion, offer a iffy first line of defense for deep cleaning vinyl.
For my part, I was content to think & develop all sorts of vinyl cleaning machines as my way to combat unremitting cronic pain from an automobile accident that led to a series of heart attacks and worse.Overcoming cronic pain became a personal contest ; I focused on Audio as a way to overcome the effects of being bed-ridden for years with crippeling effects of pain & the disabilities the accident forced upon me. Pain changed me .
And , that is where matters stood until a friend suggested I forwarded a short article on deep steaming vinyl records to Listener Magazine. " And it Makes A Fine Gift" was lite-hearted tome outlining the stean cleaning method. "Gift" was published by "Listener" also as my challenge to the audio review community , many of whom had presented rather droll ideas on cleaning vinyl in a recent edition of "Listener" specifically devoted to cleaning records. "Listener" had intended to review steam cleaning ; all that fell-thru with the demise of the Mag. However, Art Dudley didn't forget about me or steam cleaning.
Sometime later, Michael Fremer of "Stereophile" notifed me of his interest in the steaming subject. That began months of z-mails resulting in his testing the method for soundness & safety; Mickey became a reluctant convert. Thereafter, "Stereophile" published Mr. Fremer's articles relative to steaming , even including brief side-bar on steaming in the '03 "Recommended Issue" : In early, 2006 they printed an two part article regarding record cleaning in which they acknowledged me was the person behind the steam cleaning method.
Since before then and after, my phone hasn't stopped ringing . A few of those calls include audio manufactures requesting private demostrations of steaming . Guess what won ?
Along the way , Mr. Fremer sent me a cautionary email about publishing one's views , allowing me to read some comments he is at times sent. I didn't get it then but I do now.
For my part, I should not have responded to your comments except respectfully, or not at all. For the record, I did not diss anyone . But, when you take this Hobby to the next level, the critera change.
One narrow comment; specifically, some private and governmental instutions have God-Knows how many recordings left in storge for years. It is an now ongoing in-house debate if these recordings will be held for the future or for budgetary reasons turned into trash. I know; I personally spoke to a Libary of Congress person that expressed reservation to accepting my collection of 1887-1900 Edision wax cylinders because , in part, of cost associated with preservation. I believe I know the value of those waxes on the open market , but that didn't matter.
I make no apology for others people's wealth (sorry). As for all the rest , I'll plead guilty koz I'm not going to go to jail for being such rabid audio hound . But, none of what I have outlined permitted to you the right to state some remarks that led to the thread's demise.
Herman, my apology. This is my last public comment ; I hope all will agree.
All at times we all get the feeling we are being offended. Its a way of life but in the end we are the ones who let what others say upset us and make us mad. Its hard to just let it go in todays arena of political correct society. You can let it go because its your choice. Zenblaster you have hit it on the head "The music is so much more important to me than the process" This is why to me steaming is so important it opens up your vinyl records and brings a superior sound. Its easy to do and the results are fantastic. We can use this thread to improve on the subject. Lets enjoy the music and the hell with the rest.
Pain changes us all. Those that live thru it are far different than when we began. I was always "brite" but no longer. Pain opened doors within the mind that hundreds of years of living may not. We are all different. I think all of us must come to terms we are the LAST of the Analog generation. Only, the Billionaires will suceed us to afford the cost(s) of analog into the future. Digital will prevail , but for the few with analog recordings they have the challenge as to how to preserve and play those black orbs. That is the challenge into a uncertian future.
There is a good example of steam cleaning records on YouTube.com.
On another note, I was sent this message to my personal e-mail, I found it in one of my spam filters.
Z: Whatever you believe be sure , I am prepaired to take certian action,:stop creating what I view as legal issues against your self. Don't respond. Anything further remarks on your part I will elect be use in a Court of Law. Take this as a friendly reminder.
FROM: Crem1 (a member)
Crem- I have no idea what you are rambling about. I have never spoken to or communicated to you other than through this thread. I suggest you seek medical help before legal.
BTW- I was unfortunately born into a family of lawyers so save your time and money on that front.
Zenblaster: Have you ever Steam cleaned a LP ? If you have, Please, post on cleaning issues. If not, read on you may learn something positive about steam cleaning.
Should you feel the need , respond to me , about me, for me ,against me, off site. I will respond only to remarks focused on AUDIO.
And Zen, I wish to correct one misconception: At no time did I make veiled comments on AG regarding you or your other-self Bernard. None what so ever, period.
Why act to discredit a significant Thread regarding record cleaning ? Everybody that's anybody in Audio reads AG ; here and abroad those with financal interests in regard to record cleaning are either laffing or cheering on this circus koz it distracts from the fact ... Steam Cleaning works. And, its cheep!
Stltrains : Regarding your "Q" of 8/27, I choose to experiment with combining other water inspired record cleaning methods just to determine if George Merrill is on to something so simple & cheap.
But there is a second reason.
I have been contacted by a lady who owns a considerable 1960's era R&R collection mostly 1st edition, mostly autographed LPs that have become infected with mold .
Her grandchild has cancer. The Staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital required her to seal the entire collection in plastic due to the mold that they fear may compromise the child's health. She is a care-giver to the child. She now requests my aid in saving those LPs & covers. The collection is about 1,000 LPs. I'm scrambling for ideas before I accept the task.
Motnic : The Deep Steam Cleaning Thread develed into "Last". According to the information posted, "Lasts" compounds can not be removed by steam cleaning or other cleaning methods. The bad news posted was that ,at times, "Last" and other products ie, "Sound Guard", do not age well, creating a significant noise signature that may leave the LP with unacceptable noise making it unplayable for some readers.
Has anyone directly compared the results of steaming with enzyme cleaning? Enzyme solutions are all the rage right now but are expensive. Steaming is much cheaper and should have the potential to work better. Here's my theory. Enzymes are biological molecules that denature(break down) proteins. That's great if all that's contaminated the record is protein matter. Almost all enzymes are specific to certain amino acid groups so won't have any effect on other proteins. The heat from steam should also denature protein matter(just ask a poached egg) but has no specificity for what proteins it's breaking down. It also loosens or breaks down other biological and non-biological contaminants enzymes can't. Then there's the issue of how long an enzyme can remain active in solution(Loyd Walker's on to something here). I know these enzyme solutions must contain a multitude of different enzymes(I hope) but I haven't tried them yet and this is the logic behind why I haven't.
The heat from steam should also denature protein matter(just ask a poached egg) but has no specificity for what proteins it's breaking down. It also loosens or breaks down other biological and non- biological contaminants enzymes can't. Sonofjim (Threads | Answers)
IMO, the steam from home hand-held steamers is not hot enough to do this, nor is the steam applied long enough.
I use both an enzymatic cleaner and steam. I suspect 98% of those who use a steamer do the same.
I have been experimenting with bacteria specifically engineered to produce enzyme's that eat certian organics ,quickly, for about a year. The organics the bacteria eat are about identical to what is found on LPs.
Some fluid designers relate they do not believe any organic material can be located on the surface of a vinyl LP. Others strongly disagree, having tests to prove the point.
The bacteria come from 2 different sources and are patiented products . The difference between enzymes only and bacteria? Bacteria are a natural living thing that digests organic material leaving H2O & C02. A steam rinse ends the natural process.
In case I havn't noted it , much of this was outlined on the old thread, including the fact the bacteria are harmless to us and our pets.
In an email to Michael Fremer last year, I detailed some dramatic results with LPs that resisted any form of cleaning and more dramatic results with bacteria cleaning on "average joe" LPs. The drawback? Time, bacteria cleaning takes time but may out-do enzymes that only break down the organics to smaller particles before being lifted off in the cleaning process. Bacteria on the other-hand eat off the enzymed organics in ways that only a microscope can verify. Bacteria products cost next to nothing compaired to the prices for enzyme products now offered for sale to audioers. More later. As for today, use the enzymes they can't hurt, except in the pocketbook.
Tvad, I thought of this too after the above post but the steam doesn't have to completely cook anything. Even mild moist heat should be enough for proteins(or whatever else) to change configuration sufficiently to lose their "grip" on the surface and be rinced away. If you say enzymes in addition to steam are synergistic I believe you and may have to eventually try it. Presently though, I'm happy as is.
According to those fluid designers ,that discuss enzymes in one to one conversation, the detergent industry has made significant contribution towards the development/formulation of labatory produced enzymes.Some fluid designers relate that since there enzymes are based on Mother Nature the enzymes they harvest in a lab setting are in-fact "natural".
Enzymes are naturally produced by bacteria to allow germs to digest organic debris. Chemists contracted by fluid designers have been tweaking the detergent-type formulas for cleaning LPs.
Bacteria designers are patienting certian forms of bacteria that are said to produce more effecient forms of enzymes for commerical purposes : In the petrol industries,for drains and sewer systems. Bacteria cleaning is becomming as huge industry , saving lot of $$$$$$ to Government and Industry that's just beginning to reach the consumer. What these bacteria digest and what's clogging the record groves is similar if not the same, organics.
Vinyl is inert. However, mold release compounds , common mold, and pollution in homes ,etc. are generally based on organic and non-organic materials that "bond" into chains of stuff termed "gunk". By disolving the bonds via lab enzymes or bacteria based they break down and to be flushed away ; relate to Tide, Cheer and dozens of other detergent products that use enzymes. All recommend a rinse cycle .
I am by no means an expert , from what I understand the trick within the formulas is to include enought detergent to allow the gunk to be washed away without leaving a residue. So it appears , rinsing is essential to the cleaning process.
With bacteria cleaning much of what has been mentioned also applies , with exception of detergents; there are none. The compounds left from digestion are water & C02. Nevertheless, a good strong rinse , steam or otherwise does appear to assist in removing whatever is left on the LP surface.
Most record enzyme products are sold with super-pure-type water for the rinsing phase. So, rinsing applies there as well, as in Walker products, to mention only one brand name.
have been following this and the original thread for a while. and it seems like a really sound brilliant idea! i'm from way over here in india :) and there seems to be one steam cleaner available on a local shopping site. could you check the link i've posted and let me know if it would do the trick as well as the perfection steamer which i have no access to? just want to make sure before i start steaming!
Stevieboy : Thank you for the encouragement. I did go to the web site. The page that opened did not carry a description or picture . No problem ,I did find one that opened to the Monster Product Line. I own a Monster Product similar in looks to the SC 20 (Baby Steamer) that works very well w/ the conical attachment. The SC 50 looks very interesting . Should the 50 put out a thin steam head, that you feel confortable directing ,it certianly may work , but I have no personal experience with that model-type. I think the 20 may be the one to purchase. Stevieboy, keep in touch. Thanks for the contribution. We look forward to more.
PS I also have a heavy duty floor model that works well around the home : Its is suited for home not LP cleaning.
my fault i did not use markup tags trying again with them so a link appears. the steamers you're referring to i think are available in the US? i wouldn't be able to get one from there. would rather buy local. am looking forward to starting and then sharing the knowledge on a local indian forum to get people here also to check out the steamway!
I recently found a nice copy of David Bowie's Hunky Dory on very thin Dyaflex vinyl. I've not tried steaming a record this thin yet. Do I need to worry more about warping a Dynaflex? Should I avoid steaming it or forge ahead?
Crem1, I took out a record which I bought several years ago for $8.00 by Clifton Chenier "King of the Bayous". This vinyl had so many marks on both sides, it was impossible to even see the scratches, but when both sides were played, the noise level of crackling was appalling. I decided to clean side A only with steam followed by a water rinse whilst side B had the steam plus L'Art du Son + a water rise all performed on the Hannl machine sold by TW Acustic. Both sides looked the same after the clean with surface scratches now clearly visible. the sound however was clear and crisp on BOTH sides with only the gap between tracks displaying a slight surface noise. To me this indicates that steam cleaning plus a rinse is all that may be required to fully clean vinyl? This could potentially save each and every audiophile hundreds of dollars over the forthcoming years? it would be good if someone had access to an electron microscope to confirm on a molecular level, the state of the grooves after steam cleaning and fluid cleaning? Until then, I think my days of purchasing cleaning fluids may be over?
Halcro, I agree with you that, all that is needed is a steam rinse and a water rinse. I have not found that purchasing expensive cleaning fluids, is not needed for me. I use reverse/osmosis water (R/O). Pet stores that sell tropical fish, usually sell it for 50 cents per gallon. You must bring your own container. If your albums have peanut butter and jelly on them, maybe you should buy some cleaning fluid first.
Nobody had responded to my question about Dynaflex vinyl so I went ahead and tried steaming my Hunky Dory. I must admit I chickened out and only did one steam cycle instead of my usual two but warping did not seem to be a problem. I then took a real leap of steaming faith and steam cleaned a first pressing of Highway 61 Revisited with the alternate take of From a Buick 6. It came out appearing close to near mint as opposed to the VG+ I paid for. Bottom line, I'm trusting steaming to be a safe method more and more, even on valuable LPs.
Halcro & Thommas: I agree with both of you that fluids are an option ,in some, (maybe all?) instances.
In the former Thread I expressed that in my experience, homemade fluid brews(read very cheap) seemed to work equally as well as the hi-priced spreads. That statement cost me ; I know Martina & others fluid designers strongly disagree as they have the right , but experiences as yours reflect other options .
The exception maybe dirty used recordings, a little home brew never hurt anything or for that matter hi-priced record cleaning solutions I presently have on hand. I agree and will apply them only as an option not a requirement.
Happy Hanna(Da' Storm) to all living on the East Coast , or in the East generally. May she leave before landing in your World.
Sonofjim, You were on my "respond to" list. My experiences are equall to yours , no problems. I recall one poster related a "thin" used never played LP may have warped in steaming, but they dropped off the old thread perhaps they felt they should have been played the LP to know its condition before steaming. Again, I have yet to damage a LP by steaming. S, did your "61" come with a charcole repro of BD inside the cover ? Thanks.