Vinyl Cleaning Fluid for VPI RCM

I have a VPI HW 17. I had been using Torumat fluid. I had 2 gallons I bought a few years ago and just recently ran out. It seems they must be out of business because I can not find it anywhere. If you know a source, can you let me know? If its not available, can you give me recommendations on a commercial cleaner that you like with the VPI or other machines(I don't want to mix my own concoction). Thanks for any input.

How about VPI's fluid? I manually clean with Disc Dr. and like it. Good luck.
Record Research Labs has some very good cleaning fluids. And VPI has some, as well, I believe.
Garakawa, I was in the same boat as you once, having used Torumat for some time before running out. In the time since, I have tried virtually every commerically available fluid and a host of home brews. Another member here, Albert Porter, offered several folks free samples of RRL fluids to try, which is where I learned of it. I decided to order some and it has worked exceedingly well for me (I use a 16.5). I've tried lots of others since, but for the best combination of performance, application, failure to leave any sort of resiude or sonic impact, and peace of mind that it will do no harm to records, RRL fluids belong on the very top shelf. Check your e-mail.
Both Disc Doctor and Paul Frumkin's Audio Intelligent are working well here with a VPI HW-17 RCM.

For both, I apply the cleaning fluid to the Disc Doctor brush and use the VPI's fluid applicator for the distilled water rinse.
Audio Intelligent works quite well.
To each their own, Rackdoctor. I used to use Torumat until Albert Porter recommended RRL, which I found better in every way. (Must be system dependant ...)

Are you a customer of Brooks?

Nope, not a customer of Brooks. Acoustic Image. I don't think it is system dependent. I cleaned a couple of records with the RRL and all the air and upper extension sounded dull and muffled. I returned it to Elliot at Acoustic Image and told him my experinece. A couple of months later he told me that he too noticed the same thing. Anyway, that's my experience.
Rackdoctor, you might want to buy a new keyboard, your caps lock key seems to be stuck on! My ears hurt from all the shouting.
Rackdoctor, the experience of you and Elliot would seem to be extremely rare anomalies in a very large sea of folks who feel the exact opposite. Given that the RRL fluids are found by most everyone to be the purest of anything they’ve tried or seen, reports of “deadening the highs” are very hard to imagine. Something must be amiss in your application – or something. As to the claim of “hand lotion ingredients”, I think you should provide some solid proof in evidence. “I researched it” proves nothing to me. Where? When? How? I had discussions with the guy who developed the RRL fluids (Brian Weitzle) and, based on his sincerity and detailed discussions of the research and development process that went into making the stuff in the first place, I’d be nearly willing to wager my system that “hand lotion ingredients” are not part of the formula. Maybe you have it confused with another product which actually smells a bit of hand lotion. If you can actually substantiate what you say about the RRL fluids, I’d be all ears. If not, it is a very irresponsible statement which should be retracted.
I have used a few different cleaning solutions, and was always on a quest to find something better.

I tried Brian Weitzle's RRL products and took an immediate liking to them.

I am so satisfied that both of his formulas are now my mainstay.

I do look forward to trying Paul's formula, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

As far as the hand lotion thing-- I find Brian's products so very clean that I bet they wouldn't half bad as a chaser.... ehh, maybe not the vinyl wash as a chaser.

nevermind :)

I am not affiliated with RRL in any way, just a happy camper.

Torumat fluid, I'm not aware of. I have a regiment with Harry's VPi machine that includes the Nitty Gritty First precleaner (now available again), a rinse, then the Disc Doctor cleaner, then a rinse, with good results for records that are second hand. For the new ones I use strictly the Disc Doctor and a rinse with distilled water. Mostly to get rid of the mold release chemicals. This works quite nice. Garakawa have you seen the "Zen and the Art of Record Cleaning Made Difficult" article? it is worthy of review and can be found at:
It is a bit over the top but helpful. Cheers!
Sorry about the CAPS. I am too lazy to to mess with the shift key. Here is your proof of evidence.I will give you my address where you can send me your system.

Maybe I could use the RRL on my face after shaving.I did not like it on my records. J.K.
After trying all the other fluids, I like RRL products, by far, the best.
OK, so your "proof" says that Trisodium EDTA is in a bunch of personal care products, and a favorite of Revlon. There is nothing there with any link whatsover to any record cleaning products of any kind. As I figured, my system is safe where it sits. Think of something else to wash the egg from your face with. Oy.....
4yanx, I stated "I RESEARCHED THE INGREDIENTS AND ONE OF THEM IS ALSO FOUND IN WOMEN'S HAND LOTION." You said"As to the claim of “hand lotion ingredients”, I think you should provide some solid proof in evidence. “I researched it” proves nothing to me."I’d be nearly willing to wager my system that “hand lotion ingredients” are not part of the formula."

Well I proved it.Here is the quote from RRL website-"Trisodium EDTA is added to the surfactant as a preservative." So I would say that you have the egg on your face and when will you be shipping me your system.
Rackdoctor, I don't see what difference this makes. Can you tell me what Trisodium EDTA is and what it is supposed to do to my records? To my ears it has only improved the sound I get from my vinyl. RRL says that they add it as a preservative. I'm assuming that is to keep mold and perhaps bacteria from growing in the stuff while it sits on the shelf. I'm also pretty sure that both RRL and hand cream share another chemical, that would be water. But I don't see the reasoning that if both contain a certain compound then it automatically can't be good for vinyl cleaning.

I don't know what you and your dealer did/heard/saw/smelled/whatever, but I do know that RRL record cleaning products have worked extremely well for me and the overwhelming majority of people who have tried it. Perhaps Torumat is even better than RRL, I don't kow 'cause I've never tried it.

But I will tell you this, you can't build a market for any product just based on trashing the competition. The responses you're getting here should explain why this doesn't work, especially in the case of RRL that does have a very loyal customer base. Good luck to you.
EDTA's chemical name is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. Dow Chemical's brand name is Versene; there are a handful of other manufacturers. EDTA and its'salts (Disodium and Trisodium EDTA) are used extensively in the personal care, food, and water treatment industries. It's primary functions are that of preservation and chelation. Preservatives and chelating agents are chosen primarily on the ph range in which they function. For example carbonated beverages (check your can of Coke or Pepsi), because of their low ph, are preserved almost exclusively with sodium benzoate which is fucnctional only up to a ph of 4. Foods and personal care products with higher ph's use a variety of other chemical including potassium sorbate, EDTA, nitrates, propionates, etc.
EDTA is harmless and effective.
Well said, Dan_ed.

I guess that a google search now equals "research" of a product. In my google search, I found the following results for trisodium EDTA ...

1)Trisodium EDTA: Powdered sodium salt. Used as a chelating agent

2)Trisodium EDTA (Universal Preserv-A-Chem)

And, Trisodium EDTA is used as an oral chelator/intestinal wall cleanser as found at this link I've taken a similar product to chelate the plaque on my arterial walls after too many cheeseburgers. This site claims that it is a colon cleanser, too, and helps remove undigested material and fecal matter deep in your bowels.

So, it appears that trisodium EDTA is used both as a preservative (as stated at the Musical Surroundings website) and as a chelator to remove toxins from your body.

Rackdoctor: Maybe you should drink RRL fluid, rather than shave with it, as it will displace some of the undigested material deep in your bowels? Just a thought. :)

They use trisodium EDTA to help reduce toxins in the body. Must be an effective cleanser? Hmmm.

Nice try,

As you can see in my first post. I said that I heard a negative sonic difference using the RRL.I also mentioned that it contained a chemical that is found in hand lotion. I did not not say if that is right or wrong or a good or bad thing.I just thought that it was interesting.4yanx, challenged my statement as false and I backed up the fact that it contains that chemical.It comes down to this-the RRL did'nt work for me. The Torumat did. End of story.I am not trying to build a market for the Torumat and I did not "trash" the competion.I just stated two things-my experience with the RRL and a fact about one of the ingredients.You can take it anyway you want it.
Wash with distilled or HPLC water and then vacuum at the last step regardless of what cleaning fluid you use.

Why I Am Cautious About Using Record Cleaning Fluids.

Most commercial record cleaning fluids do not reveal their compositions. Why I understand the manufacturer’s reasons, as a consumer I am reluctant to use these fluids on my LPs because of their unknown effect on vinyl, the manufacturer’s claims and other audiophiles’ testimony notwithstanding. This is a little off the topic and I hope that Garakawa forgives me for this intrusion.

My cautious attitude is rooted in my work in Interfacial Phenomena better known as Surface Chemistry. Most fluids (not just alcohols) applied on the vinyl surface will leave behind a thin film of only a few molecules thick. This physically adsorbed film (by electrostatic attraction or hydrogen binding) may or may not be easily removable unless we know its composition. Finally, as some have already stated, highly polar solvents such as alcohols or other organic solvent may also dissolve (leach out) the plasticizer (probably a phthalate compound) in the vinyl which may render the vinyl brittle in the long run.

How Contaminants Are Removed From Vinyl Surface

The vinyl surface may contain a variety of undesirable contaminants: mold release, dust, finger prints (oil), cigarette smoke, at other compounds of surprising origins. It takes water and several organic fluids of different polarity to dissolve (solubilize) and displace all of these contaminants. Unfortunately, many polar organic fluids (e.g., strong alcohols) by themselves will definitely harm the vinyl; others may harm the environment (fluoro-, chloro-ethane). One solution—really a compromise—is a mixture of small quantities of one or several polar organic compounds with water, which form what some have called a broad spectrum fluid. Another solution is to use a surface-active agent to reduce the interfacial tension sufficiently 1) to allow the fluid to penetrate into the nooks and crannies where the contaminants reside and 2) to facilitate the removal of contaminants by solubilization and flotation. A third solution is the combination of the previous two.

How Cleaning Fluid Constituents Remain On Vinyl Surface

By their nature, all surface-active agents and organic materials will “adsorb” onto the vinyl surface (or any solid surface for that matter) via either electrostatic attraction and/or hydrogen bonding onto specific sites on the vinyl surface. Thus, a surface-active agent/organic solvent in the cleaning fluid will generally remain adsorbed as a thin molecular film on the vinyl surface even after vacuuming.

If this adsorbed material is a volatile liquid such as IPA—this alcohol is a weak surface-active agent—then it will eventually evaporate off the surface through its vapor pressure, though it may have time to “leach” out some plasticizer. But if this material is a higher molecular-weight (liquid or solid) compound or a detergent—this latter is the best reducer of surface tension—then it will remain molecularly adsorbed on the vinyl surface for a very long time.

I just do not believe that any fluid can have a positive “preservative” effect for vinyl. Vinyl is an extremely inert material that does not need to be preserved. It’s mostly dead already and is not going anywhere. The adsorbed film of “preservative” or lubrication left in the grooves cannot be good for the record in the long run. The electrostatic attraction or hydrogen bonding is not strong enough to survive the stress of the needle against the grooves: the adsorbed film (a few molecules thick) will be quickly torn up and become chemical contaminants in the grooves. The best treatment for vinyl is simply to clean it and leave nothing behind. Note: if memory serves, EDTA is usually used as a chelating agent to prevent solid precipitation (Ca, Mg compounds, etc.) in a complex mixture such as hand lotion, hair shampoo, toothpaste, etc. It may be called a preservative only in this sense; it is not a good biocide or oxygen scavenger.

The Last Cleaning Step

My recommendation is whatever fluid you use, wash the vinyl generously with distilled water and vacuum as the last step to remove the last remnants of the cleaning fluids. I am fortunate that I have access to HPLC grade water (and IPA) with exceedingly low residue—they are called nano-pure solvents—so I know that these solvents will leave virtually no residue. But you can do pretty well with store-bought distilled water. Just make sure it is fresh to minimize the amount of organic materials leached out of the plastic bottles and store it glass bottles if possible.
OK, you win Rack, one of the ingredients found in the RRL fluids is one found in some personal care products. As pointed out by a few others since, it is also used in a variety of other applications for the same purpose. I had not seen the ingredient listed for RRL, as I had not read the product info on the Musical Surroundings site..which also says, among other things...

"Trisodium EDTA is added to the surfactant as a preservative, greatly reducing bacterial growth with no sonic signature. Carboglycinates are added as a vinyl lubricant, again chosen for its lack of sonic signature. Both compounds are vinyl and environmentally friendly."

What I find "interesting" is that RRL discloses ANY of its ingredients. Try asking the makers of nearly any commerically available fluids for any of their ingredients and see what you come up with. I spoke with Brian Weitzle on the phone a couple of times when I was researching fluids some time ago. Bottom line is that he spent a couple of years and several thousand dollars in research and development before ever making the stuff available. The very fact that Trisodium EDTA is mentioned specifically in product literature, in combination with the reports of countless happy users, leads me to believe that your mention of it as "interesting" because it is used on "women's hand lotion" is a red herring, at best, and misleading, as well.

If the product does not work for you, I doubt anyone has a problem with that, per se. I know that I really don't care what anyone else uses, as long as they're happy. And just as you give your opinion, don't be surprised if others note their opinion as opposite from yours.

However, your allusions in making the references you have are fairly plain to me, and to others who have posted since.

You can take it anyway you want it.

It seems some have done just that., my new question is RRL or vaseline intensive care lotion???? LOL!! Anyway, thanks to all of you for your insightful comments. I am going to try the RRL, but make sure that as a final step, I rinse the vinyl in distilled water. If I don't like it, I can always will stop by Brooks' place when I am in LA and he starts selling it.....Brooks sold me my turntable and other stuff so I consider him a friend....not a plug. Thanks again.
Oh, one more question for anyone reading....

Can I use RRL deep cleaner/super vinyl wash on 78rpm records. I just acquired a bunch along with some LPs and have never cleaned 78s. THey are in good condition but VERY dirty. I think they will need an initial bath but not sure if RRL or other commercial fluids are okay for shellac. Thanks.
Garakawa, the answer is yes along with some other fluids that do not contain alcohol. I'd always ask the mfg in any case, though. to be on the safe side. For sure, anything with alcohol will ruin shellac 78's.
Garakawa, I did not account for RRL when I wrote my recommendation. In addition to a cleaner, it also uses a grove lubricant, so it may not be a good idea to wash it away with water at the end. I am not sure how the Carboglycinate works as a thin-film lubricant. This is a highly specialized area of science called tribology; I understand the theory but have no practical experience in it. Sorry.

4yanx was absolutely correct. DO NOT use alcohol with shellac.
Now that we all know that trisodium EDTA is a chelator and a preservative, (as stated by RRL), can we move on?

To answer your question Garakakwa, Brooks Berdan will start production next year, if the info from Rackdoctor is correct.

I'm certain that this is exciting news for you both, given your satisfaction with that particular product.

4yanx makes an excellent point, nobody besides RRL mentions what is used in their product. I wonder what Turomat, for example, uses? Just wondering.

Best wishes,
Jes45, I wonder about what chemicals are in those cleaning fluids myself.

I understand the need for manufacturers to keep the compositions of their cleaning fluids secret for business reasons, but I also see the needs for customers to know these compositions to make wise and safe choices or at least for their own peace of mind.

Manufacturers list the ingredients in shampoos, shaving creams, and toothpastes and still have no problem with fair competition for consumers' dollars. There should be a way to do the same with record cleaning fluids.

May be we are not as concerned about what we use on our records as we are about what we use on our hair but wouldn't it be nice to know?
Excellent points, Justin.
>>Manufacturers list the ingredients in shampoos, shaving creams, and toothpastes and still have no problem with fair competition for consumers' dollars.<<

I worked in the chemical industry for 25+ years. The ONLY reason you see ingredients listed on personal care and food products is the government's interest regarding ingestion and skin contact concerns. The law requires the listing of every ingredient beginning with that of the largest volume descending to the smallest.

You might ask your record cleaning solution manufacturer for an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). It should contain the products used and the permissible exposure limits for safe use. It will not provide volumes. I'm not sure, however, if they're required to supply these for consumer use.
Stanhifi, I understand the Federal regulations and the reason behind the listing of ingredients in personal care products. I actually had to put together quite a few MSDS myself. But I purposefully omitted their mention to better focus on our topic.

My point was we should have a similar listing of ingredients for record cleaning fluids. After all, we do have concerns about harming our valuable records as well. Knowing the product composition will certainly ease this concern and propably help some of us use the products more intelligently.

Companies can chose to do something like this not because they legally have to but because it is the right thing to do. I think RRL's voluntary listing of their product's composition is commendable. While I have never used their product and cannot say anything about its effectiveness and safety, I admire their decision and will definitely give their product a try. No good deed should go unrewarded.
Totally agree; good post.