I would guess that a chemical lab supply house would have them. Try the Yellow Pages or get in touch with someone at a local college to see who supplies them. I know that for my model railroad painting needs I required distilled water and found it at a local drugstore. Was it 3X distilled or not, who knows. It worked fine with acrylics though. Home brewed D-3 fluid heh? What will they think of next. Good day.
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Bill E.. I take it that you are going to mix the alcohol with the distilled water. In that case, you don't need 100% alcohol, which is difficult to find. I use the methanol sold in hardware stores, which is pure enough. I suppose that you are talking about methanol and not ethanol or iso-propanol. The need for triple distilled water is also questionable. Simple distilled water should be sufficient, if you are intending to use it for vinyl disc cleaning.
A good and cheap substitute for distilled water is to collect the water from a clean room dehumidifier.
Agree with Bob, but switched to 91% Isopropyl alcohal (available @ many drug/grocery stores for $1.50/Pt as it should not not contain toxins that are sometimes created during higher levels of distillation (such as is possible with the higher grade electrician'e alcohal that I used before). Think that benzeine (not certain if this is the one, but it's something like this) can sometimes be a bi-product of the higher distillation technique.
I wonder about alcohal effecting plastsizers over time (though have experienced no noticable damage with some LP's that I still own and that were cleaned with various alcohal/water solutions over the past 30 years:-), so use only a 20/80 mixture, by volume (plus the alcohal is already diluted @ 91%) and then rinse the crap out of the LP with a Water-Pik and distilled water. I have a gizmo (Groovmaster) that protects the label area of the LP during the cleaning/rinsing process and use a long bristled brush for the cleaning itself. If you use a vacuum/brush machine then that's fine, maybe do a second "rinse only" cycle if you have the patience?
For various formulas check out the vinyl and tweaker's forums @ Audio Asylum. Some people add a few drops of "Photo Flow" to the mix (allows the solution to reach/flow deep into the grooves) as well as a mild detergent. I figure that most are fine as long as they are not left on the LP for a long period of time (the shorter the duration the better) and also granted that the LP receives a good rinsing following the cleaning.
I go through a gallon of my home brew per week cleaning up thrift shop finds (since it's cheap I don't chintz on it which I would most likely do if I were paying $30-$60/gallon for the stuff).
I get my "insane quality water" from a local computer chip manufacturer. I don't think the corporate office would be interested in selling me 5 gallons but since I have friends that work there they just ask permission to give me some.
The best alcohol I have been able to find is denatured avaiable at pharmacies. I have found the pharmacy folks really nice and regularly buy 4 bottles at a time for about $3.50 each. My guess is that pure alcohol (lab grade) would be cost prohibitive.
I'm not sure it really matters much when one considers the process of limited alcohol exposure and vacuuming the surface after a water rinse. I think the purer ingredients at least offer some added peace of mind.
Kodak PhotoFlow is a great addition. It's similar to soap in that is breaks the surface tension and allows the fluid to do it's job faster. Photographic film is pretty delicate stuff so I can't believe it would degrade a disk that needed cleaning.
Yes, I've been outed. I'm really looking for a substitute for my sudo-addiction to old armagnacs.
Perhaps you've been right. Maybe I'm really looking for my record cleaning supplies.
I figure 80/20 of the purist water to purist isopropyl alcohol is what I will use and maybe a dab of Kodac PhotoFlow as others have described. I believe it's been said that two drops per gallon. Is that correct?
I appreciate all the help on this one. I have a VPI-17 and have a collection of 50-70's classical plus new audiophile labels. I'm in the look-out for jazz and rock from the 50-80's. Is there a difference in the liquid that should be used for vinyl of different age? Is there anything unique that I should know about when and when not to clean with liquid and which liquid.
Thanks all for your input, ignorance is not bliss.
Fischer Scientific sells reagant grade methanol for about $20 a liter. http://www.fisherscientific.com We use it to clean optics in lasers. If you know someone who works in a hospital they should be able to get some.
For many years I have used the following simple solution with very satisfactory results, and, most importantly, no harm across several thousand LPs:
20% Isopropyl Alcohol (91%), with no additives
80% Distilled water
12-20 drops of Kodak PhotoFlow per gallon (to reduce surface adhesion)
Mixing this up is simple: Buy a 1 gallon container of distilled water, pour off a little more than a quart into a separate clean container, then pour 1 quart of isopropyl alcohol into the gallon container, add the PhotoFlow, and top off the gallon container with some of the distilled water you poured off at the outset.
Some people contend that a surfactant should also be added as a "detergent" agent to be effective, but I've yet to find a recommendation with which I've felt comfortable so I've stayed with the formula above. There is also some contrary opinion about the use of the PhotoFlow, but I've not observed any problem in over 15 years. In my experience the PhotoFlow is necessary to get the fluid into the record grooves.
One can work multiple options on how pure should be the alcohol and distilled water. I've always used what I find in the local drug store.
Bill, as long as your records are vinyl, and not shellac, the small amounts of alcohol is fine. Never use alcohol on shellac. Mostly old stuff on 78 is more likely to be shellac. I'm not sure when the change-over occured, but I have had many albums from the early 50s and never encountered a shellac 33 1/3 record.
Dekay, I wouldn't worry about the iso-propanol extracting the plasiciser from the vinyl, not methanol nor ethanol. Just stay clear of denatured ethanol, because the denaturant is sometimes benzene, which would be harmful. The other alcohols do not contain denaturant, as they are not drinkable anyway, which is why the ethanol is denatured, to discourage people from drinking it.
As for mixing armagnac with water (any water), I frown upon that habit, just as adding water to good scotch!
Hi Bob: It was just something that I read @ AA along with the possibility that my old 99.953% alcohal may contain (as a bi-product) a nasty chemical, albeit in small trace amounts. I believe that this info came from chemists @ the site.
As far as the brandy goes a drop of two of branch will open up the bouquet and sweeten the taste a bit (same with Scotch and Bourbon).
I was @ a "grip" shop in Hollywood and ran across some plasticising (is that a word?) products (sprays and liquids). Don't know much about this in general, so did not pick any up.
I may even start using filtered tap water (instead of distilled). We just picked up new/improved filters for a PUR that claim to remove everything. I hate lugging water home.
Dekay, The word is plasticiser. I used to run a plasticiser plant (there are several different types, but most are esters and are very effective in dissolving rubbers and plastics, vinyl included). The ester, btw, is made by reacting an alcohol with an organic acid, which explains why alcohols will dissolve the plasticiser somewhat.
I also ran a synthetic ethanol plant and one of the tests for purity of the alcohol was to dilute the ethanol to 15% with water and check the odour, the water driving off the odour causing chemicals so that you can smell them better. That would explain why adding water to scotch seems to open up the taste and odour, since pure ethanol is both odourless and tasteless. Its the impurities that give good spirits their taste and aroma, just like its the distortions that give audio components their identity and characteristics.