I have been offered the use of a Moth record cleaning machine for all my older vinyl and was just wondering what the best cleaning fluid would be? I did read to avoid alcohol based solutions and also not Fairy liquid and warm water! I see Moth do produce their own cleaning fluid but is that necessary, perhaps those with more experience can advise on what has given them good results?
Thanks in advance.
Avoiding alcohol based solutions is avoiding clean records.
Softened water. Water is a great ionic solvent on its own.
Moth cleaning fluid is mixture of isopropyl and distilled water.
I use 25% isopropyl, 75% distilled water. And a drop of Kodak fluid dispersant.
I’d also recommend ear protection for the moth, I use royal artillery issue ear defenders.
Also, a spacer to protect the label is a good idea.
I used to use 20 to 25% isopropanol with my VPI and as a basic cleaner it’s nearly all you need. 75% water is enough to keep the plasticisers n the vinyl. One or two records defeated t and an enzyme cleaner was the answer, Nitty Gritty did one, but wait until you need it as the enzymes have a shelf life.
The drawback I found with aqueous isopropanol is it does nothing for static and when I moved to an SPU cartridge tracking at 3g+ there was a lot of that. By then I was using a Degritter for routine cleaning and after some experimenting I settled on distilled water with three drops of Tergicleen in the tank. If you can find another source of tergitol all the better. With a vacuum machine like the Moth or VPI you can up the dose a little.
Although I’m currently using Project’s own cleaning fluid mixed with distilled water, a mix of 5-1 of distilled water to Isopropyl alcohol and a few drops of Photo Flo has worked well for me in the past.
Just be sure to use properly distilled water - I source by mail order from APC Pure - as this make a BIG difference.
Give the records a good scrub with a soft goathair brush (or similar) as they spin so you get up a good lather. Pay close attention to the lead in and lead out areas too as these tend to be where fingers touch the most. Then vacuum off both ways, and repeat. Inspect the clean LP carefully after cleaning to see whether there’s any stubborn dirt, marks or detritus still there. I then use a small brush to concentrate on any problem areas with the cleaning fluid. Then do one more cleaning cycle.
I’ve tried isopropyl alcohol, mixed 30:70 with distilled water, and also bioethanol mixed 50:50 with distilled water, each with a couple of drops of Ilfotol wetting agent. I am convinced that both of these, and particularly the latter, increase the static charge on the vinyl. I have since gone back to OkkiNokki fluid, also mixed with distilled water, which, although more costly, has cured the static problem.
If you’ve been loaned the cleaner, it would be worth checking the felt strips on the vacuum tube.
This prompted me that I need to reorder the Project fluid. It now comes in a ‘ready mixed’ format with demineralised water. Hmm.
I’ve recently been experimenting / trying Clearadudio’s Pure Groove, which comes ready to mix with Isopropyl Alcohol, which the user has to supply. Not cheap, but it is truly excellent. And has certainly improved on the home brew mix I was using prior, and also perhaps better than L’Art Du Son too.
The moth is a very nice machine and their own fluid is excellent.
but the ear defenders are not an option extra.
I moved my moth m/c on after getting grahams KM m/c and put my ear defenders back in the garage. I make my own fluid with industrial meths (I have a licence, for record cleaning) and deionized water for the first pass then the KM fluid for a final pass.
enjoy the results
I used to have a Moth RCM, and as others have mentioned you will need a pair of ear defenders.
As it is basically a vacum cleaner in a box, it blows out a lot of hot air, IMHO you will need good ventilation to stop you getting very warm. A job for a cold winters day, without the heating on. YMMV.
Thanks everyone for your replies so far. It’s very helpful to receive advice from those with experience as to what works well.
I used to use the Okki Nokki solution with purified water.
Not only cleans, but removed the static.
A Martian watching the process which you describe there, Richard, would think that Earthlings are strange creatures!
Hopefully they would at least appreciate the pretty patterns one can make with the lather as the LP spins. Overall, it’s an oddly satisfying process.
I have a Degritter and use distilled water from APC + 1ml of Degritter fluid per tank. I’m still on my first bottle after a year and have cleaned 1,200 records.
Good… its not just me then.