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shamrocks

Help with ultrasonic cleaning

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Okay so I bought an US cleaner, some of my questions are:

 

1) Do I need to use cleaning solution?  There is some "streak free" cleaning concentrate that comes with the unit but would water work just as well?

2) If I do use the cleaning solution, how should i rinse the records?  Drain the tank and then run it with just water?

 

Thanks

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also any suggestions for drying racks and cloths would be helpful.  cleaning three records at once is a convenience, but having to drain the basin and refill it with clean water will be a hassle.  i guess i clean 15-20 records and then drain and rinse them, followed by hand drying?

 

i have a spin clean that would be nice to use for rinsing but that would probably be counterproductive, huh?

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i have zero experience with serious record cleaning, having only used a SpinClean previously (and likely incorrectly)

 

I think this works nicely, although i havent completely figured out the routine yet, as you cant clean and rinse simultaneously (obviously?), so you either have to drain the cleaning solution, rinse out the basin and clean in the cleaner or have a separate rinse station.  If I didnt think my spinclean would undo my hard work, I would use it to rinse, as it is, im taking the 3 LP stack (with labels covered) and rinsing them in the sink, followed by a dry with a lint f ree cloth.

 

my first set didnt go very well with a lot of surface noise, but the third group has removed practically all the surface noise from a first pressing magical mystery tour, so theres hope yet.

 

i imagine Ill have this set up and clean 15-20 records over a session, with rinses in the sink, air dry on the stand and a wipe before placing in the MoFi sleeves

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quick update.  the item i bought from amazon is marketed as a "ultrasonic record cleaner".  thats clearly not its intended purpose although it works fine at that.

 

dont use the heater function, maybe this makes perfect sense, and i guess it should, but there is no mention made of that in the advertisement or the instructions.  The lowest temp it heats to is 122 F, and when i did the first batch, i of course used the heater for better cleaning :rolleyes:

 

when i took the records out they were clearly warped and very flexible.  oddly enough, a cold water rinse made them perfectly flat again.  i dont know if there is damage to the grooves, nothing obvious when played.

 

after further research, apparently 90 F is probably the highest you should let the water bath get, so the heater function on this is useless and damaging to vinyl

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i used it for a solid nine months on everything that I played. theres definitely a difference between a cleaned and not cleaned record, but i dont have any context by which to judge since i never had a vacuum-based cleaner

 

the challenge with a system like this is that you need a significant amount of fluid. I use tap water since i dont have my own way to make 5 gallon batches of distilled water. Also I really havent figured out the right cleaning solution, especially with that much water. So i use mostly water with added isopropyl acohol and some fragrance/dye-free Dawn but Im sure its not ideal.  I probably will clean 30 records with a batch (3 at a time)

 

id love to hear what other people do with their cleaning solution when they need large batches of it

 

Also, there is no motor so you have to hand turn the records, which is fine, but I dont really know the optimal time, so I typically do 5 minutes in the cleaner, rotating one third of the record every 1.5 minutes, followed by tap water rinse...i hate using TW but there really isnt another option (edit: I see there is now a motorized option for $20 more that you would be foolish not to get if you were going with this model
 

Turning the heater on even the lowest setting induced a visible warp in my records while they were cleaning, but it corrected during the rinse. Very weird, also i could tell they were more flexible when i took them out so it must induce some damage. I recommend not using the heater at all

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