The "Very Best Record Cleaning Formulation"

The "Very Best Record Cleaning Formulation"


I am providing this formulation for all who are interested in the very best, and can be proven and demonstrated to be the "Very Best". It can easily be made from available ingredients. On the surface, it appears to be very simple. However, it is based on extensive complex chemistry along with precise mathematical calculations and verifiable data.


You may use it with absolute confidence and be truly assured that it is beyond doubt the "Very Best". You may use it for your personal needs. Or, archival entities may use it for their purposes with confidence. Or, you may choose to start an enterprise that makes and packages quantities as either a "ready-to-use" or a "Semi-concentrated" version for sale and distribution knowing that nothing better exists. You have my blessings and encouragement with one condition. And, that is, that the pricing represents a "fair margin", and, not an obscene gouging, typical for such products.


Initially, I had prepared a presentation that briefly introduced myself, and provided the thought processes, design parameters, and the necessary basics of chemistry, physics, and mathematics to assure you and allow you to be absolutely confident in this formulation. I made a considerable effort to keep it as simple, but, also as thorough enough to achieve this confidence. However, that presentation entailed 5,239 words, typical of such a requirement, however, unacceptable in length by this website forum.


I have no option other than to offer the formulation as a 100% parts by weight version suitable to produce 1 Kilogram of the cleaner, and, invite you to question me about any aspect of the formulation.


Professionally, I am a Chemist, more specifically a Polyurethane Chemist. I have a Doctorate in Chemistry as well as two other Doctorates and a M.B.A.. I held prominent positions in significant corporations before being encouraged to start our (wife and I) manufacturing facility servicing those I previously worked for. We started, owned, and fully operated this business. We eventually obtained 85+% Market Share in our sector in Medical, Automotive, Sporting Goods, and Footwear areas before retirement.


The Audio Industry is extremely technical and many brilliant minds have contributed their talents over the decades in order that we may enjoy music today as we choose. Like many other technical industries, those of lesser minds and values invade the arena with their "magical" inspired revelations and offer their "magical" ingredients and items to all at extremely high prices. They promise that if only we are willing to part with our money - they can provide these items to you that make your audio system sound as if the orchestra, or vocalist, is in your room with you. And, after all, "magical items" must be expensive, otherwise, they would not be "magical".


This disturbs me enormously, and, it is for such reasons, I feel compelled to provide realistic and truthful information that conforms to basic Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematical Principals in those areas with which I am very knowledgeable and familiar.


          "Ultimate Record Cleaner Solution"


   Ingredient                                          Amount by Weight (Grams)


Distilled Water                                     779.962


Ethyl Alcohol                                       220.000


Tergitol 15-S-7 (Dow Chemical)            0.038  (Approx. = 2 Drops)



Important and/or Relevant Criteria


1.)  Distilled Water ONLY. Do not use deionized, tap, rain, or spring water. Distilled Water is readily available in most grocery stores. Check labeling to be certain that it is distilled and not deionized. The pricing is comparable.


2.)  Ethanol must be purchased at a "Liquor Store" or a "Liquor Control Board" that is suitable for human consumption, and the appropriate taxes must be paid. This assures that the alcohol consists of only Ethyl Alcohol and water. You need to purchase the 95+% version, also known as 180+ Proof. NOTHING ELSE is acceptable. (100% Ethyl Alcohol is not available under "normal" circumstances). Denatured alcohol from a Hardware Store or elsewhere is PROHIBITED, as well as ANY other alcohols.


3.)  Tergitol 15-S-7 is made by Dow and is available on the internet in small quantities from Laboratory Supply Houses such as Fisher and Advance, etc.. I have no affiliations with either Dow Chemical, or Fisher, or Advance. You MUST use Tergitol 15-S-7 ONLY. No other Tergitol product is acceptable for this designed formula, and you need to acquire the undiluted form only.


4.)  The above cleaner formula will result in a non-foaming (VLF) Surfactant Formulation that exhibits the following:

            Surface Tension of 28.5 dynes/centimeter @ 20 C. (68.0 F.)

            Surface Tension of 28.2 dynes/centimeter @ 25 C. (77.0 F.)


5.). A Surface Tension of 28.5 dynes/centimeter is Remarkable and will properly clean records of all organic soilings, and all oily substances, as well as very significant amounts of inorganic soilings.  This available Surface Tension coupled with the Azeotropic Characteristics of very rapid evaporation and spotless drying occur because of the selection of Ethyl Alcohol and the very specific concentration determined as 22.00% p.b.w., further improves the products abilities.  The "Ease-of-Use" and "Spot-Free" results are to be accepted.


6.). Be aware that an "ideal temperature of use" also exists for this formulation.  And, that reasonable temperature is 40 C. (104.0 F.). Further increases in temperature offers no improvement, therefore, confirming the proper use of the term "ideal". I mention this not because of of any substantial improvement, but, only to be aware of its’ existence. And, if you have a choice to utilize a room that is warmer than another, select the warmer room closer to 104.0 F. There is no need to elevate the temperature of the records or the materials. Simply be aware that 104.0 F. Is ideal.


If interest is expressed in this submission, I am willing to provide additional submissions regarding other materials, and, other areas of interest.  Such as"Best Contact Substance", "Best lubricants for turntables", " Better Dampening Materials" for turntables and tonearms, and, most significantly, "Best" material for "Turntable Platter/Vinyl Record Interface" usually called "Record Mats". The last item will certainly disturb many individuals and anger many suppliers.


Whatever I may contribute is substantiated by Science and Testing, and Verifiable. Science has no Opinions. Opinions in these matters are best reserved for those who rely on their imagination and wishful thinking.


Also, I have no vested interests in this Industry. Simply possess some scientific knowledge that also relates to some aspects of the Audio Area, and I am willing to share that information if requested!


My grandmother used to have a saying, very dated now: "Good manners cost nothing."


I suspect @wizzzard is not doing experiments but is following charts that specify the behavior of various chemicals and mixtures thereof. This is all well known to scientists that deal with it on a regular basis, the Dow Chemical types. I suspect wizzard belongs to this group. In medicine we all know the 1/2 life of the drugs we use by heart, information that is lost on a lawyer. 

@wizzzard , I have a couple of yards of very conductive fabric, zero ohms over 10 cm. I am talking with Christan at Sota over making me a platter with this fabric instead of the standard fabric. I do not care to take the platter apart on my own without backup. 

Great post. As a chemist myself (now retired) and having experimented with many formulations over the years, I find your simple formula is very good and effective. I have used a similar one substituting 100% isopropyl versus ethanol, but I believe Ethanol is a better alternative after reading the post. Thanks for your info.

Dear Wizzz, Here is what you wrote on June 6 at 6:25 PM, at the end of your tirade: "All materials including resins and resin blends, whether natural synthetic, have many characteristic parameters. I have correctly restricted myself to include the parameters that are of relevance. Because we are using solvents (and diluents) one of our primary objectives in not to alter or damage the substrate (vinyl recording). We want something that will clean the record the very best without causing harm, hence, "The Very Best Record Cleaning Formulation".The parameters are: Hildebrand Parameter , Dipole Moment, Dielectric Constant, Polarity, Fractional Polarity, and Hydrogen Bonding (van Der Waals forces).As we review ALL the alcohols available and other ingredients, only 2 ingredients have NO detrimental effect to vinyl records, and they are, distilled water and ethanol."

In the above passage, you clearly do imply that IPA is harmful to a vinyl LP. I guess you think that answered my question. But my question is and always was as follows: Exactly what is the nature of the harm that IPA (at about a 25% concentration at room temperature and with an exposure time of approximately 2 minutes) could do to a vinyl LP? This question you have not answered. But as I also wrote many times, you are under no obligation to provide any response. As noted previously, I do take umbrage that you excoriated me on June 6 in your post of 6:25 PM for claiming that the stylus exerts 300 lbs per square inch pressure on an LP. For the second time, I am not the individual who made that obviously and patently erroneous claim. And most any of us would know how to calculate the stylus pressure per square inch, given the dimensions of the contact patch and the VTF.  Including the individual who made the innocent error in the first place. It would behoove you to keep in mind that your audience here on this forum is not a bunch of idiots.


As far as I know there is no evidence that Alconox Liquinox detergent and/or Talas Tergitol 15-S-9 surfactant damage PVC/Vinyl LP’s. And who needs alcohol of ANY kind? (except to drink, of course.) My sources tell me 15-S-9 is the best Tergitol in terms of the leaving of residue on the LP, hence easier final rinsing.