Ultrasonic cleaning

How many of you are ultrasonic cleaning your records and what solution are you using? I have a Kirmuss ultrasonic machine and I am currently using Tergikleen solution with distilled water. Have some Audio Intelligence ultrasonic solution on order to try. I can tell a big difference with noisy records lowering the noise floor. 


I have a different regimen before play depending on whether the record was purchased new, used, or was previously in my collection. If used, I use my Record Doctor with a 4-step cycle of Audio Intelligent 15, AI-6, distilled water rinse, and then into the ultrasonic using AI-Ultrasonic fluid. If new, I go straight to AI-Ultrasonic. If after play I notice any surface noise and inspection reveals no obvious cause, before the next play I use a 3-step cycle of AI-6, distilled water rinse, and ultrasonic with AI-15. For records previously played without surface noise or recently cleaned using the above process, I use the G2 solution followed by a microfiber cloth over a record brush to remove any excess solution and dust particles.

Most relevant to OP, my ultrasonic step had been using Tergikleen but I found the AI-Ultrasonic produced noticeable better results.

I've used several different cleaning methodologies over the years.  My present modus operandi employs a Knosti Disco-Antistat (basically, a German version of the Spin-Clean but with goat hair brushes, instead of microfiber pads) for a pre-clean step (for clean or dirty records, regardless) using a solution of distilled water and 0.5% Liquinox or Mofi Super Record Wash, followed by an ultrasonic cleaning using a solution of distilled water and 0.004% Tergitol 15-S-9 (not Tergikleen).  I've also used Mofi Super Record Wash exclusively in the Knosti and the ultrasonic machine bath (no additional heat setting) in the past and that worked very well, also.  However, that is much more expensive.  The distilled water and Liquinox in the Knosti is less expensive and the Tergitol 15-S-9 in the ultrasonic bath is much less expensive and both approaches work just as well.  With the distilled water and Tergitol 15-S-9, I set the ultrasonic bath temperature to operate between 32C and 37C but absolutely no higher than 37C.  For drying, I raise the cleaned records out of the ultrasonic cleaning fluid and let them rotate above the bath on a rotating spit device I use with my ultrasonic cleaning machine and let the records spin at the highest speed my rotating spinner allows (i.e.  about 1.5 to 2 RPM) for approximately 15 minutes.  This rotation time above the warm fluid of the ultrasonic bath, together with the surface tension defeating action of the Tergitol 15-S-9 in the cleaning solution results in nearly completely dry records.  After this step, I set the records in the Knosti's drying rack at room temperature to make sure they are completely dry.  A quick swipe with a high-quality microfiber cloth takes care of any few or stray remaining drops of cleaning fluid.

I've done an A/B shoot-out between this method and the Degritter, using several different records, and found the Degitter achieves no better results with respect to sound quality.  However, the Degritter, of course, requires much less space, is easier to use and is less labor intensive than my two-record lash-up approach using a 40Hz ultrasonic cleaner.  If the Degritter were half the cost, I'd buy one for those reasons.  However, at $3,280 and $120 for an additional external water tank to do it right (i.e.  $3,400), I don't mind doing a little extra work.

@oldaudiophile +!

I use the same formula and temperature range (after lots of experimentation) but recently started to dry my records by vacuum... improved the Noise Floor and drying time but greatly increased the effort required to achieve maximal results.


I recently started using a HumminGuru with distilled water and it has been working great so far.