If Charles Kirmuss's Record Cleaning Machine and Regimen Are Correct, Are Everyone Else's Wrong? *

* Mr. Kirmuss insists that the vinyl residue seen in his cavitation tank in this video is not damage caused by his device. Rather, he insists, it is vinyl residue "locked" into the grooves by soapy residue from other machines that his process has removed.)

We first encountered at AXPONA 2018 Mr. Charles Kirmuss and his "In The Groove" Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Restoration System. The system is based upon an ultrasonic bath-type cleaning machine from China, another of which that looked identical was being sold but a few feet away.

The biggest difference appeared to be in how the records were placed in the vat. The other machine, like all of the others that adapt an existing ultrasonic bath device, uses a rotary spit-like mechanism to spin the records. Kirmuss's is a far more sophisticated adaptation that covers entirely the water vat with a slotted device that spins the records the way the Audio Desk (the originator of ultrasonic record cleaning, I believe) and KLAUDIO machines spin them.

But Mr. Kirmuss claims there are bigger differences than how the records spin and that his machine while visually identical to the one at the other booth, is far different. Not only that, he claims it's different from the Audio Desk, KLAUDIO and the others in ways that are critical to how records can and should be ultrasonically cleaned.

Mr. Kirmuss claims that he worked with the ultrasonic machine's manufacturer to change the angle at which the cavitation bubble generator produces its waves (from aiming them broadside at the records to an unspecified angle) and he's set the frequency to 35kHz, which he claims is significantly lower than most of the others.

Kirmuss says the "direct hit" and higher frequency of the other machines damages record grooves and "shaves off" high frequency information. This of course is alarming to many of us who have used the Audio Desk and KLAUDIO machines to clean hundreds of our most valuable records and who have found the results to be both sonically stunning and far superior to vacuum and thread type machines.

At this point we have no choice but to take his word that his machine is not the same as the one in the adjacent AXPONA booth but we're hoping for more certainty as we face the prospect of having damaged many records. I don't mean to disparage him or call his credibility into question. It's simply a matter of proceeding cautiously.

Kirmuss's presentation is convincing and his ideas credible. He takes ultrasonic record cleaning several steps beyond anyone else's regimen and makes a strong case for why he does so. His claim that the Audio Desk system, which uses a detergent/surfactant, leaves a soapy residue on the record makes sense: the record spins in the solution, the solution drops to the bottom of the tank and fans dry the record. Nothing removes the "soapy" film from the record. It's dried on—something I'm embarrassed to admit I never considered.

At the very least, the just cleaned record should receive a plain water rinse to remove the soap/surfactant before drying. In the case of the KLAUDIO, which uses no surfactant/detergent or alcohol, Kirmuss claims that cavitation alone cannot possibly remove oily and/or smoky residues from records.

What's more, he claims that fan-drying is not good for records, that vacuum and string-type machines too, are not good for records, nor is "air" drying in a dish rack.

His position is that wet records must be hand-dried using optical-grade cleaning cloths and that "soapy" and fungused records must be treated with an ethyl-glycol (anti-freeze) spritz and wiped with a camel hair brush that brings up from the grooves residual soap and breaks down the mold and fungus that grows on records because, he says, PVC is a 'sugar'-like compound. I'm no chemist (nor is he as far as I can tell) so I have to take his word for that with a healthy dollop of skepticism.

Kirmuss also claims that there is a mold release agent baked in to the PVC compound that the pressing heat brings to the new record surface and that this should be removed using his system before you play a new record.

His system uses a very small percent of isopropyl alcohol in the cavitation water—just enough to break down oil and other deposits on the record surface. The large percentage of alcohol used in some formulations, he says, damage the vinyl by breaking down the plasticizers that are there to keep the record supple. That part I knew about, which is why I recommend against alcohol-based fluids. If he's correct, then a small percent of alcohol in water should work and not damage the vinyl.

Kirmuss also says the distance between records in a vat is critical and that if the records are too closely spaced, you don't get the right result. Ditto if they are too far apart. He claims for his system the ideal spacing based upon scientific research (that I've not yet seen).

Finally, he claims that much of what he offers (aside from ultrasonics) is based on record cleaning advice and research produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. However, when I did a web search I found this from 1996 on the website of the National Library of Canada:

"Grooved discs are best cleaned using a record cleaning machine such as the Keith Monks, VPI, Nitty Gritty using 0.25 part of Tergitol 15-S-3 and 0.25 parts of Tergitol 15-S-9 per 100 parts of distilled water. These machines allow for an even dispersion of fluid and can then vacuum the liquid leaving a clean, dry surface. The discs must then be rinsed thoroughly with distilled water and vacuumed dry to eliminate any trace of detergent residue. Records should be cleaned before each playback."

I bring all of this up not to disparage or doubt Mr. Kirmuss, but to ask everyone to consider with healthy skepticism what's in this video and in the one in the AXPONA video coverage. Nor is it my intention to disparage the manufacturers of the Audio Desk, or KLAUDIO machines, both of which are claimed to have been carefully researched, designed and manufactured to avoid damaging records—I know both designers are vinyl lovers! As you'll see in the video below, I maintained skeptical throughout the demonstration. However, if you go back to the KLAUDIO review you will see there was black residue left in the empty reservoir that I assumed just looked like "shaved vinyl" but couldn't possibly be.

Interestingly, in the video embedded below, you will see vinyl remnants at the bottom of the reservoir! Mr. Kirmuss claims it's from "shaved vinyl" produced by other machines that gets "trapped" in the grooves that's removed only by his machine and follow up manual process.

If I've misstated or mischaracterized any of his claims I hope he will respond here. This is very tricky territory! So please watch the video with a degree of healthy skepticism. AnalogPlanet hopes to soon have an "In the Groove" system to try at home, which will provide a much better indication of its efficacy and we will endeavor to research and try to verify (or debunk, if need be) the many claims for Kirmuss's system and of equal importance, the veracity of the negative assertions he makes about other ultrasonic cleaning machines and systems. P.S.: if you Google Mr. Kirmuss, it seems apparent that he doesn't need this business to earn a living and that he's doing this because of his love for vinyl records. Stay tuned!

COMMENTS
J.D.'s picture

making scones & tea for the conflagration to come!

Anton D's picture

Well done.

Anton D's picture

"Records should be cleaned before each playback."

Why is this?

I am in control of my record. I clean it, then play it, then put it away. What am I washing off before each playback?

I use a Nitty gritty and Audio desk when I first get a record, then only use a carbon fiber (the amazing Ursa major) brush for replays.

If an audiophile handles his '12 inch treasure' with care, do we really think something is happening that requires a wet wash each time we play it back?

abelb1's picture

This was from the National Library of Canada's guidelines relating to how records in their archive should be handled (by library staff presumably). I don't think Michael was suggesting everyone else should perform a full cleaning process between each play.

WesHeadley's picture

You should wet clean and resleeve the record before putting it on the turntable the first time. Then brush it before playing, and then brush it again afterwards before putting it away. Common sense.

If you put a record away before brushing it then you are accumulating dust on the record and in the sleeve.

How much effort you want to put into the initial cleaning depends upon you and the record. Some records clean just fine with one cycle and rinse (rinsing with distilled water is necessary if you use detergent or enzyme cleaners in step one).

Some records will require several more cleaning cycles to get the gunk out. Some records simply won't clean up well at all. So there is no one size fits all approach.

I have no idea if the science behind this guys claims is real. My guess is they arrived at their recommendations via trial and error and have no science with which to back up their claims.

If someone is demonstrating cleaning equipment and they touch the surface of the record repeatedly during the process that tells me they lack the consciousness that underlies any cleaning process. Never touch the record surface period. That said, most people don't seem to care much if there's some surface noise on their vinyl.

If I care about the record I make the effort to clean it well. Sometimes I can tell it's not going to cleanup very well and if possible, try to replace the record with another copy then try again.

There's "clean" and then there's "clean enough". It's a personal thing.

Michael Fremer's picture
He is referring to dust removal not that you go through this process every time you play a record!
Lazer's picture

It is completely unnecessary to clean properly handled records before each playback. Doing that borders on obsessive compulsive behavior.

McFaden's picture

Give it one wash on which ever system you have then enjoy the music. Take good care of it, if it gets played a lot then maybe a touch up cleaning if it looks/sounds like it needs it. I would bet this dude spends more time cleaning records than listening to them. I'm sure it's a fine machine that works well but damn, the scrubbing and recleaning and more scrubbing and more cleaning. no thanks.

WesHeadley's picture

If you wait to clean a record until you think it looks or sounds dirty enough is not a great idea. Far better to clean it once and well, and then keep it clean by brushing it before AND after each play. Keeping a record in its original sleeve will all but guarantee that it won't stay clean (and may also scratch it each time it removed/reinserted). In almost all cases a newly cleaned record MUST be resleeved.

McFaden's picture

I agree. And this is what i was saying above, more or less, without getting into the details of my own cleaning routine. But yes a trip on the VPI wether new or used, new QRP rice paper sleeve even for a brand new AP pressing, outer sleeve to finish off. A carbon fiber brush before each plays is all it needs after that. My point above that you seem to miss is that cleaning before each play is insane, but if one felt that it seemed dirty for some reason after years of heavy rotation, give it another clean, fine. I’ve done it very few times but have done it. You’ll never catch me cleaning for each play. Thanks.

WesHeadley's picture

My point was more about-- after a proper clean, brushing before AND after each play is IMO a best practice-- and or course, reclean on your RCM if you feel it's needed. I have a few LP's that I've recleaned many times with a small improvement each time-- but this is because there was already excessive noise. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Michael Fremer's picture
previous comment
McFaden's picture

Thanks for the clarification. I'm still skeptical of all the scrubbing and the recleaning and the scrubbing to "bring soap out" but whatever, to each their own. Just enjoy the music.

Rockphotographer's picture

Typical hocus pocus. No doubt it cleans the records just fine, but he's full of it on "release compound" and "plasma waves" and "sugars." Please.

Daniel Emerson's picture

Was that spray bottle actually filled with... soap?

Wimbo's picture

new records on my Nitty Gritty back in the 80's and 90's with the "First" and "Second" cleaning solutions.Yes, even brand new records sounded clearer. No MRA left. I sold my system and wasnt involved for around 15 years and now I playback these same records (and well played ones)and they are mint. One clean and then looking after your records works.

Michael Fremer's picture
Think as you do until I tried a cavitation cleaner (Audio Desk). That instantly changed my mind ....
Elubow's picture

I love vinyl but watching this makes me want to go digital! Are you kidding? Nothing in life is perfect and I’m OK with the fact that after using the VPI and disc doctor fluid, my records will be PRETTY clean. Whether or not some or all of what he says about mold release and “soap” has merit is besides the point. The real issue is whether this rather arduous method results in an audibly better sound compared to other traditional methods. For those who love the PROCESS demonstrated here, I wish you well and sincerely hope that when you finally emerge after cleaning your records, you will still have some semblance of sanity left.

MichaelTrei's picture

Always be skeptical of anyone who wears a lab coat for no apparent reason.

MichaelTrei's picture

The lab coat also has a name patch that says "Dr Charles" when his website refers to him as Mr (not Doctor) Kirmuss.

Michael Fremer's picture
In the video, the "Dr." is in jest.
AnalogJ's picture

Harry has been toying with ultrasonic cleaners. He thinks it's a superior cleaning to RCMs, but also hears the high end roll off as a drawback. He has been trying to figure out a way to avoid that.

You can read the discussion on VPI's own online forum, or, Michael, you can drop him a line.

Michael Fremer's picture
I have seen HW's set-up. It's an off the shelf cavitation vat. I'm not sure if he's paying attention to that vat's frequency or intensity. NO doubt too high a frequency and too intense a cavitation wave can damage vinyl. This is something to which Rainer Glass paid a great deal of attention before releasing the Audio Desk machine. It's too bad his pump suppliers in the early days let him down.
AnalogJ's picture

He's been playing with DIY cavitation solutions, pun intended. He recently suggested a specific series of items to me to make my own. On the other hand, at $850, I like the design of the one in your post, Michael.

Aronson's picture

The curve that represents the Law of Diminshing Returns has finally reached the point of being perfectly flat. Spacing of the records, sugars, angle of the dangle. What this hobby really needs is a formula to remove snake oil.

gbougard's picture

is it advisable to clean acetates with an ultrasonic cleaning machine???

Anton D's picture

Oh, man. I like to control the cleaner timing on my Audio Desk with a manual override and turn off the process when I think the record is looking good. I fell asleep while cleaning a record last night....it's gone!

It's like a tooth left in a Coke!

:-(

Michael Fremer's picture
Like to see that record!
AnalogJ's picture

Wow. Did you take photos of it? I guess too much of anything can be a bad thing.

Anton D's picture

Then, there was the time that I cleaned Ornette Coleman's "Song X" for too long of a cycle and got back John Cage's "4' 33"."

I never complained because it was an improvement, but now I think I can relate to that physician in the white lab coat and his cleaning machine.

foxhall's picture

It seems like the best way to determine post-pressing states of LPs is to hire a material science/surface chemistry firm to provide true data.

Inspections and trials at audio shows, claims by PVC vendors and pressing plants have too much ambiguity.

Why keep guessing. Get some real science and then everyone will know exactly what needs to be cleaned and the optimal process.

WesHeadley's picture

There really isn't an optimal process as the contamients on records vary-- so you'll often need to try several processes depending upon the LP. For example-- enzyme or detergent based fluids? They each do some things better than other things. I think we can all agree that there are many excellent options for cleaning records today-- more than ever.

Michael Fremer's picture
Trying to do that...
hiwattnick's picture

For today at least (and probably tomorrow), I’ll be enjoying listening to my records which have been cleaned on my Nitty Gritty. I’ve used it for many years, and owned most of my records for many, many more years. I will continue to enjoy listening to my records. In the end, it would be nice to know the real facts behind all of these conflicting opinions and ideas, as I’m pretty sure most of them seem to have good intentions behind them, but will nonetheless still be listening to my records as I always have.

Sgood@verizon.net's picture

...drive one to drink, or, worse, download a file.

Rodan's picture

Michael,

I enjoyed your video and appreciated your taking the time to interview this guy, but geeze! I believe you said it yourself: after the cleaning process, is there time to listen? Even I, a retired ne'er-do-well, have a life beyond my hobby, which, let be clear is listening to music. I buy a lot of used records and if, as it seems from the video, that it can take a minimum of 7-8 minutes per record to use the "Kirmuss method"--and probably a lot longer, judging from the video of cleaning your TV Jazz disc--then count me out. No matter how effective the cleaning process might be, it would clearly take away FAR too much of my listening time!

Best regards,

Darryl

Read more at https://www.analogplanet.com/comment/reply/121775#EtihSfTB4zTUBMQH.99

Michael Fremer's picture
If he is correct about soapy residues (etc.) left in the grooves by other machines, it may well be worth going through this process. If it's a new record, probably less so...
Elubow's picture

“If he is correct.....it may be well worth going through this process.”

For whom? Michael. I can guarantee you will not perform this arduous regimen with more than a few records, if that. Let’s be honest. At what point is “good enough” good enough? How many of us really have the time, inclination or obsessiveness to indulge in this craziness? IMO, this is where the hobby borders dangerously on the edge of excessively neurotic behavior. Of course, I’m actually spending time following this, so I’m likely well on my way to a similar diagnosis.

AnalogJ's picture

What if cleaning a record in this manner turned out to double the impact of the performance?

I mean, if you're not into exploring tweaks which makea very good music playback method even better, then we might all just buy a Rega P2 or P3 and be done with it. Nothing wrong with that.

But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, meaning you have to judge for yourself in person before you determine its worth.

All personal, of course. Some of us are more interested in exploring this hobby than others. But "ignorance is bliss"?

k9gromit's picture

Mr. Kirmuss reminds me of the ever present guy who sells space age polish by setting a car hood on fire. Sugar? Can an *actual* chemist weigh in on this?

His record cleaning/drying technique is not far off mine, it's just all the hokum that grinds my gears.

ctbarker32's picture

Hi Michael,

I have watched both your videos concerning this new device. I observe that he spends quite a bit of time polishing each record with the microfiber towel. I wonder if this last polishing with microfiber is more important than we realize? I currently use a VPI Cyclone using my own fluid of Turgitol and a little bit of isopropol in distilled water. I am getting good results but I am now adding a last buff with a very high grade microfiber cloth. I think I am hearing a reduction in surface noise and ticks with this last step? I would be interested what your testing uncovers?

-CB

Michael Fremer's picture
One of his main points was that physical action (brushing) is necessary and that "blow drying" simply locks stuff in the grooves.
Drew57's picture

....plenty of issues to add to our vinyl nervosa from that video!

The microfibre cloth as well as the wet vinyl is surely picking up airborne dust which gets rubbed into the vinyl using his method (....although I only use a humble RCM, most new or well looked after LPs seem to play virtually silent in spite of his claims of dust getting sucked onto the record during vacuuming).

Presumably Michael will follow his advice & take that Last LP home to keep cleaning/scrubbing/soaping/cleaning ad infinitum until the last semblance of 'soap' is gone & just a husk is left - No doubt the product itself works well but his never ending verbal stream (+wiping the makeup brush on his jacket!) destroys all credibility for me.

Chemguy's picture

PVC is not sugary. Vinyls are not sugar polymers. They can be addition or condensation polymers made from double bonded carbons or carboxylic acid and alcohol group monomers. Not sugars.

Isopropyl alcohol is a polar solvent. It does a bad job of removing nonpolar residue, ie. grease and fat.
Soaps will remove grease, not short chained alcohols.

Chemguy's picture

When spelling chemistry...

Rodan's picture

Even as a non-chemist, I was skeptical of the "sugar" claim. Kirmuss's cleaning method seems to be removing something . . . but the question is: is it something that needs to be removed?

eugeneharrington's picture

This is an interesting article and it raises a number of concerns, if Mr. Kirmuss’ claims are established to be true.

I have used the KLAUDIO machine since December 2014. Before I ultrasonically clean any record, it is cleaned on my VPI HW-17F RCM using a suitable mixture of an enzyme cleaner (Vinyl-Zyme) and De-ionized water. After that, the record is rinsed in De-ionized water, dried and placed in the KLAUDIO. I totally get it and have from the very beginning that 'cavitation' cannot remove fingerprints or finger oils from the surface of a record. That is why I always insist that a record is wet cleaned first on the VPI to remove fingerprints, mould and other contamination, before it goes near the Klaudio. If you do not do that, you are going to have an issue with the filter on the KLAUDIO machine which will get 'gunked' up very quickly.

One thing I will say about the KLAUDIO and maybe this also applies to the AUDIODESKE (which I am considering purchasing) is that it does not or cannot deal with dirt or mould build up in the dead wax. In order to protect the label area there is a point on the record surface beyond which the 'cavitation' process will not work and that is the run out groove or dead wax. This makes pre-cleaning even more necessary for a thoroughly clean record. If you try a dirty, contaminated record which has mould on it that extends into the dead wax you can see this for yourself if you clean on the KLAUDIO only.

The 'residue' particles in the tank of the KIRMUSS machine is what I would regard as 'lint' which becomes blackened, presumably because it is removed with dirt from the record? I have seen particles like this in the water that I have drained from my KLAUDIO machine and they are not sharp or anything like that? In fact it is soft lint. If these were particles of vinyl, then I would expect the particles to be hard or sharp? By the same token, I see the same dark particles when I drain the tank on my VPI to a collection jar. I am convinced, that in both instances, the black particles are nothing more than 'lint'. I had occasion to clean the filter on my KLAUDIO machine last week and yes those same black pieces of lint were loosened from the grille on the filter and came away from it using a soft brush. These were not hard, sharp or brittle to touch so I do not think these are vinyl particles. Trouble is, I am going to have to remove the filter from my KLAUDIO machine shortly for cleaning because the tank is not emptying quickly enough causing the LED light to come on, which shuts off the cleaning project. That is another story however, and after nearly four years of use, I would expect that there may be a build-up of lint/dirt somewhere in the filter that mere cleaning with a light brush externally, cannot totally resolve.

I have often heard it said by dealers and users of the Audiodeske that a rinse, post ultrasonic cleaning, is necessary to clear the record of the additives that Audiodeske recommends for use in its system. This makes sense to me. Such a rinse is not required with the KLAUDIO due to the fact that no additive, cleaning agent or surfactant is added to the distilled or de-ionized water in the machine's tank. The ‘soapy’ material on the demonstration discs may have something to do with these additives, assuming the discs had not been rinsed after cleaning on the Audiodeske unit?

While I found the article very interesting and thank you Michael for posting it in your usual erudite manner, I am sceptical of much of what Mr. Kirmuss has to say. I would never, under any circumstances, use any alcohol to clean a vinyl record. I found out to my cost in the late 1970s and early 1980s that alcohol can cause 'leeching' on vinyl records and as such, in my opinion at least, is not good for vinyl records. And without being disparaging, does any one of us have the time to dedicate to cleaning records, according to Mr. Kirmuss' method? We want to hear some music too, you know! I don't like the 'rubbing' actions either with the camel hair brush or the lint free cloth that Mr. Kirmuss recommends. I think this could cause scuffing and impair the surface gloss and generally degrade the record surface, not to mention static build-up? That is just my opinion of course.

I provide a cleaning service to vinyl collectors and audiophiles in the southern part of Ireland, County Cork to be exact. I get some very dirty and soiled records to clean from customers and it is essential to deal with that contamination first, by way of wet cleaning, before a record ever goes near the Ultrasonic machine. My record cleaning service can be found at www.vinyllpcare.com. I have had an interest in vinyl record cleaning since the late 1970s and once owned a Keith Monks Audio RCM.

I look forward to a forthcoming ‘investigation’ of the Kirmuss RCM and Mr. Kirmuss’ claims in a future Analog Planet/Stereophile article.

Michael Fremer's picture
For one of the most enlightening and useful comments ever posted on this site. Yes, much remains to be discovered and verified (or not) about Mr. Kirmuss's claims. I too found that "black lint' in the reservoir of the KLAUDIO machine when I reviewed it (on this site). I too chalked it up to black lint that looked like vinyl but probably wasn't. However, now I wish I'd sent it out to a lab to be sure...
Record Genie's picture

I share the concerns about excessive record handling voiced by Eugene Harrington in his excellent comment above. Eugene is an articulate and professional gentleman, I know he cares about records and music, we were in touch back in 2014 when he contacted me to ask about my experiences with Audio Desk and Klaudio, before buying his own equipment..

I've been using ultrasonic machines from Audio Desk and Klaudio since 2013, when I started Record Genie cleaning service, and have happy customers all over the USA (and beyond) who have sent me records for cleaning. I also use a Loricraft PRC4 "point nozzle" cleaner for pre-cleaning when needed, and it is very effective on heavily soiled records..

My best cleaning results have been cleaning with an Audio Desk first, then doing a second cleaning in a Klaudio machine filled with RODI water. Drying is done in a second Klaudio. This "double-cleaning" combines the benefits of both machines: The surfactant or cleaning agent added to the Audio Desk helps its microfiber rollers clean more effectively, aided by an (unpublished) lower wattage of ultrasonic power, and the RODI water in the Klaudio is a perfect second cleaning/rinse, with that machine's higher wattage ultrasonic power, a claimed 200 watts. To get consistent results, careful attention needs to be paid to how dirty cleaning solutions are, especially any final wash/rinse step which should be as close to 0ppm as possible, to leave no residue. I use a TDS meter to measure water quality often, so I know exactly when to change the water, rather than just relying on the number of records cleaned in each batch. You can buy a budget TDS meter for as little as $15, but the one I use resolves to 0.1ppm and costs $60, which is still affordable for such a valuable tool..

I am currently testing a multi-step cleaning workflow using Elma P60H tank cleaners that can run at 37khz or 80khz, and I chose them for their 80khz capability. 40khz tanks are cheaper than 60khz or 80khz tanks, and the Kirmuss cleaner is based on a 35khz iSonic P4875 tank. I do have concerns about frequencies lower than 40khz causing damage to vinyl records, simply because the lower the frequency, the harsher the cavitation effect since the bubbles are larger and implode (not explode, as Kirmuss said) with greater energy. The shockwave of each collapsing bubble is what actually cleans the record surface, on a microscopic level. Conversely, the higher the frequency, the finer and gentler the cavitation effect, when the bubbles are smaller, each one implodes with less energy, and a smaller shockwave. 80khz is perfect for cleaning into the tiniest cracks and crevices (think record grooves) while still providing enough power to clean effectively, it just needs to be paired with the right cleaning chemistry..

Life is full of comprises, and time is important, but I do believe that a multiple step cleaning process is the most effective, with a gentle cleaning agent and physical agitation followed by at least one pure water clean/rinse step. Of course it's going to take longer to do multiple steps, but anything else is going to be a compromise. Please note that I do not use any isopropyl alcohol in any of my cleaning steps, Audio Desk, Klaudio, or Loricraft, as I share the concerns of others about plasticizers being stripped from the PVC, making records brittle over time.

I also share some of the other concerns mentioned by others above, while Mr Kirmuss obviously has a big personality, I get the feeling he may be guilty of selling "more sizzle than sausage" with his (admittedly clever) record rotating insert in an iSonic P4875 tank cleaner. Is it really a modified unit, manufactured by iSonic with a different "ultrasonic angle" specially for Kirmuss Audio? I have to question that point, and the flood of other assertions from Mr Kirmuss, simply because "records contain sugar" is utter nonsense! I also find it puzzling that Kirmuss (and apparently his entire staff) are all wearing white coats. I'm looking forward to seeing actual scientific proof to back up what he's saying, but also worry that perhaps "the men in white coats" will come and take him away.. Quite soon perhaps..

Anyway, this is certainly an interesting time for those who love listening to really clean records - I'm trying to keep an open mind, and following this whole Kirmuss development with interest!

volvic's picture

You said everything I wanted to say far more eloquently than I could have.

RH's picture

Michael's article and video are excellent on this machine and there have been some really informative replies. I've been looking at getting my first record cleaning machine so all this is great.
As I'm not looking to turn record playing and owning into any more of a chore than necessary (I'm lazy that way) I'm looking for as hands off and easy a solution as possible. Hence I've been looking at the upcoming Degritter RCM, which seems to get mentioned as competition when the Kirmuss is discussed. Interesting contrasting the claims of the Degritter's 120kHz operation suggesting more and smaller bubbles (and which somehow allows for lower water temperature) are more likely to not damage records, whereas it seems Kirmuss would argue the opposite, for lower kHz operation.

Proof's in the pudding, but no one has a Kirmuss and beta testers of the Degritter seem to be raving. I'd certainly be interested if Michael takes a look at the Degritter at some point. It strikes me as the most polished in looks and operation of any RCM I've seen.

yuckysamson's picture

Regarding what was in the video along with what's been said above, I had some odd questions after watching Dr. Kirmuss' process. If it would be possible to address them individually (if you have the time, I know how busy you are), I'd greatly appreciate it.

1) As far as I can tell the process of camel-hair-isopropyl/Cavitation (i.e. back n' forth) can go as many times as required until no "residue" seems to "come up" when brushed with the camel hair brush. Doesn't this mean you're putting the record back in dirty water repeatedly for cavitation?

2) Doesn't it matter if the camel hair bush itself is dirty on repeated uses? I saw Kirmuss brushing it off his coat. What's the point of scientifically cleaning records if the brush which is being pushed against and into grooves is being slapped around dirty surfaces?

3) Are we certain that the film that comes up with the brushing process is actually what Kirmuss claims it to be? "Soap"? other things? Could it be a reaction to something else?

4) Michael you often address not putting side A down after cleaning to address side B if onto a dirty surface. Isn't that effectively what Kirmuss does over and over again? The velvet/flat/felt white disk he was sitting records on to brush was way bigger than a label....???

5) After cleaning he recommended using these two brushes to do a final 'shmere' with some isopropyl and then carbon fibre brush. Wouldn't this simply push more dirt or available dust into the grooves after cleaning?

6) Regarding the mechanical requirement to dry, I'd like an explanation as to how pushing with a micro-fibre brush wouldn't push wet residue back into the grooves (and whatever dirt sits on the water along with it) and how we can reasonably recommend wiping with a cloth that was "rinsed under water" and then let to air dry. I clean my eyeglasses with such a cloth. They get dirty and shmutzik as F***. We just spent time cavitation and brush cleaning a record then dry it off with a non-sterile cloth???

Thanks.

AudioClassic's picture

. . . that need substantive answers!

atomlow's picture

idk, maybe I should have "upgraded" from my Spin Clean. Uh... I'm glad I haven't, and won't.

Elubow's picture

Despite Kirmuss’ assertion that polyvinyl chloride contains sugar, this is all I could find on the subject:

“Petroleum is the least of our problems with PVC
Like most polymers today, PVC is derived largely from fossil fuels. PVC uses fossil-fuel-derived ethylene to produce naphtha, which is one component of PVC. PVC also uses industrial-grade salt to produce the vinyl chloride monomer that is the other main component. In addition to these basic building blocks, a variety of additives, including plasticizers, are added for specific performance properties.

But lets talk about the base polymer first. Solvay's use of sugarcane-derived ethylene in PVC would, according to Doug Smock at Plastics Today, "make PVC a 100% natural material from a polymer point of view." One could go so far as to argue that this "all natural" PVC is made of salt and sugar, which makes it sounds like something you'd find in your kitchen--rather than a substance of concern on a wide range of red lists. The vinyl industry has long used the words "table salt" to explain why no one should be concerned with PVC, so this is an easy next step in public relations.”

isaacrivera's picture

That would make PVC another industrial competitor, along with bio fuels and recyclable plastic from starch, for food resources against humans. Agricultural products and/or land need to be allocated to growing the stuff that will make sugar that will make PVC in a planet that is racing towards 7 billion living humans. Add to this the necessary toxic chemistry that goes along with GMO monocultures and their devastating effect on land, ecosystems and the humans that are exposed to it.

kinmun's picture

Like to try this one. Had an Audiodesk but it died after 2 years and the manufacturer made it difficult for repair. Avoid it like the plague. In fact in Malaysia, there's a graveyard of a dozen Audiodesks. Paid good money for it but don't expect it to be a one use machine.

kinmun's picture

Typo: should be "didn't expect" instead of "don't expect".
A thousand apologies.

map856's picture

I wonder what Roy Gandy would have to say about Mr. Kirmuss' intensive record cleaning regime!!! :-)

atomlow's picture

Just like map856 says about Roy, this video is absurd. Makes Roy seem even more relevant. Clean your records so they play and forget about it. Seriously, if I watch one more record cleaning video. I do clean my records but I don't obsess over it. I even buy used records and don't clean them before I play them OMG! haha

AudioClassic's picture

I'm Michael Baskin. After founding Nitty Gritty (with partner Ken Erickson) and spending 10 years studying and endlessly testing the methods and effects of cleaning LP's, I'm constantly curious about newfangled cleaners. At T.H.E. Show I was confronted by the recently introduced Kirmuss RCM with its lab-coated representatives.
My criticism of the Kirmuss is three-fold:
1. They advise the user to prepare the bath water by adding a cup of 70% isopropyl aka 'rubbing alcohol'. While one might assume the other 30% to be H2O, it's not. The U.S. Fed's mandate the addition of all kinds of compounds to the isopropyl to make it undrinkable. Some of these compounds will leave a residue. It's not at all hard or expensive to procure 99.9% labratory grade isopropyl - using that will eliminate this issue.
2. Wiping the dripping LP with ANY cloth isn't just counterproductive, it's stupid. The ONLY acceptable method of drying the LP is to vacuum it dry. Some enthusiasts will want to buy a cheap Nitty Gritty for the drying step in the procedure.
3. If wiping a wet LP with a cloth is stupid, applying a surfactant (read: detergent) to the LP's dry grooves is insane. If you want to leave residue in your LP's grooves, I recommend you save your money and just play uncleaned LP's.
I designed Nitty Gritty's PURE 2 fluid after consulting with 3 PHD chemists: Jack Shively (U of Illinois), Roger Barr (Caltech) and Warren Weingrad (U of N.Carolina). NG's P2 has 2 drops of surfactant per one gallon of H2O. It is a necessary ingredient needed to break down the surface tension of the H2O - without it, the fluid mixture (90% distilled H20, 10% isopropyl) will not make contact with the bottoms of the grooves. Even this tiny amount could leave a bit of residue if not vacuumed off. Of course, vacuuming the LP dry was the last step with a Nitty Gritty.
All things considered, the Kirmuss might be a good way to clean and preserve LP's, as long as the 2nd step is amended to incorporate vacuuming the record dry and the 3rd step is completely abandoned.
I have to ad, all my LP's have only been cleaned using the Nitty Gritty RCM and its procedure and after 37 years, they look and sound wonderful.
I always used a 50X microscope to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Nitty Gritty at tradeshows - the filthy before & pristine after views demonstrate the results one gets with any NG RCM. Every time.
Epilogue: I find it very odd that no ultrasonic LP cleaner utilizes a microscope in their live demonstrations. Just sayin'. Michael Baskin aka AudioClassic

Anton D's picture

I am a happy Nitty Gritty owner!

One item: no form of isopropyl alcohol is 'drinkable.'

I think you confused ethanol/denatured ethanol with isopropyl.

Not meant as a nit pick, just my nerdism.

I've experimented with my Nitty Gritty and Audiodesk machines and I admit to using them in combination with great results...but likely over-kill!

Thanks again for your machine and for posting here!

AudioClassic's picture

To prevent against alcohol abuse in the United States, all preparations classified as Rubbing Alcohols (defined as those containing ethanol) must have poisonous additives to limit human consumption in accordance with the requirements of the US Treasury Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, using Formula 23-H (8 parts by volume of acetone, 1.5 parts by volume of methyl isobutyl ketone, and 100 parts by volume of ethyl alcohol). It contains 87.5–91% by volume of absolute ethyl alcohol. The rest consists of water and the denaturants, with or without color additives, and perfume oils. Rubbing alcohol contains in each 100 ml more than 355 mg of sucrose octaacetate or more than 1.40 mg of denatonium benzoate. The preparation may be colored with one or more color additives. A suitable stabilizer may also be added.

OldschoolE's picture

Thank you Mr. Baskin
Well done.

I do have the Kirmuss machine and have run a dozen records through it so far. It is a good and safe machine and the results prove it. That said, I could not agree more with what you said. I actually made a long study of record care and while no expert and no letters after my name, my goal was to do it correctly so my records sound good and last a long time.
I have experimented with fluids and even gathered together my own RCM type set up incorporating a hand-held vacuum (a 1 gallon shop-vac with which I modified the crevice tools). Even fashioned my own record turner). About 230 records later and a repetitive motion injury, I saved up for almost a year and got a VPI 16.5 and was introduced to AIVS fluids. I have been using that for 4 years now and always get good results. Yes, there is the occasional stubborn record that won’t budge after 4 cleanings with everything in bag, but it is expected. I don’t look for perfect or miracles, after all it is vinyl records. Almost all my records are used, however, I have some cleaned on my VPI that are near CD quiet (but sound better than CD….duh). Cavitation cleaning done properly and safely take things to a new level.

So yes, I use both my VPI and AVIS fluids and the Kirmuss machine. Freshly purchased used records get cleaned vis the VPI and my fail-safe methods and then put away (always in fresh poly-lined/rice paper sleeves and notes of what was used in the cleaning written down) or played. When played I evaluate the sound and decide if it needs more cleaning, etc. I do have some records I don’t feel I need to run through the cavitation machine.

I have seen the Kirmuss regimen and have modified it for my own use precisely because some of it makes no sense and borders on opposite results of what is wanted. Despite of 1.4 oz of 70% isopropyl in 1.6 gallons of water not likely to be harmful in any way (except on shellacs of which I have none), I opt not to use it. I tried with and without and note no difference. While it is theoretically true that water alone won’t breakdown oils and such, I just don’t see why I need it, at least other than the fact that my records don’t have finger prints and such at least anymore. (I occasionally use the AIVS Super Cleaner version of the 3-step, which contains a minute amount of lab grade isopropyl for that very thing. For me the concern is that most contaminants on records are protein based and too much alcohol can actually harden them to the grooves.

Ah, yes cloth wiping. I have no issue with doing that initially after remove from the bath or even drying in that fashion provided there are fresh cloths at the ready. It is more convenience than anything. I am a big believer in vacuum drying, which makes perfect sense when using such an RCM because it is a big part of how the records get cleaned (removing the fluid and taking the dirt with it). Since it is water used in the Kirmuss machine (again, I do not add anything) and it is cumbersome to try to put a wet record both sides on my VPI, I do cloth dry in that situation only. That said, you are spot on about cloth drying in what you said. If I had a Nitty Gritty or similar style vacuum RCM, then I would indeed use it to dry since it vacuums from the bottom. However, I have no disposable income to invest another few hundred just for that.

Another thing I really differ from Mr. Kirmuss on is the application of any fluid onto a record after cleaned and dry! That is more stupid than cloth drying! The only thing that touches my records after cleaned and dried is a carbon fiber brush and the stylus.

I also differ with Mr. Kirmuss on a few other things.

The Kirmuss machine is solid, safe and worry free, no issue there for me and it indeed works very well. However, I greatly modify the regimen. I clean freshly purchased records on the VPI first then if needed, the Kirmuss machine with just water. I do use the “surfactant” he provides with it and have found no harm and it does help a bit without adding too much to the water. (I change the water every 20 to 25 records). Basically I never put a very dirty record in the Kirmuss or any USRCM, bad idea. (I am also looking into changing the surfactant possibly to AIVS #6 or something. In research mode).

Ironically, Mr. Kirmuss does use a microscope, the problem is they are only images on the billboard things and could have been gotten anywhere. For me the proof is in results and the results are there and good in my experience with it. So that is what counts for me.
Like I said, toss out some of the steps and modify others in his regimen as needed, use the machine properly and you will get close to vinyl nirvana. That is the secret. I think the machine has enough merit to help sell itself without gimmicks. It works, works well and is safe. I do like and enjoy the machine, working really great for me. I have no hesitation recommending it as long as some regimen modifications are done.

Ryskie's picture

I would love to see that microscope demonstration. Does it exist anywhere online?
thank you!

M Material's picture

Under NO circumstances should anyone attempt to clean their Redd Foxx records.

McDonalds or Steak's picture

Spin the records in a cavitation tank.

Vac the water or solution off on a VPI or other traditional vac.

No need for extra baths, you're pulling off the liquid and whatever may be suspended in it (hopefully not much if your solution is clean).

Shellac just air dry. They don't do well on the vac, and the wide stylus, higher tracking force, higher noise floor and lack of vinyl's static property make the light ticky dust that plagues LPs a non-issue.

Fans seem like a terrible idea. They bombard the record with dust. No one would ever fan dry film.

audiotom's picture

Some great comments here, thanks

KLaudio ran tests with yellow colored vinyl where they ran records through the system for very extended periods of time with no yellow colored residue in the tank. You are looking at the record residue gunk taken out.

I've had the Klaudio ultrasonic since 2013. Previously a Loricraft which I use only for extremely soiled records.

The KLaudio sound quality is incredible with lower noise floor, nearly all pops and ticks gone, enhanced low level details, better separation of instruments and more refined tonality.

Many used "first pressings etc" that I buy typically are brought up a "play grade" or two and the cleaning of new records makes a big difference too.

I know my records well and have never heard any degridation in sound or high frequencies from The ultrasonic.

My cleaning area gets late afternoon sunlight where you can clearly see dust on what looks like a good record going in and a perfect record with no dust going out.

Also with the KLaudio there is almost never any static associated with records

The best thing?
Load an lp, go about your business, sleeve it, load next lp
It's not labor intensive.

Spend your time listening

Anton D's picture

Yellow vinyl, genius.

Although, I did take a Classics pressing of "Kind of Blue" and run it through my Audio Desk 6 times and ended up with what now appears to be a Clarity vinyl pressing.

audiotom's picture

we have a winner - Anton

I took my Mofi KoB and with one spin almost made a Classic out of it. Somehow the remnant chunks of 6 eye bonded in the tank.

MonetsChemist's picture

I have in mind that I'll build an ultrasonic cleaner one day...

I recalled reading various DIY articles about doing so a few years back and there seems to be a number of builders advocating HIGHER, not LOWER, ultrasonic frequency. For example this article from the San Francisco Audio Society

http://sanfranciscoaudiophilesociety.com/forums/topic/observations-about...

states:

Most ultrasonic LP record cleaning systems use a 40 kHz transducer. Cost rises as transducer frequency rises. If you want safer, go higher in frequency and in cost. For instance, the individual bubble cavitation energy from a 40 kHz transducer is about 3x greater than that of a 60 kHz transducer and 10x greater than that of an 80 kHz transducer.

This does seem the complete opposite advocated by Charles Kirmuss. I wonder who is correct?

Record Genie's picture

You can find the Kirmuss user manual on Morrow Audio's product page for the KA-RC-1, and with none of Charles Kirmuss' research published, it's worth a look if you want to know more:

http://morrowaudio.com/partner-products/kirmuss-audio/in-the-groove-ultr...

I tried to post a direct link to the manual, but it was too long to post correctly..

Please note there are some important disclaimers in BOLD TYPE:

On page 2 in BLUE:

"WARRANTY IS VOIDED IF ANY OTHER SOLU- TIONS OR CLEANERS ARE USED OTHER THAN THOSE SUPPLIED IN THIS KIT OR RECOMMENDED BY KIRMUSSAUDIO."

On the back cover page in RED:

"STOP USING THE MACHINE FOR 10 MINUTES AFTER 35 MINUTES OF USE: THIS TO COOL DOWN THE ULTRASONIC GENERATOR. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE WASHING SYSTEM AND VOID WARRANTY. "

Trevor_Bartram's picture

Before leaving the U.K. in 1985 I took twenty favorites from my 200 LP collection to the posh Hi-Fi shop in Southampton high street. When I picked them up they looked clean but when played were the same or worse than before, an important lesson. After arriving in the States, there were very few CDs available but I was able to replace many of my favorite LPs for $4-5, after having been burned that was a much better proposition. My only advice from this exercise is make sure you listen to your LPs before and after cleaning to ensure everything is going in the right direction!

dmormerod's picture

...I was looking for a reasonably priced US machine and after seeing the AXPONA video purchased a KA-RC-1. I'd tried the DIY route but they ended up being clunky and extremely noisy, this seemed to be a decent option vs the $4k for other US machines. My regime is to use the RC-1 to clean, followed by a SpinClean containing just distilled water as a rinse before using a VinylVac to dry. Every album I've done so far (approx 40) sounds noticeably better than previously cleaned using either just the SpinClean & ViunylVac or the DIY US, SpinClean, VinylVac approach. After seeing this video I'm going to try the approach outlined, i.e. using the supplied surfactant spray, re-wash, rinse and then dry using the microfibre cloth to do an A/B comparison of this method vs my current method. At worst I can always then re-clean using my method. But the bottom line for me is that so far my records are definitely cleaner with a noticeable improvement in how they sound. This applies to both brand new & older vinyl.

audiotom's picture

Here is the positive feedback review of the KLaudio where the ran an extended 9 hour test on colored vinyl

also of note Kirmiss says lower frequencies and offset angle.
Wouldn't higher frequencies - small enough to get further in the groove and 90 degree angle to hit both sides of the groove evenly be the ideal method for ultrasonic cleaning?

https://positive-feedback.com/Issue69/klaudio.htm

"Top among Peter's design considerations was ensuring that the ultrasound machine didn't while going through the cleaning process also damage the record. To ensure his machine didn't damage the record, Peter employed an accelerated aging process using a colored record and modified record cleaning machine replete with a specially designed circuit board and temperature controlled water bath. He then proceeded to continuously clean the colored for nine straight hours (the equivalent of roughly 108 cleanings) at 40oC. Following the continuous nine hour cleaning, Peter failed to detect any evidence of vinyl particles in the stainless steel water reservoir. Nor did I find anything in the water reservoir after cleaning around 75 records or so."

moonstar's picture

Just saw this link on another website:

https://codyson.en.alibaba.com/product/60548164575-803677721/CODYSON_pro...

You can buy this RCM on Alibaba for $200, why waste your money with this clown?

He makes some really wild claims in the video:

Claim: Blowing air are using a vacuum is bad for your records.
Translation: My RCM doesn't have either capability, therefore both are bad.

Claim: 35kHz is the optimum frequency for RCMs.
Translation: We repackage this cheap Chinese RCM and it is only available in 35kHz.

Claim: If the record foams when I brush it, it's still dirty.
Translation: If I brush with the grooves, the record appears "clean"; if I brush across the grooves, I can make a new record appear contaminated.

McDonalds or Steak's picture

Minimum order quantity 120 pieces.

Go crazy man.

moonstar's picture

Ever heard of a group buy?

Might be worth becoming a dealer and reselling them. Standard dealer margin is 40%, so you could sell them for $340 and clean up. A $25K investment could gross $16K. Since the competition is $625 (ISonic) or $800 (Kirmuss), you could mark them up substantially more.

Ryskie's picture

great thread. Got me wondering about microfiber cloths. Can anyone recommend their favorites. I've had several and each has left trace fibers behind, to varying degree. I would love a truly lint-free cloth to use to remove the trace water droplets I often have after cleaning my records on the Audio Desk.

thoughts? Thanks!

sandyu's picture

Yes, I have a thought/comment. Contact Griot's Garage GriotsGarage.com . And what you'll discover there is a place that sells ultra-specialized supplies to clean automobiles. So, first off, you'll think I'm crazy, right? Because what does cleaning cars have to do with cleaning records? However, keep in mind, these aren't your everyday ordinary cars, these are $50,000,000 (and up!!) specialized concours d'elegance contenders at Pebble Beach; second, those "cars" aren't considered "clean" at the eyseight level; no, they're inspected, inch by inch, through jeweler's loupes -- at the same resolution you used to set up your cartridge in the tonearm -- to check for tiny, near-invisible swirl marks, watermarks, and so on, in the paint. (They're more like jewels than cars, really, and that's how they're treated. In some cases, the cars are especially flown to the US at thousands of dollars from their European or Asian museum and private collection homes just for the few days at a concours, and then flown black -- more thousands of dollars! -- but never are driven.) Griot manufactures the specialized products required by those specialized professional detailers/restorers who are in charge of preparing the specialized vehicles -- and one thing that those guys are is extra-careful of watermarks, visible only at the jeweler's loupe level, from dried impure water, on the delicate painted or polished surfaces of the cars. Griot sells several purifying methods for water so that no marks are left on the surface, even at the microscopic level. Good luck!!

rl1856's picture

A few observations.

LPs contain sugar ? Maybe that is why LPs/Vinyl sounds sweet !

I use a DIY US cleaner. My process is:

Spin Clean to remove surface debris, Blot Dry.
US Cavitation bath using "Rushton's" formula
Distilled water rise.
Nitty Gritty Vac dry.

My results are repeatable. Contrary to claims that US cleaning shaves off HF response, I hear more extended treble, much better transient response, and more ambiance cues in the background. And the noise floor is much much lower, often lower then the noise floor of my system. My theory is over time debris accumulates in LP grooves and becomes bonded to the surface walls. This layer of debris may be only a micron or 2 deep, but may be enough to blunt the sharper edges of the groove containing extreme treble, leading edges of transients and low level ambiance cues. This layer remains impervious to short duration cleaning methods- VPI, Spin Clean etc. A US bath for several minutes in heated water is what is needed to dissolve this layer of debris once and for all. I note that I see a significant amount of debris in the tank of my Spin Clean. This is expected. I was surprised to find debris in the bottom of the US tank after cleaning 20 LPs. I did not expect this, and I think this represents debris NOT removed by the Spin Clean, including the layer of debris referred to earlier.

Regarding the Kirmuss machine, I note use of a very low frequency. This is contrary to all other cavitation machines, and contrary to established theory. However if the US waves are directed to the LP at an oblique angle (which is implied by Kirmuss) perhaps the intensity of the larger bubbles is reduced ?

Kirmuss recommends a dedicated cleaning solution, and using a cloth to dry the LP surfaces. Ok....what removes residue from the cleaning solution ? Does he also recommend use of new cloth with each LP ? Both steps would seem to offset some of the positive effects of the US cleaning process. I feel both rinse and positive drying steps are necessary to optimize results.

Alibaba seems to have the same basic machine available for about $200....if one purchases in quantities of 100+ But it does not include an LP spinner. I admit that Kirmuss's solution to LP support and spinning seems well thought out. In his favor, his machine comes in a price point not too far above DIY, and significantly below other self contained machines.

pessoist's picture

to records, regardless of the pops. focus on the pops, instead of the music and you need a dr. in white to show you soap. Listening to music a frequent carb brush keeps them ok. buying used records might require a clear (outsourced) and then I start listening. No - I have no huge collection, in fact I do not collect, but listen to many albums, since child-hood (my first: hänsel & gretel, rumpelstilzchen and Louis Armstrong). ;-) the taste is the same still, weird. ;-)

Bskeane's picture

I just received this machine. Cleaned approximately 6 or 7 brand new never been opened albums out of which 1 showed the material referred to as "soap" Cleaned some older records, 2 in particular shocked me. My original Dark Side of the Moon that I purchased in 1976 and was probably never cleaned until 10 years ago when I started using a VPI 16.5 machine. The other was a Days of Future Past that was my wifes and never cleaned before to my knowledge. The amount of "soap" or sludge that came off both of these albums was startling to say the least. (I tried to take a photo but it didn't come out good). I cannot say if Mr Kirmuss's claims are true or not but I can vouch for the fact that I seem to be removing some form of goo from the surface. Just as a side note the Moody Blues album was still showing signs of goo after 4 washings and mechanical scrubbing, although it was less each time. I got bored and gave up after the 5 washing.

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