Acoustic Sounds

Audio Intelligent

Enzymatic Record Cleaning Concentrate for "Ultrasonic" Record Cleaning Machines

By: Michael Fremer

March 2nd, 2023

Audio Intelligent Enzymatic Record Cleaning Concentrate For "Ultrasonic" Cleaning Machines

brings down the fluid cost but may void your Audio Deske warranty

Owners of the Audio Deske record cleaning machine know it's convenient and does a good job cleaning records. They also know that the Audio Deske cleaning fluid is costly: $33 for a single small bottle of detergent good for cleaning approximately 150 records, depending upon how clean or dirty they are going into the machine.

Because of the cost, it's tempting to use the tank up to the 150 record limit even if you think it's better to change it more frequently. Audio Intelligent has a solution, literally with its enzymatic concentrate specifically made for use in "ultrasonic" machines. 4 milliliters per liter of water in the ultrasonic tub.

The non-foaming fluid costs $34 for 16 ounces and $50 for 32 ounces. It comes with a handy measuring cup. I've used it in the Audio Deske machine and it seemed to work as well as the Audio Deske fluid while costing way less.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, I believe Audio Deske will void your warranty if you use anything but their fluid. If your machine breaks under warranty how would they know what fluid you were using (unless you tell them)? I have no idea. So that's something not worth worrying about. Once your machine is out of warranty, no problem at all and you'll both save money and can more often change the fluid in the tank, which is a good idea! Why not err on the side of caution especially since the foam "filter" in the Audio Deske is pretty much useless other than for gross particulate matter.

However, there's another issue and that is, while the Audio Deske is an ultrasonic" record cleaning machine, it is not a cavitation-based one, though for a long time I though it was. It does have a transducer that excites the water with ultrasonic bubbles (it's the out of focus disc at the tank bottom on the right side in the below photo), but as is pointed out in the comments, ultrasonic bubbles do not produce cavitation. Still, the Audiodeske cleans well and is far more convenient than a velvet lips vacuum type record cleaning machine.

Audio DeskeIf you have an Audio Deske, run it without a record and watch the water above the disc. There should be a swirling "vortex" directly above it. That's the action produced by the device, but that's not cavitation. In fact, based on the definition of "cavitation" you do not need a detergent to clean records, or jewelry or anything! Do you know what cavitation actually is and how it works? I don't think I've seen it defined in any review of cavitation-based (or alleged cavitation based) record cleaning machines. What cavitation is, how it works and how it cleans records will be part of an upcoming video on the TrackingAngle YouTube channel.

One thing to keep in mind when using an Audio Deske or other machines that fan dry records: whatever detergent residue that remains on the record once the fluid has been pumped out of the tank and the fan begins to blow, will dry onto the record. At the very least, if you do use an Audio Deske, you should give the record a post-cleaning "spritz" with distilled water and dry the record with a microfiber cloth.

While using an enzymatic cleaning fluid like this one from Audio Intelligent in a true cavitation-based machine might not do any harm, (as long as you follow up with a "spritz"), I don't see how it does any good. Cavitation alone is far more effective than any detergent, though for vacuum and string type machines (and the Audio Deske) a detergent/surface tension release agent is certainly a good idea.

If you are wondering about the Kirmuss "restoration" method that uses cavitation and a propane-base fluid, it's not there as either a detergent or a surface tension breaker. Its only job is to change the charge of the record so it's opposite of the water's charge since opposites attract and "likes" repel. But that's for the cavitation video.

Conclusion: if you use an Audio Deske and are willing to chance voiding the warranty, my experience with the Audio Intelligent fluid is that it's as useful as the Audio Deske fluid and is far less costly meaning you'll be encouraged to change the tank water more often and that's a good thing!

It would also be a good thing to know what are the ingredients and whether they are child and pet friendly in case of ingestion etc.

Specifications

N/A

Manufacturer Information

Osage Audio Products, LLC ∙

P.O. Box 232 ∙ Hallsville, MO 65255

573-696-3551

www.osageaudio.com

info@audiointelligent.com

Comments

  • 2023-03-02 01:54:45 PM

    freejazz00 wrote:

    The reason for using enzyme is to break down organic particles, particularly hardened ones, for easier removal. Generally, there are three types of enzymes for three types of organics: protease for proteins, lipase for fats/grease, and amylase for starches. In hospital settings enzymes are typically used in first-phase or pre-wash soaks of ultrasonic treatment. Pre-soaking helps rehydrate dried organics both making the enzyme more efficient at breaking down the organic and making the organic easier to remove. So if you want to get rid of the finger prints, cigarette smoke residue, mold and other organic detritus on your yard sale finds a three-enzyme enzymatic soak (spray it on and let it sit as per manufacturer instructions) will remove much more material during ultrasonic cleaning than the ultrasonic process alone. Make sure to follow manufacturer instructions with respect to mixing (generally use distilled at the specified water volume to enzyme mix ratio), temperature (enzymes are more effective at certain temperature ranges) and rinsing, One last note is to make sure that the enzyme is compatible for use with plastics (it will say on the bottle). The reasons should be obvious.

    • 2023-03-02 10:42:59 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      I find effective cavitation alone deals with all of this.

      • 2023-03-03 12:55:46 PM

        freejazz00 wrote:

        This is common knowledge in the medical field and medical device industry. Anything used in surgery and endoscopy goes through a cleaning process that includes enzymatic steps. (This isn't true for eye procedures, but that's outside the scope of this discussion.) The internet has a great deal of literature on the topic from device manufacturers and medical standards organizations. The PROPER application of enzymes COULD make a difference depending on what is on the record. This will vary from record to record, of course. Cavitation alone MAY remove the organics, but it MAY take repeated cleaning cycles because dried organics are much harder to remove. I'm not sure what "effective cavitation" is; either the device removes the organics or it doesn't. There is a reason, however, that hospitals, surgery centers and the services that process surgical tools and endoscopes use the enzymes. Maybe you say to me "I can't hear the difference with and without enzymes." In that case I suggest you read more into the proper application of enzymes and see if what you've tried in the past meets a recognized standard. If you see a problem with your previous methods, then test them. I'd be willing to bet that most of what is marketed to date for enzymatic cleaning of records doesn't do much (i.e., remember that some enzymes removal efficiency is temperature dependent and leaving some pre-mix solution on your bathroom counter to fluctuate in temperature isn't the best approach for enzyme use). My sense is that pre-treatment with medical grade enzyme makes an audible difference on some records that are ultrasonically cleaned because the enzyme makes the cleaning process more efficient and more complete.

        • 2023-03-03 03:18:21 PM

          Ivan Bacon wrote:

          More info on 3 enzyme solutions that are available to the public please. Where to source them, how to care for them, what to look for on labels etc.

          • 2023-03-03 05:21:40 PM

            freejazz00 wrote:

            I don't know what the "best" ones are. I personally like the ones developed for medical instrument cleaning. A quick google search brings up brands like this:

            https://northwestenterprises.biz/products/multi-enzymatic-ultrasonic-cleaner-solution-for-professional-instrument-and-equipment-reprocessing-concentrated-one-gallon

            I like the ones designed to be rinse free and that include enzymes for all three types of organics. Remember the surgical tools go inside your body so the cleaners need to not leave residue while removing all organics from the instruments. Dirty instruments can kill you.

            Also, a quick test will tell you if the enzymes have value or not for cleaning records. First, get an really grimy lp from a thrift store or garage sale. Clean it to remove the particulates. I use a VPI 16.5. Prepare (if needed) the enzyme according to manufacturer instructions. Apply the enzyme to ONLY ONE SIDE of the test lp. Let the enzyme sit as per instructions, then rinse, if needed as per instructions. Last, clean in your ultrasonic machine. Once the cleaning is done listen to both sides of the lp. if one side has less background noise, and it is the enzyme-applied side, then you know that the enzyme makes a difference, at least on that record. Repeat the test as needed to convince yourself that enzymes are worth it or a waste. I bought my enzymes from Amazon for about $15 and I mix them with Millipore water (lab-grade water) as per the instructions. The water costs me about $2/gallon, so the experiment is cheap.

            I don't personally like the enzymes marketed to lp folks. I haven't tested them all so YMMV.

            • 2023-03-06 02:13:08 PM

              Ivan Bacon wrote:

              Thanks, i have couple boxes of lp's that i pulled from a shed months after being soaked by firefighters. This may help get the moldy jacket pulp from deep in the grooves.

            • 2023-03-06 10:39:31 PM

              Charles Kirmuss wrote:

              Good points raised.

              Always look for the ingredients list on the MDS Materials Data Safety Sheet. Required by law for carriage as well as good to know how to handle for accidental ingestion, skin contact, inhalation of, and the like, and also disposal.

              With ingredients in hand (do not trust safe for plastics wording), suggested one to use common sense to always consult first the PVC and Plasticizer Chemical Compatibility charts before using any chemical on any record. No ingredient details, perhaps stay away.

              Same applies to look at any chemical used in record cleaning machines.

              Many machines use pumps and related seals, where premature failure of rubber and neoprene seals and components thereof may be accelerated with non compatible chemicals, enzymes or not.

              There are neoprene and rubber compatibility charts also available. Safe enzymes etc. somehow need to reach into groove spaces of 6 microns wide with sub micron pressed details. So water sized droplets of 100 to 120 microns need external help to reach these levels for below record surface cleaning.

              Much has been written about enzymes and plastic of late.

              https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.580709/

              ...a good read where enzymes are used to degrade plastic.

              QUOTES: (1) polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are extremely recalcitrant to natural biodegradation pathways. (2) Degradation of plastics by microbial and/or enzymatic means is a promising strategy to depolymerize waste petro-plastics into monomers for recycling, or mineralize them into carbon dioxide, water, and new biomass, with concomitant production of higher-value bioproducts (Grima et al., 2000; Montazer et al., 2019, 2020a.

              So using the PVC chemical compatibility chart, ensure that any cleaning product or enzyme etc. used for cleaning are PVC safe and plasticizer safe. The MDS should help.

              • 2023-03-07 09:54:19 AM

                ghn5ue wrote:

                AIVS has been supplying enzyme formulas for cleaning records for many years now. I have not heard of a single instance of vinyl degradation from using their fluids. On another note, I can not find the MSDS for the Kirmuss fluid anywhere. Can you post a link here to it?

                • 2023-03-09 02:37:06 PM

                  Charles Kirmuss wrote:

                  Send me an email, I will send you the pdf. No way to attach it here. ckirmuss@frontier.net

  • 2023-03-02 06:06:33 PM

    Anton wrote:

    What I really need is some sort of device that counts how many records I have cleaned.

    I am willing to give this stuff a try, the price is right!

    If it hurts my Audio Deske, I will report back.

  • 2023-03-02 08:06:09 PM

    Chris Wilford wrote:

    I assume this as well as any other fluids still cant be used with a Klaudio machine?

    • 2023-03-02 10:44:31 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      I haven’t experienced the need for any kinds of chemicals with the KL

      • 2023-03-09 02:39:55 PM

        Charles Kirmuss wrote:

        If the manufacturer states to use distilled water, use distilled water.

        As seen with machines that use pumps, that have rubber gaskets, belts etc., if one wishes to use any liquid or additive, to make sure it is neoprene, rubber friendly as well as safe to use with PVC and the record's plasticizer.

  • 2023-03-02 11:24:26 PM

    bruce bosler wrote:

    everything you read about this machine including from the people selling and distrubuting them says it is ultrasonic... can you explain how you know it is not?

    Does the manufacturer say it is ?

    • 2023-03-03 09:21:09 AM

      ghn5ue wrote:

      The device in the Audio Desk is commonly referred to as a 'mist maker' and is, in fact, an ultrasonic device. We used them in the photo lab industry to replace water that evaporated from liquid laminates. So these devices vibrate the water at a very high ultrasonic frequency and will create a cloud of mist. Same technology is used in cool mist humidifiers. So it is an 'ultrasonic' device from my viewpoint. Is it a cavitation device? Probably not..

      • 2023-03-03 12:23:54 PM

        Michael Fremer wrote:

        Very good point. Yes the mister/bubbler, however you wish to call it does something useful for record cleaning at an ultra-sonic level but it's not a cavitation device. I'll clarify the copy.

    • 2023-03-15 12:33:19 PM

      Charles Kirmuss wrote:

      Easy self test. No expensive test gear needed. You can watch the KirmussAudio video that Mr. Fremer posted. You can easily make an aluminum foil record similar to the one we made by applying foil to a metal 12" ring that you can buy at a hobby and crafts store. Depending on the machine, like the AudioDeske, you will need to remove the 4 scrubbers and one of the rubber washers on the bottom of the two wheel assemblies to not tear the foil apart. Also remove the white (or black) rubber scrubbers.

      You can also make a square frame out of balsa wood, and with aluminum foil affixed to it., insert it into the machine. No need for the frame to turn. Have the machine run and insert it for 4 seconds. (If testing other processes, do so in the cavitation cleaning and not air drying cycle. You should see even dimpling of the foil that proves cavitation..

  • 2023-03-03 04:03:48 AM

    Alastair McClean wrote:

    I concur with Bruce. I own an Audiodeske and have done for over 4 years. As Bruce says it is marketed and sold as an ultrasonic cavitation cleaner. Have I been misled? Could you ask Audiodeske to comment?

    • 2023-03-03 12:26:01 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      It is sold as "ultrasonic" and that gets confused with cavitation, but gh5ue clarifies the distinction. I have an Audiodeske and have used it for years.

  • 2023-03-03 04:41:11 AM

    Paul wrote:

    And has anyone successfully modified cheap, available mini paint rollers to work in the Audio Desk?

    Paul

    • 2023-03-03 12:31:00 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      Oh boy! Did I try. I bought the correct size rollers (cheap!) and drilled tiny holes in the bases so they'd fit in the machine but if you look inside the ones Audiodeske supplies you'll see an "outcropping" that slightly decreases the diameter of the opening. That grips it to the rod and keeps the roller from spinning free on its own and flying up in the tank. (I hope that's clear). I've never been able to find any with the feature. I'm not sure if Audiodeske has a ready made source or if it contracts with a paint roller manufacturer to have it specially made for them. If that's the case, the cost makes more sense. If not, it's grossly overpriced, I'd say.

      • 2023-03-04 06:54:29 AM

        Michael Treiber wrote:

        I think it is very unlikely that the rolls for the AudioDesk are made especially for this company. When I once ordered and received replacement rollers from them, there were still orange "drill residues" on one of the rollers. .... I then found very, very similar paint rollers on the Internet.

        It is the Schuller Felt HK, 10 cm long, core diameter 17 mm and 4 mm pile. It is a radiator roller for, depending on the supplier, approx. 0.90 euros per piece.

        With the help of my cordless drill, I drilled a hole (with the 2 mm or 3 mm drill bit) in the orange plastic. Very simple, including preparation, 30 seconds work. The time is estimated.

        However, the roller now sits very tightly on the gear platform. When changing the rollers, you also have to take the platform out of the unit. But that is not a problem, it is easy to handle.

        Now I just have to find out which filter I need and from which wipers the wiper rubbers come....

        Heizkörperwalze is the German word for radiator roller. I think we love words like that here🙄

  • 2023-03-03 10:21:55 AM

    Adam wrote:

    Any insight into using this with the Degritter?

    • 2023-03-03 12:34:27 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      I'd think the AI fluid would work in the Degritter, which does supply it's own fluid.

      • 2023-03-09 02:45:20 PM

        Charles Kirmuss wrote:

        Always good advice to make sure any liquid used sees its ingredients checked against the PVC, neoprene, and rubber chemical compatibility charts. Not to affect the machine or records and your health. No ingredients listed, use at your own risk.

        Check also with the manufacturer if the liquid that you intend to use will not void the manufacturer's warranty.

        • 2023-03-10 12:11:20 PM

          Charles Kirmuss wrote:

          A WORD OF CAUTION AS TO CHEMICALS: As many ultrasonics have uneven cavitation, where high energy levels are detected in "pockets", we only sell our ionizing solution only to registered users of our KA-RC-1/2 ultrasonic record groove restoration machine. It is not a sold as a cleaning solution. It allows the record to attract cavitation, changing the charge of the record to be opposite to that of distilled water so to remove the record's release agent and anything fused into it effectively.

          Our ionizing spray if applied to a record and inserted in other cavitation machines have seen serious damage occur to the record. I mention this as many are wanting to buy our solution or make solutions on their own. Always consult the manufacturer.

  • 2023-03-06 09:53:47 AM

    william f buckley wrote:

    Thanks for the info.

    I had an audio deske cleaner and it is the only purchase I regret making in my hifi journey.

    Yes, it does a great job of cleaning, but the reliability is terrible. The first one I got leaked as soon as I put water in it. The replacement developed a motor problem 6 months in. The third lasted a bit over a year before the pump went out, and it is non serviceable. It is a 4K paperweight.

  • 2023-03-07 12:14:04 PM

    Silk Dome Mid wrote:

    Dear Mr. Buckley; Are you in heaven or hell? No offense intended, I've just always wondered.

  • 2023-03-28 01:08:29 PM

    Eugene Harrington wrote:

    I have used the KLAUDIO Ultrasonic RCM since December 2014. I certainly agree with freejazz00 when he embraces the pre-cleaning procedure with an enzyme based cleaning fluid, before you ever ultrasonically clean the record. After that, I carry out a rinse on my vacuum RCM to ensure that no traces of the cleaning fluid remain on the disc. I know that this is a laborious, time consuming and tedious step in the process, but it produces magnificent results, in my case. Only after that, do I insert any record, new or used into the KLAUDIO. Initially, my rationale for this was that I only wanted a totally clean record going into the KLAUDIO so that its job in removing the residues of the pressing process would be rendered less difficult. After some time, I found that the filter on my unit became clogged despite only using clean records. It transpired that the filter mesh in the KLAUDIO unit needs periodic cleaning with a stiff brush (a tooth brush is a good tool) in order to keep it free of lint and dust particles that inevitably find their way even on to freshly cleaned records! That scenario was never envisaged apparently by the manufacturers of KLAUDIO, at least initially anyway. That is beside the point at issue. On a very serious note, I have never heard vinyl play so cleanly and without noise as I have using my regimen, as described. I can certainly understand why people do not want to be concerned with the pre-cleaning vacuum wash and rinse, but my ears tell me that it is critically important if you want the cleanest sounding records. I have no surface noise whatsoever on my records and that includes records that were purchased as long ago as 1970 when I first became intrigued and seduced by this wonderful audio hobby. Putting cleaning fluids in the KLAUDIO reservoir would void the warranty and would perhaps cause damage over time to the critical components therein necessitating expensive repairs. I live in Ireland and the expense would be huge, I have no doubt. I clean records for audiophiles and collectors both here and overseas and I have nothing but complete satisfaction from my customers. Well, somebody has to pay for my expensive investment! Only yesterday, I received a comment from a friend and regular customer to say of his cleaned 1969 and 1971 pressings that 'the records sound like they were pressed yesterday'. That is music to my ears!