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Best cleaning solution for tape heads?
musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 03:01
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I have been using Methyl Hydrate to clean tape heads on my open reel and cassette machines. Does anyone know if it might leave a residue?


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musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 03:03
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OOPS! This might be more relevant under Audio Hardware...saw it only too late. However, I cannot delete this post...


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pdq
post Nov 28 2011, 03:47
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If this is pure methanol then it should not leave a residue, but you should read the label. It is possible that there are other things added to it.

I wonder if methanol might be too strong a solvent though. I seem to remeber there being products that were especially for cleaning heads. I also remember a special tape that you run through the deck that cleans the heads.
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MichaelW
post Nov 28 2011, 04:25
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My recollection is that isopropyl alcohol was the usual stuff, but I could be wrong.
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JeanLuc
post Nov 28 2011, 08:06
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IMO, methanol is far too toxic to be used as a cleaning solution for tape heads, capstans and rubber reels ... it will also embrittle rubber parts by washing out the softening agents if used too often. Then again, rubber parts in tape machines have to be replaced regularly anyway.

Back in the day, I used concentrated isopropanol with q-tips and a demagnetizer coil from time to time.


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DVDdoug
post Nov 28 2011, 19:48
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I think I used to use isopropyl alcohol (or regular 'ol "rubbing alcohol" from the drug store).

I wouldn't worry about residue, since "everything" should be absorbed by the Q-Tip and wiped-away. It takes quite a bit of contamination to affect the sound. I don't think I ever ran across a case where the heads looked clean and cleaning made a difference. In fact, I'm not sure if cleaning obviously-dirty heads ever made a difference... But, it's been a long time since I worked on a tape machine and maybe I just don't remember...
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musicollector
post Nov 29 2011, 05:11
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Thanks for all your responses.

The reason I asked this was because at the radio station I worked during the 80's, methyl hydrate is what they used on the expensive open reel equipment heads. And, I figured they should know. smile.gif Or not?

This post has been edited by musicollector: Nov 29 2011, 05:12


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