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Re: [ARSCLIST] RV: [ARSCLIST] Cleaning of grooved discs- how about fungus?

Hi Peter:

I'm assuming we're talking mold, or do you mean fungus like what grows on stumps in the forest? I've never been able to save mold- or fungus-laden record covers, at least not in any sort of decent or usable condition.

As for the records, I've had good luck soaking in a mild bleach solution, at least for vinyl. Then gently clean under running water with a sponge and Ivory liquid. Then VPI clean. This has definitely worked for me, with really good results in one case where I got a box of records from a moldy basement, all molded together, at a garage sale. The guy wasn't even selling them, they were out at the curb. I gave up on the sleeves, just tossed them. And I had the foresight to work on one record at a time, because of course the soaking made the inner labels come off so I had to write down what they were on the naked vinyl with a grease pencil. Guess what they all were -- RCA shaded dogs, original Mercuries and a couple of old German DGG's, none of them had been played much before they got flooded sometime long ago. They all cleaned up perfectly and play like they are new. I think the saving grace was that they were not so tight-packed in that box that when the mold and water and rot expanded the sleeves, it didn't crush the grooves. Also saving grace was that the American records had paper inner sleeves and the German record didn't use a plastic that stuck to the records.

BTW, the soaking was done in a large pan in an open garage, and the moldy stuff was handled with gloves and I wore a dust mask. All the moldy stuff (ie everything except the records) was bagged up outside, so I made an effort not to bring the mold into the house.

Sorry I can't share a solution for the inner labels and sleeves, but a vinyl record should clean up just fine.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RV: [ARSCLIST] Cleaning of grooved discs- how about fungus?

We have a client with a number of boxes of grooved discs with fungus.  Any
suggestions about techniques or labs that offer the service would be
appreciated.  The client is also very interested in preserving the album
covers and treating the labels at the center of the discs.

Peter Brothers

Tape restoration and disaster recovery since 1983

-----Original Message----- From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tom Fine Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 6:27 AM To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RV: [ARSCLIST] Cleaning of grooved discs

Let me put in a good word for the VPI 17 machine. I've used mine to clean
well over 1000 records so
far. It's on its third brush and vacuum arm. This is rugged, simple to use
and costs much less than
a Monks machine, although it's not build quite as bulletproof. I would say
any but the largest
collection would be OK with a VPI.

The most important tip with any automated record cleaner is to keep anything
that touches the record
surface clean. I brush lint off the vacuum arm after each use, and wipe the
cleaning brush when I'm
done with a few sides.

My VPI has never damaged a record and it has radically improved the
playability and enjoyment of
some dusty relics.

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