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Subject: White film on vinyl record

White film on vinyl record

From: Gilles St-Laurent <gsl>
Date: Friday, November 17, 1995
Miriam Meislik <70243.1707 [at] compuserve__com> writes

>Recently, we became involved in a project involving old vinyl
>records.  The records are from the late 1940s to early 1950s.  Two
>of the records in the collection have a thin, white, pasty film
>covering the entire record (all but the edges).  It does not brush
>off.  I need to know what to use to remove this film and any
>preferred procedure.

>From your description, I would say that your discs are acetate discs
and not vinyl.  The white, waxy deposit you mention is palmitic
acid.  It is a product of the chemical breakdown of the acetate.

To clean the discs, you will need a record cleaning machine which
can vacuum the surface of the disc dry of the cleaning fluid.  You
can use a nonionic ethylene oxide condensates surfactant such as
Tergitol  15-S-3, an oil soluble surfactant, and 15-S-9,  a water
soluble surfactant.  Use 0.25 part of Tergitol 15-S-3 and 0.25 parts
of Tergitol 15-S-9 per 100 parts of distilled water. Add 1 part
ammonia per 100 to the Tergitol cleaning solution.  The recording
must then be rinsed thoroughly with distilled water to eliminate any
trace of detergent residue.  If you do not want to use Tergitol, you
could try just the ammonia in  the distilled water.

I would recommend that you then dub the discs immediately as acetate
discs are notoriously unstable.

Gilles St-Laurent
Music Division
National Library of Canada

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:44
                Distributed: Tuesday, November 21, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-44-002
Received on Friday, 17 November, 1995

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