Removing some mildew from record covers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by RPhelps, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. RPhelps

    RPhelps Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    HELP !

    I've discovered small amounts of mildew on some of my albums stored in my garage - how do I safely remove the mildew and keep my covers intact ??

    thx for your help
     
  2. brent bomersbach

    brent bomersbach Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Midwestern US
    mix 50/50 bleach and water. Spray onto paper towel and wipe cover inside and out
    Leave cover in something like a dish rack for as long as you can stand it. Examine closely to see if any mildew has reappeared. Repeat if necessary.
     
  3. RPhelps

    RPhelps Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    mix 50/50 bleach and water. Spray onto paper towel and wipe cover inside and out
    Leave cover in something like a dish rack for as long as you can stand it. Examine closely to see if any mildew has reappeared. Repeat if necessary.[/QUOTE]


    I can assume that it won't harm the cover ?
     
  4. krisbee

    krisbee Well-Known Member

    I use lysol or clorox wipes - no issues.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  5. RPhelps

    RPhelps Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    I will have to get some of these

    thx for the advice
     
  6. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Bleaches should never be used on paper materials made from wood pulp -- unless you have the means to rinse the chlorates etc out of the wood fiber and/or chemically stabilize it. How are you going to do that with an album cover? Soak it? Although bleaches can temporarily reduce or remove certain kinds of stains, it accelerates acidification and breakdown of wood pulp based paper. The general rule in conservation is that bleach = temporary aesthetic improvement + accelerated deterioration.

    I will wipe down a cover that has mold or mildew spots with a slightly dampened paper towel or cloth. If the mold/mildew is on the surface that should remove almost all of it. If its stained -- i.e. the mildew is 'in' the paper -- theres not much you can do.

    You might try a direct, topical application (for example using a q-tip) of water diluted hydrogen peroxide or a non chlorate type of bleach. Just touch the dampened q-tip directly to the spots. Then afterward touch the spots with clean water & quickly blot the spot (a dry paper towel).

    There is also direct sunlight, a form of bleaching. Ultra-violet radiation kills most molds and fungi. It won't remove stains in the paper but it will usually 'neutralize' whats left there. Ya gotta keep this minimal depending on the temperature and where you live. I've had a number of albums that smelled musty or mildewy and after a good careful wipe down + sunlight exposure (15 minutes or so) were cured. No more smell or scent whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    mikeyt likes this.
  7. RPhelps

    RPhelps Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    what is your opinion of the lysol spray ??
     
  8. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I would not spritz an LP cover down with the stuff! Yet if you use it diluted and topically - applied right on the offended spots, it should not cause problems. Its basically relies on alcohol and microbe killers. I can't recall if Lysol uses fragrances or not. If so - I would try to find the Lysol strain that doesn't.

    Some dealers/collectors rely on dryer sheets - they put them inside the cover to mask odors, but the few I've received that way 'reek' for a long time like dryer sheet fragrance. (plus I doubt they do anything to spores that may be embedded in the paper).
     
  9. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    I would not trust any product on my precious record collection that isn't so rare and so expensive that fellow Hoffman board members couldn't afford it.
    Like, y'know, pureified, denatured tap water that was carried up The Himalayas in a sheep's bladder, then blessed by a Tibetan monk.
     
  10. RPhelps

    RPhelps Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    darn this is getting silly
     
  11. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    I've had success with regular window cleaner, ammonia formula, no citrus additive, no vinegar additive.
    My method is very specific, and may be too much bother with, I think not worth a common, easy to replace record,

    Step 1: Wipe the cover with a very wet, folded bounty towel, outside and inside. The towel should be folded like a pad, tri-folded then fold in half. The leading edge should be saturated, (this part folded over again like a pad) back edge dry. This wet method may seem counter-intuitive, however if you experiment with this method, you'll find as I have, the paper towel or cloth glides easily. A dampened towel sticks n drags, and can damage the "slick". (believe it or not) ... a saturated towel does not stick, does not lift the cover finish. Wipe in one direction, once, the wet side first, the dry trailing part wicks up most of the windex leaving a thin film that evaporates in less than a minute. Wipe outward to the corners, not in. Do not attempt to dry, let the remnant evaporate. Some of the Windex will be absorbed into the cardboard. This is ok if not excessive (consider this is how the mold got there, as the card stock does hold moisture) In a minute or so the cover feels dry to the touch.

    Please note, before cleaning began, the cover has a lot of moisture in it, and holds moisture for long periods. You're not damaging it by introducing a little more moisture to remove the mold. The next step is how we remove moisture. The cover does not de-humidify on its own.

    Step 2: fold dry newspaper to fit inside the cover. Fold another piece outside the cover, if a gatefold, another piece in the fold. The newspaper does two things. It pulls moisture from the cover, a very effective drying agent, and it deodorizes. A cover does not dry on its own, it needs help. (mold forms as the cover retains moisture and can not get rid of it) Place the cover flat for a day or two, no record inside. I do not suggest baking in the sun, as this warps the cover. Ultraviolet radiation does kill mold, but does not do so inside the cover. The newspaper acts as desiccant. So effective, dry shredded newspaper helps to keep any moisture sensitive item dry, but needs to be changed every few months.

    step 3: patience.... change the newspaper after several days, with fresh dry paper, store for about a month, again no record inside, no inner sleeves. (I never re-use a once moldy plain inner, but do treat a glossy lyric inner separately)

    step 4: the cover at this point should be de-odorized and mold -free. It should feel firm like a new cover.. vs the punky soft moldy cover. The windex leaves almost no remnant, no stenchy "Chlorox" smell, the natural waft of the ink and paper stock should return. (and does) Only the worst of water damage or musty smell can not be restored. I've done many which were moderately musty with some mold. Years of storage, you'd never know!

    Step 5: slip the cover in a new poly outer, the clean record, slip in a new inner.

    a crazy collector.. encourage to try this mad method, o_O :goodie:
    Steve VK
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. RPhelps

    RPhelps Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Athens, GA
    all I can say is...Wow
     
  13. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    ...and you thought I was getting silly...?

    Do a search. If you want to know the best way to clean an LP...once you're done reading all the threads here about it, and debated with yourself what will be the most effective...there won't be any time in your life left to clean them.
     
    krisbee likes this.
  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    I doubt if a quick wipe with diluted bleach water, would do much harm to the album cover.

    I would prefer Lysol, for its biological properties.

    I would think that Lysol or Windex would be my preferred cleaners.
     
  15. brent bomersbach

    brent bomersbach Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Midwestern US

    I can assume that it won't harm the cover ?[/QUOTE]
    Not really. You may notice some of the cover colour on the paper towel though. I have don't this to literally hundreds of covers without any real damage. The covers I neglected to do had far greater damage when the mildew spread. Avoid Lysol or other sprays as they tend to leave a residue on the covers. The 50/50 bleach and water dried quick and clean.
     

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