Is This Mold on This Record?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Pavol Stromcek, Oct 12, 2021 at 7:14 PM.

  1. Vinyl is final

    Vinyl is final Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I stored my entire record collection in a non-insulated shed for over ten years. They were tightly packed in Home Depot moving boxes that were 12.25 by 12.25 (width and height) and about 16" long. They fit albmums perfectly. Sadly, they no longer make that size.

    Anyway, I'm in a very humid climate and the temperature in that shed ranged from around 10 degrees F to 105 degrees F.

    When I pulled them out, some had those mold spots in your OP picture. I simply used my favorite cleaning method and the mold was gone. All of it.

    My cleaning method:
    Warm tap water
    Dawn detergent
    trimming paint brush (the flat ones that have a red or blue plastic handle).

    Sadly, my cassettes that were stored in the barn didn't fare as well. They shed so much mold on the head that they replicate open reel "tape shed". I have to figure out a way to clean them or throw them away... Fortunately only one box (out of seven) accidentally made it to the barn.

    Bottom line: I think that after you clean them they may be the VG+ you were promised.
     
    AL01, Ripblade and Pavol Stromcek like this.
  2. Vinyl is final

    Vinyl is final Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I clean my vinyl siding with a mix of water and bleach, with a bit of dawn as a surfectant.
     
    Danmar likes this.
  3. L.P.

    L.P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    Don't panic - mold spores are on every record that came in contact with earth's atmosphere.

    If you clean the record the mold should be gone, as it don't feed on vinyl thank god. The mold was feeding on the innersleeve paper, the dust, the grease or whatever.

    So I would replace the inner sleeve. Then I would check the cover for visible mold. If there's no visible mold, just let the jacket sit open and ventilated for a few weeks and the odor will be gone sooner or later.

    If there's visible mold you have to decide how valuable the cover is to you. If it's black and nasty I discard it. You can more or less kill the mold with ultraviolet light or alcohol, but that maybe difficult inside the cover jacket. If you keep it in a dry environment the mold will be in a dormant state and will not grow or spread. If the relative humidity is higher than 70% it will wake up, so we don't want that.

    I put suspicious albums in a plastic outer sleeve and store them seperately.

    I once sent an email to the Library of Congress about that issue, they have a "Ask a Librarian" email adress. They were not very concerned with the problems with mold, or the possibility of it spreading and infecting my other books (or records). If it's dry it's harmless and if it's too humid mold will grow everywhere anyway because the spores are everywhere.
     
  4. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Lick it and see if it comes off.......
     
  5. L.P.

    L.P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    Is your room too damp maybe? Normally the other records should not become infected. If you keep the sleeve in a dry and well ventilated place for a few weeks the moldy smell will go away.

    There's also this method where you put a smelly book into a sealed plastic box with either charcoal, baking soda or cat litter for a few days. I once bought a book online that had no visible signs of mold or foxing but the smell was overwhelming. The de-stink box helped a little bit, but then I gave up, put the book on top of a cupboard, thus far away from everything else, and completely forgot about it for half a year. After that the smell was gone.
     
    sharedon likes this.
  6. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    So, I took a little time this morning to clean the record. I used a mixture of 91% isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. The vast majority of the mold came off pretty quickly, and it looks a thousand times better overall.

    However, on one side there's still an area with some small splotches, and I can't quite tell if they're scuffs or tiny but stubborn bits of mold.

    Here are some photos.

    [​IMG]

    And here's a closeup of the one remaining problem area. (The reflection of the light makes the splotches look a bit worse in the photo than they appear in real life.) You can see them on the last/second track and in the spaces of the run-out groove. I went over this area a few times, but nothing seemed to help. If these aren't scuffs, maybe I'll have to try a different cleaning agent.

    [​IMG]

    I also went over the labels with some non-bleach Chlorox wipes. I used another of those wipes to go over both the inside and outside of the cover (this had no inner sleeve; it's one of those 80s UK 12" singles that came in a thin, flimsy outer sleeve with no inner), and I'm leaving it outside on our deck for the day with a small folded piece of cardboard wedged inside at the opening to keep the cover open and exposed to the elements.
     
  7. L.P.

    L.P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    Do you have visible spots of mold on the inside of the cover?
     
  8. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    The inside of the cover appears to have some discolored light brown spots, but not a lot (nothing even close to the amount of splotches on the record itself). More than anything, it has a strong mildew odor. But since the inside of the cover was in direct contact with the record (since there was no inner), I have to assume there's something in there, even if it's not clearly visible to the naked eye.
     
  9. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    You can try this courtesy of @Phil Thien , mix a solution of 50% IPA, 25% DIW and 25% Distilled White Vinegar (DWV). Apply this solution to the side (fully wet the record) with the spots and turn the record over and allow the solution to dry. After the solution dries, take a carbon-fiber brush (I assume everyone has one) and brush away the debris field. Then apply the solution one more time - flip the record - let dry and brush away any debris.

    DWV is very pure (its fermented ethanol) and when it dries - it fully evaporates, but with the IPA it adds some acid that can help dissolve some tenacious type deposits. Flipping the record up-side-down is important since as the solution evaporates it draws detritus from the groove and deposits on the record surface where it is easier to brush away.

    Otherwise, a using traditional water-based cleaner with brush is a common way to fully clean, but that type of equipment is not what you have, the solvent extraction method addressed above can provide an alternate solvent-based process.

    Good Luck,
     
    Pavol Stromcek likes this.
  10. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Just a word to the wise, that if the grooves contain any scale (from previous cleaning with hard water), you may have to repeat this several times.

    I've found that playing, and then brushing with a carbon fiber brush that is misted with distilled water, does a good job clearing the powder. But each iteration you may only get half of what is left.
     
    Pavol Stromcek likes this.
  11. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    OK, weird: My last two photos of the record post cleaning were showing up, and now they're not for some reason. Here they are (hopefully) again.

    [​IMG]

    And here's a closeup of the one remaining problem area with what are either small blotches of mold or scuffs (or something else?). What do these look like to you?

    [​IMG]

    (Let me know if these aren't showing up for you!)
     
    DangerousKitchen likes this.
  12. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    Not showing up for me.

    Problems with posting images here is why I seldom do it here.
     
  13. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Strange! The photos in my second attempt are still showing up for me (as are my photos in the very first post), so I'm not sure what's going on.
     
  14. old music lover

    old music lover Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Salonta, Romania
    The umidity in my room is only 40-45% no more, each and every day, all the year! I ventilate 2 times by day. And I use now the UV-C lamp a few hours every day, usually I use it in the night, 7 hours. Almost all the sleeves are plastic antistatic. Untill now I didn't find a method to eliminate the spores...
     
  15. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Yes, there’s an issue with pictures showing up depending on the platform.
    I don’t see the first set of pictures either, but more often than not, I do see “disappeared” pictures when switched from iOS iPhone to my Win10 desktop pc.
     
  16. L.P.

    L.P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    Do they really all smell moldy? If not, can you identify the smelly ones and air the sleeves out for a few weeks? Maybe the problem is that some damp and smelly sleeves don't dry out inside the plastic outer sleeves.
     
  17. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    You don't offer enough resolution to see what's going on. It does appear that the white spot is either predominantly on the top of the land between grooves or deep in the groove.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. I see your second photos. Mold can sometimes be tough if not impossible to remove entirely. Vinyl can be permanently etched with some types of mold.
     
  19. WDeranged

    WDeranged Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    There's a chance that whatever's left after cleaning isn't mold, you could try a more aggressive cleaning technique. Basically more alcohol plus a brush of some kind.
     
  20. bamaaudio

    bamaaudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Mold's one of those gray areas of health that doesn't seem to be 100% understood, but I still wouldn't mess around with it. For a time I lived in an apt that had a lot of mold and I don't think it was coincidence that I was getting a lot of respiratory infections during that time.
     
    sharedon likes this.
  21. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    It's worth bearing in mind that some people have mold sensitivities, and there are forms of mold that are toxic. I used to do audio preservation work, and we never ever dealt with moldy discs on site... and we used gloves and masks when we did encounter them. An abundance of caution to be sure, but not for no reason.
     
    McLover likes this.
  22. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    The lands appear to be the dark bands, based on the colour of the deadwax. So my guess is these spots are predominantly in the grooves as they follow the light bands. A PVA peel may be able to remove these as they don't appear to be physical damage to the groove itself. Hard to say for sure.
     
  23. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    In my first attempt to view the photos I was asked to log in to Google. While I'm posting from an Android tablet that's about as far as I go into the Google ecosystem. They're showing up for me, now, though.
     
    Pavol Stromcek likes this.

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