Restoring outer sleeves

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Vinyldude63, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Vinyldude63

    Vinyldude63 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Smithtown, NY
    I did a search, but cannot find anything on restoring lp sleeves in this forum. Does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning grime and reducing the appearence of ringwear? In my general searches on the internet, I found people using Windex, Simple Green, magic erasers and soot sponges. All of these things seem harsh to me.
  2. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    Ringwear is removed ink. Without re-inking, there is no repair. The only thing you can do is prevent further wear. Put your record in outer sleeves. As far as cleaning, an album jacket, a damp sponge is likely as good as it gets. I would not try to repair a jacket with a matte finish. If it has a glossy finish, there are thing you can do to remove marker ink. An example is permanent marker ink is soluble with alcohol. Ball point ink is soluble with aerosol hair spray. I wouldn't put a solvent on a jacket with a matte finish. It'll just do more damage.
    Floyd Crazy and clhboa like this.
  3. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    For white covers, ring wear is easily reduced with a white erasor yes. I use it all the time.
    For colored covers you have to paint though and that can be super hard.
  4. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    A full restoration isn't possible by any practical means. There is no treatment for a record ring that I know of.
    Cover wear is what it is.

    The majority of album covers can be cleaned up. For a cover with dust and sticky atmospheric fallout, such as cooking smoke, natural airborne resins from plants, normal car/truck exhaust particulates... Windex is the best method I have found. The ammonia formula removes any stale odors, a decent grease/resin remover, and does not attack the ink.

    Windex is not harsh on a cover when applied correctly. However, avoid citrus additives and vinegar additives as these are acidic, and may cause foxing over time. Avoid cleaners such as Simple Green.. as it is acidic. In my very large record collection, some covers did need cleaning. In every instance (100%) except for a few exceptions, (budget covers) Windex has worked very well IME.

    The exceptions are matte covers and budget records from the 60's/70's which react with water. A better method for those would be a soft brush. The budget covers such as "Crown Records" or "Design Records" have water soluble ink, which will will be damaged by a wet or damp clean.

    Album covers with a light musty odor can be restored. Windex helps to remove the nasty odor.. also wipe the inside. Follow up with fresh newspaper, a full sheet folded to fit inside, and a wrap around the outside. Store for at least two weeks, then change the paper. (the paper acts as a drying agent and absorbs odors) I've had covers return to their natural ink scent after treatment. Place a cleaned record in a new audiophile sleeve, slip the de-odorized cover into a new poly outer, and the moldy odor never returns. I've pulled treated records from storage years later, so from my personal experience the musty odor does not return. (I have a pretty good nose.. can't stand a smelly cover)

    The cleaning method is critical:
    It's not just cleaning any old way.. it matters! The cleaning cloth or Bounty paper towel should be quite saturated... not "dripping wet" but nearly so. Do not spray directly on the cover. The slick tolerates some moisture, but prolonged saturation will damage it. The saturated cloth helps to instantly dissolve any residue, and assists in an easy glide of the cloth over the artwork. A dampened cloth or towel drags, and can scratch the cover slick. A second application is ok.

    Wipe in ONE direction, center to the edges. Avoid wiping from an edge. Avoid bearing down on the cover spine .. be gentle and clean only once there.
    Shrink wrapped covers can be cleaned by exactly the same method.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    BrentB, Dream On and Leonthepro like this.
  5. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    I've been meaning to clean some of my used record covers. I'll probably try Windex as @The FRiNgE recommends.

    I notice a lot of folks on You Tube seem to like Lysol wipes for this task.
  6. rexaroonie

    rexaroonie Forum Resident

    Erie, Pa.
    I use Plexus. Its a plastic cleaner, protectant, and polish. Comes in a spray can. spray it on and buff it off.

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