Warning to all record collectors!!! (outer bag/inner sleeve concerns)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by rockadelic, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    New Mexico USA
  2. drapes

    drapes Forum Resident

    Montreal, QC
    People, I'm pretty sure he's making an STD joke!

    Unless it's just my dirty mind at work...
    spindly likes this.
  3. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    No raunchnroll was right it is not that simple, something else is going on, it is some kind of chemical reaction to the vinyl polyliner and something enviromental, maybe humidity ??

    The most common causers of UK bag rash are the polydor " plastic bags are dangerous " polylined inners from 68/9 to 1972, ( inc track atlantic etc ) in 72 the polyliner was replaced which solved the problem but most discs stored untouched for years in these troublesome polylines can still do so without any problem so there must be some other catalyst - like humidity - at work

    Also there are problems with the UK black apple inners, these can create a kind of " tide marks " on discs but unlike bag rash these tide marks do not usually affect play. Maybe this was one of the reasons these inners were discontinued in 1969 but i doubt it....
  4. fab4

    fab4 Forum Resident

    I had some Decca s poly linned inner sleeves from mid 1970's which caused marks on vinyl too.
  5. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    yes the Decca's use a similar polyliner but their vinyl seems less susceptible than polydor's for some reason ( in that you see it much more on polydor )....again it's not straightforward something else is in the mix
  6. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

  7. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    I've seen the problem and my impression is that it is the plasticizer in the PVC undergoing basically sublimation. Going from more or less solid to gas.
    That gas deposits itself on the nearest surface and either resolidifies or reacts with the surface to form a third compound.
    For people who live in warm climates, we've all seen the effect in cars. The sun shines on the dashboard in the afternoon, the dashboard is plastic, the UV causes the plasticizer to sublime, which deposits itself on the underside of the windscreen as a cloudy film. Which we wipe off with a rag. It can't react with the glass, because glass is inert. So you just wipe it off.
    With vinyl I'm guessing it gets a whole lot more complicated. With all sorts of factors at play, including vinyl composition.
    But my guess is that the type of plasticizer in the PVC bag is the determining factor. Which I am also guessing changes a lot between who made the bag. Some manufacturers are going to do a better job of making a bag with less nasties than others. There are a lot of different plasticizers in use. My guess is, plasticizers ain't plastizicers....
    Or, all plasticizers are not created equal...
    Some plasticizers are going to sublime at low temperatures, some are going to be more reactive than others.
    Phthalate are used as plasticizers which have lots of Carbon and Carbon - Oxygen double bonds and things. So I'm guessing they sublime off, deposit on and presumably react with whatever is closest. In this case, other PVC...
    It could also be that some of the fluoride (and other) impurities in some of these bags that is the real culprit.
    The fix? Avoid PVC bags altogether and use polyethylene bags. They are inert as firstly, they don't need plasticizer. So no nasty Phthalates.... It's just carbon and hydrogen (C2H4)n as opposed to PVC which is (C2H3Cl)n and I'm guessing all too often that Cl - chlorine - is actually a flourine, plus the plasticizers, which look like C24H38O4 plus have a benzine ring - nasty - plus lots of C=O double bonds which I guess would react with other surfaces in the gaseous state....
    Fun, fun, fun...
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  8. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    And those pink bags that some analogue productions records, audio fidelity and a few others I've seen --

    Replace with MoFi rice sleeves or some other polythene lined bag.
  9. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    And as a last post...

    For those with the problem, the PVC has deposited a film on your prized first pressing of Kind of Blue, Rubber Soul, Folk Singer, whatever, and reacted with the surface giving that gunk.
    My guess is it has reacted with the vinyl record surface, going to the bottom of the grooves. Creating a third compound, bonded to the record.
    Which means there is no cure. It is now part of the record.

    Any Chemistry PhDs out there???
    rockadelic likes this.
  10. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    Nope, they are polyethelyne.
    totally inert.
    It's food wrap, folks...
  11. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Yes - in fact thats what the old VRP and current MOFI audiophile sleeves are made of. These high density polyethylenes are stable and have a much higher melting point than record vinyl itself, plus, they are chemically resistant (excellent if you are careless with your tea, coffee, or beer while handling Lps). I don't believe they are petroleum based, more likely ethanol based (polyethylenes can be either).
    Gary C and bootbox like this.
  12. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Many of my UK pressings have their original UK made Decca/Deram and Polydor product inner bags (or sleeves as they tend to be termed in the US). I've found no correlation to the use of these bags and dulling/fog/wavy marks on the records.... EXCEPT in some cases where it appears the record had been cleaned sometime in the past. In those cases I have sometimes found bag rash. About half the time this 'rash' cleans off readily, other times it appears to leave permanent marks.

    To make the matter more complex, sometimes the permanent marking leaves little if any audible sound, other times, theres a slight audible hiss; a mild surface noise.
  13. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    Not always, it can be cleaned with some vinyl cleaners but it is hit and miss and bl**dy hard work !
  14. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    yes i would agree with you, i can also mirror those inconsistent findings, although there is definitely more of a problem with the Polydor pressings/poly bags, but even then it's still a small percentage of the whole...and i also agree about cleaning or otherwise at least some kind of moisture which again brings me back to humidity/environment being a factor.....
  15. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident

    Yeah, agreed, my guess, again, lots of guesses... Is that so long as it's just a film of ester or whatever, and it hasn't bonded with the vinyl, an iso-propyl alcohol based record cleaning fluid should get it off...
    At the risk of gunking up your record brushes and the felt lips on the vacuum tube thingummy...
  16. JustinBond

    JustinBond Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    I'm in Southern California, so the relative humidity here is very low (a little too low lately, if you've been following the news). I've made a point to put almost ALL of my vinyl in MOFI Original Master Sleeves, with the exception to those that came in what look to be poly-lined paper sleeves, like the new Beatles Mono or Deutsche Grammophon releases. From what I've gathered from this thread, those are okay, right?

    I've got a few records that came with the pink plastic inner sleeves. One of which is an album that just came out a month ago! So those are suspect and should be discarded??? That'd be a shame, I think they look cool.

    I have only one record that I ordered from the UK through Discogs, and I noticed it has a muck thicker (5mil?) outer sleeve that's kind of frosty in appearance. Not sure if that's PVC or not, but it's suspect given this thread so it's going in the trash as soon as I get home. For outer sleeves, almost my entire collection is protected by these polyethylene sleeves, which I also understand are OK? I also just today received a package of these polypropylene/polyester sleeves. These are okay too? Am I in the clear?pun intended.
  17. The plasticizer that has migrated to the surface of the record from the outer or inner PVC sleeve will eventually migrate into the record, softening it, and eventually destroying it. If you catch it early enough before it migrates into the record, it will minimize the damage. A few, quick cleanings with isopropanol (quickly drying) should remove the plasticizer from the surface. There is a small amount of plasticizer in the vinyl record itself, so if the isopropanol is left on the surface too long, it can extract this plasticizer from the record, making the record grooves too brittle, allowing the stylus to damage the record. I was a chemist in a plastics testing lab for over thirty years, and this is a very common problem with plastics and plasticizers.
    pnprecords and James_S888 like this.
  18. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Some recent Euro pressed Lps come with a frosty or opaque polyethylene type sleeve (without paper) these appear to be just thicker versions of what MOFI uses. I am not aware of current PVC type outer sleeves being sold (except that come on some reissues, Simply Vinyl for example, even then I am not sure if this is unstable PVC).

    Before people get too worked up, unstable PVC products are not that common and you can take steps to prevent damage. Most of the poly that was/is used for inner sleeves is a form of polyethylene, not the unstable PVC type. The clear enemy here is those old library type covers (notice they usually have a fairly pungent 'plastic' smell).

    - rinse vinyl thoroughly with fresh water after cleaning.
    - if possible use clean aftermarket sleeves to hold the record, whether paper, MOFI, etc. (keep original inners especially older ones)
    - aftermarket LP cover slips or sleeves are also fine.
    - store your records inside a temperature / humidity stable environment as possible, like your home. Garages, attics, storage units and some basements are less desirable. Even so, temporary or occasional storage in these should not result in rapid deterioration.
  19. You should be safe with the polypropylene/polyester sleeves, or with polyetheylene sleeves.
  20. Damien DiAngelo

    Damien DiAngelo Forum Resident

    Michigan, USA
    I only have one record with one of these PVC outer sleeves. I decided to pull it out & check it, and the records next to it out. Since it's colored & shaped vinyl, I took a pic for the colored vinyl thread going on now.

    Everything is fine, except for the side of the record that was directly touching the PVC. You can see the fog, but the record sounds fine. I put the record into a MOFI inner sleeve, and I'm putting that and the original cardboard into a poly outer sleeve.

    I'm trying to decide what to do with the original PVC outer sleeve, though. It's a heart shaped record, and there's a heart shaped sticker to hold the flap closed. Since it definitely goes with the record, I don't want to just get rid of it. I'm thinking of putting this PVC sleeve into a poly outer sleeve. Would the poly sleeve help control the leeching?
  21. JustinBond

    JustinBond Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    I don't get it. Why was your record stored in a way that it's directly touching the outer sleeve?
  22. Damien DiAngelo

    Damien DiAngelo Forum Resident

    Michigan, USA
    It is this record here:
    So, it's stored in the PVC jacket much like a picture disk would be. The PVC sleeve is what's protecting the record from the elements. It sits in slots in the cardboard inner. The backside of the record is against the cardboard. That side was OK. The front side was directly touching the PVC. It's getting cloudy.

    So, I'm still curious if putting the PVC sleeve into a poly sleeve will stop it from leeching out to the other records. This record isn't that valuable, so I just want to keep it with the rest of 'em.
  23. zongo

    zongo Forum Resident

    Davis, CA
    Yes, this is what I have been using recently. I believe it is a different material from the PVC that is being discussed, but that is just coming from what I have been reading on this thread.

    However, I have another question that I have been worrying about a little with these Sleeve City Ultimate Outer Sleeves. I got quite a few of them (a couple hundred) a little over a year ago. I noticed that they have some kind of film on them that is faintly cloudy when you hold them up to a light source and look through. I think it is something on the inside. I have been using a cloth to wipe this discoloration from the inside, which does seem to help and which makes them much clearer. This is not just in one batch (or bag) of them, either; I looked at about 5 of the different batches and they all have it. I also got some of the thinner version (the 2.5 mil) and thought at first they didn't have this, but now I see it on those as well. I have been kind of worried that this is a problem and that it represents something that might damage the records or sleeves.

    I have read various threads over the last few years where people talked about various problems with storage (the MOFI inner sleeves that were leaving a residue, now this PVC thing...) but I don't think I have seen anyone comment on this issue, and it seems that a lot of people use these Sleeve City outer sleeves. Anyone else noticed this? Any opinions on what it is or if it might represent something damaging over time?
  24. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    I use those Sleeve City outer sleeves, and they are made of polypropylene, which is supposed to be safe. I've occasionally encountered the "residue" you are describing, it's very slight, and it wipes or brushes right off. I'm guessing it could be dust from the factory, warehouse or shipping. It doesn't seem to be from a chemical reaction, but I could be wrong.
  25. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    Picture Discs that came in a clear stickered sleeve are the kind to avoid like the plague. Like what the Styx Pieces, Framptin Alive, and others came in. The ones with a normal cover with die cut circle are not the kind with issues obviously here.

    So I think everybody is pretty clear on the clear PVC type outer covers we are talking about. Don't forget that your 7" 45 picture discs are also at risk of fogging.

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