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Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 00:11
by EmmEff
I've just acquired a bunch of records that have been stored in a barn with a leaky roof. The album covers are mostly ruined but the vinyl looks near perfect. With that said, I think they're moldy. I cannot seem to get them clean with the regular Spin Clean fluid.

Anybody have experience cleaning records that may be moldy? Any recommendations for a cleaning process and/fluid? I don't have the budget for a proper automatic RCM.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 01:31
by theclosetguy
enzyme cleaners are needed.
Mike M

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 01:35
by readargos
Enzyme formulas are safe. You have to let them sit a while and don't let them dry on the surface. Apply by hand one side at a time and follow with distilled rinse. Won't really work in Spin Clean.

Hydrogen peroxide also works. It will break down the protein walls of the mold and permit easy removal. It's mildly acidic, though less so than vinegar, so in theory may be bad for vinyl, but I've not noticed any harmful effects. You'll also want to let it sit at least a minute and do a distilled rinse.

Since you don't have a vacuum, you'll probably have to apply and dry with microfiber towels. You can follow with Spin Clean if you wish.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 03:07
by EmmEff
Excellent! I was not aware of enzyme record cleaners. Lots to see on the topic on Google. Thanks so much.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 10:46
by vince1
Enzymatic cleaners will not kill all molds and fungi, though they will assist in their dispersion/release. If you want to disinfect, use a quat based cleaner that will lyse the cells. These also have the advantage of being powerful antistats so they are perfectly suited for record cleaning. Certain colonizing fungi like Aureobasidium sp. can use the vinyl matrix as a carbon source and can cause permanent damage so you need to disinfect. You also don't want any cross-contamination with other records in your collection.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 13:59
by EmmEff
Can you recommend a specific product or brand for that?

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 15:48
by vince1
EmmEff wrote:Can you recommend a specific product or brand for that?
I use Hepastat256. 3M, Lysol, and Chlorox also make quat cleaners but I haven't tried them. Just look at the MSDS and make sure they are primarily quaternary ammonium compounds, no bad organic solvents, and not too high a pH. Most will have a little ethanol and EDTA which is good.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 16:43
by EmmEff
Thank you again. Going shopping soon

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 00:23
by theclosetguy
Vince
Are you saying bleach is safe on records?
Mike M

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 02:06
by ehtoo
I hope he isn't. The following info below:

"Does Bleach Really Kill Mold?
Will chlorine bleach kill mold or not—yes or no? The answer is yes, but with a caveat. That answer comes from The Clorox Company, Oakland CA, manufacturer and distributor of Ultra Clorox® Regular Bleach. The company’s correspondence to Spore°Tech Mold Investigations, LLC stated that their Tech Center studies supported by independent laboratories show that “…3/4 cup of Clorox liquid bleach per gallon of water will be effective on hard, non-porous surfaces against… Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (Athlete’s Foot Fungus)”. Whether or not chlorine bleach kills other molds and fungi, the company did not say. The “hard, non-porous surfaces” part of the sentence is a caveat... The use of bleach as a mold disinfectant is best left to kitchen and bathroom countertops, tubs and shower glass, etc."

Never mind what it will do if you get any of it on the record label. It's effects on the record surface, I could not say but a neutral PH cleaner has always been the go to for cleaning LP's. Err on the side of caution when it comes to strong cleaners. (That is if the records are worthwhile to fret over).

As another contributor has written, an enzyme cleaner left for a short time but not so long that it dries, is probably the safest. Depending on the severity, it may take more than one cleaning to remove all of it. Be prepared for some staining of the record. Mold has a nasty habit of leaving it's mark.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 02:10
by vince1
theclosetguy wrote:Vince
Are you saying bleach is safe on records?
Mike M
What?? Never. Where did you get that from??? I did say that Chlorox, the brand, makes a quat-based cleaner, but that contains ZERO bleach (sodium hypochlorite). You'd be crazy to put bleach on your records for a huge variety of reasons. All my posts have been as a proponent of quaternary ammonium compounds. Very different.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 16:10
by theclosetguy
Hi Vince
I'm 60 years old. When someone says Chlorox, it means bleach. Its one of those Brand Names that is used generically for a type of product. When you say Lucite you are meaning acrylic.
Mike M

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 16:19
by theclosetguy
Wow
That Hepastat 256 is a really strong ammonia product. just looked it up on the manufactures website. Its recommended only for non-porous surfaces and is not considered food safe. Its recommended for Hospital use only as a major disinfectant. What long term effects would this have on vinyl records? What effect might it have a on a stylus if by chance some got on it? Ammonia fumes are corrosive. That is what was used to give Stickley Furniture its coloring. The Tannen's in the oak would mix with the ammonia fumes.
Mike M

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 17:29
by vince1
You are confusing quaternary ammonium compound (quats) with ammonia. Very different things: you wouldn't confuse NaCl (table salt) with chlorine gas would you? The Hepastat is 100% recommended for food use (see below), you are misinformed. Quat compunds are already in your vinyl record (included in the PVA-PVC polymer as an antistat). That also are sold commercially as Groove lubes, Record antistats, and Record conditioners and are totally safe on vinyl without any audible effect or stylus accumulation. You'll also find them as the main component of your hair conditioner and laundry dryer sheets. Nothing to fear here.

see http://www.coastwidelabs.com/products/p ... eb4251.pdf
recommended for "restaurants, bars, cafeterias, institutional kitchens, convenience stores and food storage areas"


Read the ingredients on your hair conditioner bottle. What is the third ingredient, right after water and cetyl alcohol? It is almost always a quaternary ammonium compound. Safe for your hair, even if you get some in your eyes or mouth. Similarly, quite safe for our vinyl records.

Re: Cleaning moldy records?

Posted: 10 Dec 2016 22:06
by theclosetguy
From The Manufactures web site. The Label on the bottle. Hepstat 256
http://www.kellysolutions.com/erenewals ... _17_AM.pdf
Mike M