I'm assuming we're talking mold, or do you mean fungus like what grows on stumps in the forest? I've
never been able to save mold- or fungus-laden record covers, at least not in any sort of decent or
As for the records, I've had good luck soaking in a mild bleach solution, at least for vinyl. Then
gently clean under running water with a sponge and Ivory liquid. Then VPI clean. This has definitely
worked for me, with really good results in one case where I got a box of records from a moldy
basement, all molded together, at a garage sale. The guy wasn't even selling them, they were out at
the curb. I gave up on the sleeves, just tossed them. And I had the foresight to work on one record
at a time, because of course the soaking made the inner labels come off so I had to write down what
they were on the naked vinyl with a grease pencil. Guess what they all were -- RCA shaded dogs,
original Mercuries and a couple of old German DGG's, none of them had been played much before they
got flooded sometime long ago. They all cleaned up perfectly and play like they are new. I think the
saving grace was that they were not so tight-packed in that box that when the mold and water and rot
expanded the sleeves, it didn't crush the grooves. Also saving grace was that the American records
had paper inner sleeves and the German record didn't use a plastic that stuck to the records.
BTW, the soaking was done in a large pan in an open garage, and the moldy stuff was handled with
gloves and I wore a dust mask. All the moldy stuff (ie everything except the records) was bagged up
outside, so I made an effort not to bring the mold into the house.
Sorry I can't share a solution for the inner labels and sleeves, but a vinyl record should clean up
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RV: [ARSCLIST] Cleaning of grooved discs- how about fungus?
> We have a client with a number of boxes of grooved discs with fungus. Any
> suggestions about techniques or labs that offer the service would be
> appreciated. The client is also very interested in preserving the album
> covers and treating the labels at the center of the discs.
> Peter Brothers
> SPECS BROS., LLC
> [log in to unmask]
> Tape restoration and disaster recovery since 1983
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 6:27 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RV: [ARSCLIST] Cleaning of grooved discs
> Let me put in a good word for the VPI 17 machine. I've used mine to clean
> well over 1000 records so
> far. It's on its third brush and vacuum arm. This is rugged, simple to use
> and costs much less than
> a Monks machine, although it's not build quite as bulletproof. I would say
> any but the largest
> collection would be OK with a VPI.
> The most important tip with any automated record cleaner is to keep anything
> that touches the record
> surface clean. I brush lint off the vacuum arm after each use, and wipe the
> cleaning brush when I'm
> done with a few sides.
> My VPI has never damaged a record and it has radically improved the
> playability and enjoyment of
> some dusty relics.