I think we took different meanings from Duane's posting. I took his term "mold release wax" to mean
it's some sort of wax used in the record molding (manufacturing, pressing) process. Are you taking
it to mean a wax that is released by mold growing on the record surface?
I wish Duane would chime back in and clarify this.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Malcolm Rockwell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] victor record conservation
>I believe he is talking about that waxy substance that seems to exude from early plastic pressings
>(I say plastic because I do not know the composition of the physical matrix nor any changes in
>formulation that occurred over time) in the 1950s. It's the same goop (now there's a highly
>technical term) that I believe is responsible for the transfer of some inks from printed record
>sleeves to the surface of the record itself (which I have found to be non-removable).
> It is possible that the goop is heat and/or pressure specific, or possibly time related if it is
> found to be caused by the packaging process and the amount of cool-down the record went through
> between pressing, sleeving and boxing. The substance may actually be pressing facility specific,
> as well.
> I've cleaned many 78s of this substance and "waxy" is the best description I've heard to date.
> Cleaning with a couple of drops of Dawn dish detergent in a quart of distilled water and then
> thorough rinsing and drying does the trick for me. I have not done controlled experiments to see
> if the process of leaching reoccurs after one cleaning or not. I suspect it does not; that once
> the substance is removed from the record it has been exhausted from the substrate already and no
> longer a problem. But, as I say, this aspect still requires investigation.
> Malcolm Rockwell
> On 6/11/2012 9:00 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
>> From: H D Goldman<[log in to unmask]>
>>> The common contaminant to all pressed disc recordings&
>>> the most difficult to safely remove is the mold release wax.
>> What is mold release wax? Is it something that is part of the mix of
>> the material of the record? You include it in discussing all materials
>> "[lacquer, acetate, Diamond Disc& vinyl]" which include discs which are
>> not pressed. I have visited pressing plants using vinyl and styrene,
>> and have seen films of many different eras of shellac and early vinyl
>> pressing, and never once have I seen any hint of an application of any
>> surface material in the record press other than inserting or injecting
>> the record compound. The stampers are never coated with anything
>> between pressings. The records all come off the press without any
>> problem whatsoever, and often they are immediately sleeved.
>>> It is also the most difficult material to safely& thoroughly
>>> remove from the surface of a new phonograph record.
>> So, what is mold release wax? Since there is no evidence that the
>> stampers are coated, if it is part of the chemical makeup of the record,
>> how could this be a removable surface coating?
>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>>> This wax is poorly soluble in the pure, water-soluble, simple alcohols [methanol, ethanol,
>>> isopropanol& n-propanol]; less so when diluted with water. Bugs love this wax& while it is
>>> difficult for thoroughly cleaned disc surfaces [lacquer, acetate, Diamond Disc& vinyl] to
>>> support mold growth, once infestation is established by feeding on the mold release wax, all of
>>> these disc surfaces can be permanently damaged. For used discs a variety of contaminants
>>> including fingerprints& the micro dust from old sleeves increase the chance for mold growth.
>> Generically speaking record cleaning is performed by sufficiently
>> agitating a solution within the groove to safely& effectively wash the
>> We've demonstrated for over 25 yrs. that it is possible to safely&
>> thoroughly clean all of these surfaces with a blend of highly rinsable,
>> broad-based surfactants that includes a small but critical amount of
>> analytical reagent grade n-propanol. There is an audible difference when
>> the alcohol is excluded.
>> With regards to use on Diamond Discs, Richard Warren, Curator of Yale's
>> Historical Sound Recordings Collection has been using our standard
>> product for years. He volunteered remarks at the ARSC meeting years ago
>> in Nashville, that he obtained superior cleaning of Diamond Discs with
>> our fluids& applicator, even with pressings from a period known for
>> poor surfaces.
>> All the discs used for the award winning "Lost Sounds" collection from
>> the crew at Archeophone were cleaned with our system.
>> As many of us like to make up our own cleaning concoctions, please note
>> that household cleaning products rarely rinse clean from disc phonograph
>> recordings;& I did say a small amount of a specific reagent grade
>> alcohol. Methanol& isopropyl alcohol are not recommended, nor is
>> denatured ethanol or your favorite vodka. While wetting agents can
>> improve the ability of water to penetrate the groove, they do not
>> inherently offer superior cleaning. Nonetheless, pairing wetting agents
>> with highly focused vacuum -based fluid removal [i.e. Keith
>> Monks/Loricraft] can improve performance. This same limitation was
>> recently observed in comparing manual surfactant based cleaning to the
>> use of a wetting solution in a well built device employing an ultrasonic
>> Lastly, with respect to the re-birth of the Spin Clean device, I'm
>> puzzled by one observation. Most of us don't reuse the water we bathe
>> in, use to brush our teeth, wash dishes or clothes in, so why is it such
>> a good idea for phonograph records? The record may be cleaner than it
>> was but it is exposed to all the contaminants accumulating in the bath.
>> The supplied cleaning fluid is less than thorough no matter how it's
>> used, although a quick pass with a Keith Monks/Loricraft would be quite
>> helpful. ;>)
>> Unfortunately both the Spin Clean& the sonicator [more than 40X the
>> price of the former] were reviewed by the same person& both given
>> positive recommendation. In keeping with this sort of evaluation, I'm
>> often reminded that a warm solution of urea& uric acid also gives
>> reasonable results when applied to most disc recording.
>> I mean no criticism of the preferences of others as our goals may
>> differ. A properly setup mid-fi system can reveal the differences
>> between clean& thoroughly cleaned discs. The enhanced resolution
>> increases listening pleasure, makes it easier to evaluate recordings&
>> equipment as well as setting a reference point for digital playback.
>> We're currently evaluating alternate methods for cleaning fresh lacquers
>> prior to plating with the aim of improved resolution& quieter
>> Duane Goldman
>> On Jun 10, 2012, at 2:48 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>> Mike, agree that arguments always arise, but it's important to mention NO ALCOHOL in whatever
>>> solution you use for shellac, right? Just in case someone doesn't know ...
>>> BTW, now to wade into the inevitable argument ... I haven't tried it but it looks to me like the
>>> Spin-Clean would be a good low-cost solution for 78's
>>> THAT SAID, if I were buying it, I would contact the company and ask them point-blank if they
>>> guarantee their solution is alcohol-free and safe for shellac before using it on your 78's.
>>> The reason I like this machine is that it keeps the label dry but thoroughly soaks the groove
>>> area, and it's less sloppy than a slop-sink and sponge.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Biel"<[log in to unmask]>
>>> To:<[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 3:42 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] victor record conservation
>>> From: Patrick Sumner<[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To whom it may concern: wondering if someone knows how to clean vintage
>>>> "Victor" records-a few have a green mold, most are just stored vertically in
>>>> the area below the player. Also, would there be anyone in the Louisville,
>>>> Ky area able to "check-out" the functions.many thanks, patrick
>>> The "functions" of what????
>>> There's very little in shellac records for mold to grow on. The problem
>>> possibly is with the sleeves, and especially the cardboard of any
>>> albums. It will probably clean off by cleaning them the usual way
>>> (arguments always arise when record cleaning is mentioned) but the
>>> sleeves and album covers will reinfect the cleaned records if they are
>>> the problem. And the wood and varnish of the player might also be a
>>> problem. The insides of the player need to be dried out, aired out, and
>>> possibly sealed. You don't mention the vintage of either the player or
>>> the records. Is it a wind-up and these are acoustical records, or is it
>>> a modern console? Stored in a damp basement?
>>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>> H D Goldman Lagniappe Chemicals Ltd.
>> PO Box 37066 St. Louis, MO 63141 USA
>> v/f 314 205 1388 [log in to unmask]