Hi David
From your email it seems that your film though in bad state can be salvagable. Firstly Vinegar syndrome affects only acetate film and is an autocatalytic process. The moment it affects a part of your film, it continues to affect the whole film. This is caused my the micro and macro environment surrounding the film. In your case your garage is not climate controlled and you have kept the film in the garage for a long time. When there is high temperature and relative humidity your film is bound to have vinegar syndrome and signs of its deterioration are the buckling and cloudiness. If you have more acetate films in your garage, I would suggest you remove them to a room with more aeration, somewhere cool and dry and segregate the most affected films
As for your current problem, you should remove the film from its present can and find a new can that gives the film air to breathe. Thef ilm should also be cleaned using film cleaner and if you cant find a new can try and clean the inside of the can with alcohol so as to remove dirt and any fungi or mold that could have been in the can. 
You can use molecular sieves but your can should be tight. Molecular sieves are used as dessicants and can absorb the humidity keeping the container dry. Also to check the level of deterioration you can purchase IPI Acidity strips, these will show you if your film is sakavagabke or not. However, I urge you to take the film to a lab if it is of value to you so that they cam make a preservation copy for you which you can them use on a telecine. A buckled film will be difficult to use on the telecine. I hope this helps
Ishumael Zinyengere
Audiovisual Archivist

--- On Sun, 28/6/09, Graham Newton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Graham Newton <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Any way to "disinfect" vinegar reels?
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Sunday, 28 June, 2009, 10:07 PM

David Breneman wrote:

> This is a little off topic because it is a film question,
> but I'm hoping someone here has experience with this.  I
> have an episode of the "Perry Mason" TV series which is
> in an advanced state of vinegar-syndrome decomposition.
> It's badly buckled, cloudy, and makes my whole garage
> smell like photo fixer.  But, I'd like to salvage the
> reel and can if possible to use as a takeup reel.  This
> is a 2500' Plio-Magic plastic TV reel, and they're
> getting hard to find.  The can is a 2000' Goldberg
> Brothers metal can.  Is there any way to sanitize
> these so they are safe to use for takeup (not to store
> a film on/in) or is the cause hopeless?  Thanks to
> any who can answer.

Hello David and all...

I recall reading about a Kodak product which I think was called a molecular sieve designed to affect the syndrome either from progressing further or to reverse it, I don't remember which.  I believe it is a small strip designed to be put into the film can of a roll exhibiting vinegar syndrome.

Do some searching on the Kodak site for more details on this.

From your description, the film you have is probably beyond recovery, and I would suggest you consign it to the garbage after stripping the film (use rewinds and a split reel with a plastic core) from the reel you want to keep. Do this outside, and thoroughly wash the reel and can (and the split reel!) with Windex then rinse with water and allow to air dry for a few days.

After everything is dry, check carefully for any trace of vinegar smell and repeat if necessary.

... Graham Newton

-- Audio Restoration by Graham Newton,
World class professional services applied to tape or phonograph records for
consumers and re-releases, featuring CEDAR's CAMBRIDGE processes.