View Full Version : Moldy album jackets...Ecck!


Kevin A
07-14-2010, 10:59 PM
I recently acquired about 40 LPs from a neighbor who was moving— some real nice records—but about 1/2 of them have some water damage. The vinyl is salvageable, and I can use new inner sleeves once I clean them up.

A number of the LP covers (jackets) have some black mold all along the outer bottom edge extending up nearly 2" on some covers. Some jackets are beyond repair (they are disintegrating all along the bottom seam) and I plan on replacing these with new LP cardboard jackets (see image below).

I'd really like to keep some of these 'moldy' jackets (at least on the 'collectible' albums) but I certainly don't want to compromise the cleaning effort i'm putting forth on the vinyl. Nor do I want the mold to continue to spread. I considered a quick spray of bleach to kill the mold. I do have new outer sleeves for the jackets. Anyone have suggestions on the proper treatment of this type of damage to the outer jackets?

http://www.sleevetown.com/300images/9230-2.jpg

markshan
07-14-2010, 11:18 PM
Spray with Sporacidin, let dry in the sun.

Kevin A
07-16-2010, 01:16 PM
Spray with Sporacidin, let dry in the sun.
Yikes! unless I can find it cheaper (and in smaller quantities), I may just go the diluted bleach solution route. Thanks!

http://www.amazon.com/Sporicidin-Disinfectant-Solution-Spray-bottles/dp/B000OSO35Q

reneborg
07-16-2010, 01:51 PM
For a few covers I had that were too damaged I got the blanks covers similar to the ones you have pictured but with no hole showing the LP label. Then, thanks to google, I was able to find the album covers -- front and back. I printed them up and glued them to the replacement album cover. I figure maybe someday another copy will pass my way. But, in the meantime I've got the track listings, time, sometimes even the liner notes (or at least partial).

RastaFish
07-16-2010, 03:34 PM
I have taken a few covers that had some mold/mildew damage and after cleaning them up to the best of my ability I wrapped them completely in saran wrap. That way I can still see and read the cover, but any remaining spores are contained and will not contaminate anything else. I use a few pieces of strategically placed scotch tape to make sure the saran wrap doesn't start to loosen or unwrap.

Then I just put the saran wrapped cover into a plastic outer sleeve, and the actual record goes into a poly-lined paper sleeve, and then goes into the plastic outer sleeve with/behind the saran wrapped cover.

This method has worked pretty well for me on numerous records. I typically avoid records with water damage/mold/mildew, but sometimes the vinyl is still in great shape and if it is an album I really want, I can deal with the covers in this manner.

Mark W.
07-16-2010, 03:40 PM
if the jackets are moldy they add NOTHING to a collectable LP. If the Vinyl is VG+ and the LP has a trashed moldy jacket your looking at a record worth maybe what a Good grade record sells for which is less then 15% of the value of Near Mint.

So if you have a collectable LP worth $50.00 in NM condition it's only worth $7.50 in Good. And if it's worth

So replace the crappy jackets that can't be cleaned up and listen to the music the dollar value no longer comes into play.

RastaFish
07-16-2010, 03:48 PM
Yeah, I personally couldn't care less about the $ value, I collect records to listen to - I play all my albums. I like to keep the original covers even if they have some damage just because I like to look at them and read them when I play the album. I only trash and replace them if they are absolutely beyond any hope of salvage. My collection is for me, not for any perceived dollar value to collectors!

Kevin A
07-16-2010, 04:19 PM
I too am more concerned about the quality and condition of the vinyl. I do collect records to listen with really no intent regarding nor concern about market or resale value.

In my original post, I perhaps should have chosen another word rather than 'collectible' as that may imply market-value. I meant to imply the record covers I value are the one's I'm trying to "de-moldify" :D:D

I'm not looking to resell any of these; I just enjoy having the original album art.

Bob_in_OKC
07-16-2010, 07:21 PM
It seems like if you put the moldy cover in a new plastic sleeve and the cleaned record in a new plastic sleeve, you'd have it as good as it gets. I suspect the bleach won't have any positive effect. Surely the mold is dead, but it's not going to come out of the paper. If they smell bad, I'd say put them out in the sun. Otherwise, just put them in sleeves if you can't bear to throw them out.

JonL
07-16-2010, 10:09 PM
I've dealt with LOTS of moldy and musty jackets. It seems everyone stored their records in the basement in cardboard boxes right on the concrete floor. The boxes and jackets just wick the moisture right up out of the concrete and the bottoms of the jackets get moldy and funky. There's frequently a one or two inch band of funkiness on the vinyl as well. For the jackets, I find that Fantastik, Formula 409, Lysol, or similar does a better job than bleach. Look at the labels on the products, they all have the same active ingredient, and it's supposed to be more effective at killing mold and mildew spores than bleach, at least in the concentrations of bleach that you could safely use on the jackets. I spray the Fantastik on a cloth and wipe down the outside and spray some of the product directly into the inside of the jacket. Then I prop open the jacket a bit and leave it outside for as long as I can. Sometimes it takes a few treatments but it usually gets rid of the smell. Then I put the jacket in a plastic sleeve.

Shackman55
07-16-2010, 10:48 PM
+1:thmbsp:
One step further, I got from another fellow here, is to wipe it down with lemon pledge once done with cleaning it leaves it lemony fresh!!

Kevin A
07-16-2010, 10:58 PM
I've dealt with LOTS of moldy and musty jackets. It seems everyone stored their records in the basement in cardboard boxes right on the concrete floor. The boxes and jackets just wick the moisture right up out of the concrete and the bottoms of the jackets get moldy and funky. There's frequently a one or two inch band of funkiness on the vinyl as well.
That's the situation exactly— on top of that they had a flooded garage (washing machine overflow) so the albums got pretty damp on the bottom 2 inches.

For the jackets, I find that Fantastik, Formula 409, Lysol, or similar does a better job than bleach. Look at the labels on the products, they all have the same active ingredient, and it's supposed to be more effective at killing mold and mildew spores than bleach, at least in the concentrations of bleach that you could safely use on the jackets. I spray the Fantastik on a cloth and wipe down the outside and spray some of the product directly into the inside of the jacket. Then I prop open the jacket a bit and leave it outside for as long as I can. Sometimes it takes a few treatments but it usually gets rid of the smell. Then I put the jacket in a plastic sleeve.I've a dilute bleach sprayer I was going to use and then prop the sprayed albums out in the sun for a good while. Toasty warm & dry here tomorrow so its a good day to get started.

I like shackman's idea of 'lemony-fresh' pledge as a final light rub to further mask the previous funk.....

thanks for all the suggestions..........

markshan
07-16-2010, 11:34 PM
Yikes! unless I can find it cheaper (and in smaller quantities), I may just go the diluted bleach solution route. Thanks!

http://www.amazon.com/Sporicidin-Disinfectant-Solution-Spray-bottles/dp/B000OSO35Q

I'm sorry, I didn't give enough info. Not Sporacidin disinfectant, Sporacidin Enzyme Mold Cleaner. One quart makes 16 gallons and has lots of uses all around the home. I use it on anything musty (I have a bad mold allergy) and not only use it on the moldy jackets, but it also works great on moldy records.

My method for records, wet with tap water, spray mist with SEMC, work into the grooves with a soft nylon brush, let dwell for a minute, brush again and rinse well.

Even if you don't trust it for the records (though it works great for me) it does wonders for the jackets.

It can be had here (http://www.shop.americanairandwater.com/product.sc?productId=9).

markshan
07-16-2010, 11:42 PM
Surely the mold is dead, but it's not going to come out of the paper.

To my experience, both of these statements are false. The mold can live a long time if conditions persist and can spread to other nearby items (that is why killing it is so important). Also, it will lighten once killed. I suppose technically it doesn't "come out" of the paper, but it is repairable.

I don't know where off the top of my head, but I recall some librarian or book collector board dealing in great detail with this issue.

Kevin A
07-17-2010, 12:03 AM
I'm sorry, I didn't give enough info. Not Sporacidin disinfectant, Sporacidin Enzyme Mold Cleaner....
Even if you don't trust it for the records (though it works great for me) it does wonders for the jackets.

It can be had here (http://www.shop.americanairandwater.com/product.sc?productId=9).
Cool. thanks for the clarification. THAT would come in handy around the house too as we have a several who also have mold allergies.:thmbsp:

Shackman55
07-17-2010, 06:19 AM
I'll bet the library of Congress website has some info on the subject too.

gewoonmaf
07-17-2010, 06:35 AM
Bleach + printing ink = ?

Arkay
07-17-2010, 07:04 AM
First off, do NOT use bleach! I'm surprised it took until gewoonmaf's post -#17 in this thread!-- for someone to say this. Yes, bleach works GREAT against mold, but it also bleaches out color... that's why the word is used as a noun AND a verb; the stuff is great at making colored stuff turn white! If I wanted to fade the ink off an LP jacket, I'd use bleach.

The enzyme-based Sporacidin recommended above should be an excellent choice, as most inks are not the kinds of proteins and fats that those enzymes would attack. Never tried it, but it looks promising.

One tip I picked up from someone here on AK a few years ago has worked well for me: wipe the cover with the NON-bleach Chlorox-brand disinfecting wipes. One wipe can do a few jackets, before it either becomes too dry or too dirty. Just wipe it enough to leave a very thin film: you don't need to saturate the cardboard. Wipe the inside gently, and use something small to spread the inside open slightly while it "dries". This stuff eliminates the moldy smell pretty quickly, and in my experience the mold never grows back (but then again, I never leave my records in damp basements! :D).

When the covers are too far gone to be worth keeping, I'll do the best I can to clean/repair them, and then take them to a copy shop and get a 1:1 color photocopy made of the front and back. These then get glued down to plain white jackets, similar to those in the photos above. I like the idea of using downloads of scans from online, but I didn't realize the size and resolution would be sufficient in most cases. At least then, the copies wouldn't show residual imperfections from the mold damage.

I have a few records which I've kept in the original, damaged covers, but I'll do this where there is mostly just water damage with minimal or no mold. (I just hate mold!) I bought a Sheffield Labs recording once in a water-damaged jacket: it had stuck to the one next to it, and parts of the printing had ripped off the front when someone peeled them apart. The lost print isn't too extensive, and it didn't really get moldy, just damaged, so I keep that cover (until I find a better one). The vinyl inside was completely untouched, as it was in a poly (waterproof) liner. I got a great bargain on it, because of the cover damage.

Once I picked up a soggy, molding mass of perhaps 20 LPs that had been left out in the rain. They were free, and again there was nothing wrong with the vinyl itself. I was able to get a few of the covers free and in good enough shape to color-photocopy them. The others went into blank white covers with small labels stuck on them. Over time, I've been able to find a couple covers that I was able to borrow long enough to copy them. Others are still in white. Not my first choice, but better to have the records like this, than not to have them at all.

In the reverse direction, I have a few empty jackets of records that I would love to own, but which are not easy to find. I HOPE one day to find those records with moldy or damaged jackets: then I could mate the good inside vinyl (which would be dirt-cheap due to the bad jackets!) with my good outside jackets, to get one NICE "keeper"! :D

markshan
07-17-2010, 07:49 AM
The enzyme-based Sporacidin recommended above should be an excellent choice, as most inks are not the kinds of proteins and fats that those enzymes would attack. Never tried it, but it looks promising.



1400 posts and I finally made myself useful!:D:banana:

reneborg
07-17-2010, 09:11 AM
1400 posts and I finally made myself useful!:D:banana:

Hey, it's better late than never! :yes:

and who says none of your earlier posts were useful anyway!?

reneborg
07-17-2010, 09:14 AM
Re. the bleach.

Yeah I'm sure that it will do harm if used too heavily. What I've done is moisten a paper towel with diluted bleach and wipe the inside an outside of the moldy cover. I then follow up with a paper towel lightly moistened with water to 'rinse'.

After this, I make sure, as Arkay points out, that the cover dries inside and out, preferably outside in the sun.

Arkay
07-17-2010, 10:54 AM
Sunlight is great for killing off mold.

Just don't leave the jacket out for TOO long... direct sunlight bleaches, too. Fortunately, it is weak enough that an extra day or two shouldn't make any detectable difference. (A few weeks might, though. If you live in the Sonoran desert, you should limit the exposure. Things really dry out and "bleach" under the summertime desert sun. 1/2 hour outside in Tucson should equal 6-8 hours in most cities of the U.S. But mold problems are rare in the desert, too, so this may be moot.).

Bob_in_OKC
07-17-2010, 11:14 AM
Today's forecast in Tucson calls for rain. :)

gewoonmaf
07-17-2010, 11:16 AM
For The White Album, use pure bleach. :D

JonL
07-17-2010, 11:21 AM
One tip I picked up from someone here on AK a few years ago has worked well for me: wipe the cover with the NON-bleach Chlorox-brand disinfecting wipes. One wipe can do a few jackets, before it either becomes too dry or too dirty. Just wipe it enough to leave a very thin film: you don't need to saturate the cardboard. Wipe the inside gently, and use something small to spread the inside open slightly while it "dries". This stuff eliminates the moldy smell pretty quickly, and in my experience the mold never grows back (but then again, I never leave my records in damp basements! :D).



It's the same active ingredient as in the cleansers I mentioned in my post. You can save a lot of money (and be more environmentally sound) if you buy a generic cleaner with the active ingredient and spray it on your own cloth rags. The rags last a lot longer than the fibrous Clorox wipes. When the rags are really dirty they can be washed and reused.

elcoholic
07-17-2010, 11:43 AM
I've tried 2 methods. The first was to open up the jacket, wet it down with Tilex and let it air dry in the screen room for a day or so. This was successful, but I wanted a faster method. I put a moldy Live At Leads cover in the microwave to kill the mold. All appeared well for 20 seconds. At 21 seconds it burst into flame. Now that LP lives in a recycled jacket. I'll stick with Tilex.

markshan
07-17-2010, 02:03 PM
At 21 seconds it burst into flame. Now that LP lives in a recycled jacket.

I hate when that happens.

Mark W.
07-17-2010, 05:00 PM
I've tried 2 methods. The first was to open up the jacket, wet it down with Tilex and let it air dry in the screen room for a day or so. This was successful, but I wanted a faster method. I put a moldy Live At Leads cover in the microwave to kill the mold. All appeared well for 20 seconds. At 21 seconds it burst into flame. Now that LP lives in a recycled jacket. I'll stick with Tilex.


I am ever so sorry but that made me chuckle a bit.

gewoonmaf
07-17-2010, 05:05 PM
At least we now have the recipe for record sleeves to add to your microwave's user manual.

Kevin A
07-18-2010, 11:52 AM
First attempt at 'de-molding' went pretty well.

I used a bit of Tilex® on a damp sponge and lightly rubbed the moldy areas of the album jacket. I placed treated albums in the sun for a day (90° outside). This morning, the dark mold stains are gone (:banana:), and the funky smell is gone as well.
:thmbsp:

The NEW smell is a bit strong (bleach) so I'll next apply some lemon-scented product after the albums spend another day in the sun.

Bob_in_OKC
07-18-2010, 12:10 PM
Have you tried the sun treatment without a strong-smelling cleaner?

elcoholic
07-18-2010, 12:24 PM
I am ever so sorry but that made me chuckle a bit.

This serious business, sometimes too much so. I'm glad to provide a bit of comic relief from time to time. :D I'm just glad I was standing there and watching it, even though I didn't expect paper to catch fire. You should have seen the WTF? look on my wife's face when I pulled it out of the MW and tossed it out the side door on to the concrete walk. Now that was funny.

CucamongaDan
07-18-2010, 12:36 PM
I've tried 2 methods. The first was to open up the jacket, wet it down with Tilex and let it air dry in the screen room for a day or so. This was successful, but I wanted a faster method. I put a moldy Live At Leads cover in the microwave to kill the mold. All appeared well for 20 seconds. At 21 seconds it burst into flame. Now that LP lives in a recycled jacket. I'll stick with Tilex.

So for quick method maybe a conventional oven at low temperature?

Reminds me of a story. Years ago I had a gardening customer that I used to work in his yard every 2 weeks, then knock on the door with a bill. One day he greeted me with "Sorry the house smells, the newspaper was wet this morning, and I thought I'd dry it out in the oven, but it started burning."
"Really?" I said. "What temperature did you set the oven at?"
"Oh, about 500 I guess."
"Say, did you ever hear of Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451?"
He said he didn't know that much about it.

He was a really nice and smart old gentleman, an economist, and I wish I'd been into hi-fi then because he had a pair of huge flat speakers in his living room that must have been some magnaplanars that I'd love to know more about now.

Kevin A
07-18-2010, 07:20 PM
Have you tried the sun treatment without a strong-smelling cleaner?
not yet...but I've plenty of albums still to go so I'll do a side-by-side comparison with the cleaner & without the cleaner (just sun).