One Approach to Record Mold

By Dominic Vautie
11/2006


I got a bunch of old LPs from my father-in-law’s estate.  I brought back about 50 of the albums but trashed the other 300 or so.  Believe me they were real moldy and I was afraid to even get the stuff anywhere close to my “good” records.  I did notice however that the records cleaned up well with the usual detergent soap and hand scrubbing procedure.  I had to wash the bad records a few times.  Mold did not seem to effect the vinyl.  The jackets were another issue altogether because mold gets into paper record covers and cardboard jackets easily.  I discarded the record covers and washed the jackets inside and out with a rag soaked with about 20 percent bleach (be sure to use a surgical glove).  Sometimes I had to cut open the jackets to completely clean them.  Bleach kills just about all kinds of mold spores.  I then ironed the jackets to get them flat again and kill any remaining spores.  I installed new envelopes.  The results were not bad if you want to go to all the trouble to restore moldy records.  The records were recordable to CD but not in excellent shape.

 

 

 

First I removed the records from their moldy jackets, cleaned them in warm water and detergent hand soap.  I then dried them off and stacked them up, a dozen or so at a time.  I allowed them to dry, inspected them and washed a few again..  

 

 

The jackets were a mess.  I cleaned them off inside and out with a solution of bleach and dried them off as best I could.  I had to cut some open.  Others just fell apart.

After cleaning, I used the linen, cotton temperature on the iron with no steam.  It goes to about 220 degrees; the hottest temperature kills mold spores.

 

 

After ironing the jackets I weight  them down for about 24 hours or so to get them flat again.

 

I then taped up the sides where needed.

If you get new inner covers try to get the plastic kind.  you may want to get plastic outer jacket covers too.