Just thought i'd share this video i've found on how to clean your moldy VHS tapes, without spending a fortune on a TapeChek machine
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Oh yeah, I really want to send mold spores flying around my VCR and all over my room! You are taking chances with your health cleaning a tape this way. A dust mask is for nuisances only and won't keep spores out of your respiratory tract. I have suffered mold-induced bronchitis and it was a daunting, expensive struggle.
If you insist on DIY cleaning then you will need a proper respirator and vacuum with HEPA filter in addition to your alcohol-soaked wiping tool.
Of course you should use safety precautions. Best to do it in a garage, or very ventilated area. I've had my fair share of mold problems aswell. I have a respirator mask, which i bought for removing mold from my wall. Funnily enough i was getting terrible allergies lately then the other day discovered white mold growing around the side of my sofa bed! So that will have to go..
Also i'd just buy a cheap VCR for this purpose only, and remove the head.
Not to be used by, talked about, or even thought about near hypochondriacs or armchair doctors.
Some molds have toxic effect on the human respiratory system. That's a scientific fact and all the macho in the world won't change it.
Does this help?
"The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven."
Last edited by Des; 7th Oct 2016 at 10:35. Reason: Forgot the quote"You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
That was really stupid. Don't do that.
A. You'll screw up your tapes.
B. You'll screw up your health.
"Toxic mold" may not be a technically accurate term, not jargon, but the colloquial name stuck for a reason: mold causes health problems. Period.
"If you insist on DIY cleaning then you will need a proper respirator and vacuum with HEPA filter in addition to your alcohol-soaked wiping tool. "
^ That's accurate.
There are also other issues going on in mold tapes. Many must be baked. Just send it to Specbros, and quit trying to DIY. You can't DIY some things! This is one of them. It's not a simple matter of wiping off white powder.
FYI: You'll also completely screw up your VCR, and everything you put into it is contaminated as well.
Again, really really stupid.
Thought i'd bump my thread up again as came across a new video, which looks to be a much safer way of doing it, though alot more time consuming!
Although i wouldn't use kitchen towels or rubbing alcohol for that matter (i hear it's better to use hydrogen peroxide) My only niggle is, how would you clean the underside of the tape?
H2O2 is safer to use on tape than alcohol. I guess you could turn the reels over and go back the other way to get the bottom.
What sort of material is in one of those TapeChek cleaning machines? I've been thinking of getting a cheap VCR and placing similar material over one of the posts, so it'll pass and clean the tape, then i can open said tape up and clean any remaining mould residue on the plastic reels with isopropyl alcohol.
It's probably similar to Pellon brand fabric interfacing, which has long been used to clean tape. I repeat my advice to keep alcohol away from the tape. Use hydrogen peroxide instead.
Thanks, they don't do that here, but you can buy it from international sellers on Amazon
I could probably cut it into strips and makes small rolls out of it.
Also would microfibre clothes such as these work as well?
Yes yes i know, it's not for the tape but to swab/clean the inside of the VHS shell. I will still be using hydrogen peroxide on the tape itself. But i imagine i'll have to do a second pass (on a dry patch) to dry the tape off as i know hydrogen peroxide doesn't evaporate like alcohol.
I understand DIY tape cleaning is not comparable to the TapeCheck machines but I live in Brazil and I haven't found one single shop that will do tape cleaning with professional equipment: they all put a stock photo of a TapeCheck machine, charge 5 dolars per tape and expect us to believe the guy is using a 6,000US$ machine. So, unfortunately, I have to try the DIY ... If I lived in the US I'd be glad to send my most precious tapes to a professional cleaning service and pay the 30 bucks for each one. Unfortunately, I'm still looking for a trustworth place that can do this in Brazil. If I'll send my tape to a guy that's lying about the equipment he uses, I rather do it myself slowly and one tape at a time.
A Brazilian TV station with a huge historical archive restored their tapes some years ago the they did use alcohol on, believe it or not, toilette paper rolls - those where 1 or 2 inches wide tapes.
The video on the original post seems to be the best tempered I've seen on the subject and it seems it could be done with the dry cloth. I know methods using dry paper or cloth that are used for cleaning reel-to-reel tapes. Do you guys think these DIY methods, done carefully, could give good and safe results if I don't mind what will happen to the master after the transfer is done?
Note about mold: Mold can be very toxic. If you don't know where the tape was stored you can get bad things. In my case, all my tapes have been at home so the mold is natural ocurring and we have been in contact with it therefore probably not toxic. A good example is a mold that kills cocoa trees in some regions in Brazil but does nothing to the trees in other regions because there they are naturally ocurring and the trees are adapted to it.
Here is a sample, that some of you might like, about the kinds of material TV Cultura has in its archives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rso-GkMlI9c The old guy is the composer of the original lyrics for Girl from Ipanema.
What percent hydrogen peroxide should I use? I tried 3% and it requires a lot of wiping to get the grimy mold off the surface of the tape and it's too much water content. The highest percent I can purchase off the internet is 30%, is it too corrosive for the tape? I prefer a liquid that easily evaporates like isopropyl alcohol, is there such a thing for mold removal? IPA doesn't work on grimy hardened mold on tape surfaces.