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  #1  
01-02-2016, 06:40 PM
Intergalactic Pancakes Intergalactic Pancakes is offline
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My brother's girlfriend gave me a bunch of tapes since she knew that I collect them. I was going over all of them and one of them was having a hard time in my VCR - the video was a bit wobbly and the audio was extremely quiet. I didn't play the entire tape though, I was mostly fast-forwarding to get an idea what was on the tape. Aside from acting odd and making this horrible sound when rewinding there wasn't any visible signs of it being physically damaged.

So it finishes rewinding and I pull it out to find lots of white dust on the top of the film. Originally I thought it was dust, only to find out it was mold. I was reading on quite a few sites and everyone says it's incredibly harmful to VCR's because the spores can grow on the heads and can possibly transfer to any tapes that play on it.

I haven't played any tapes on it since I saw all that mold, of course. None of the other tapes I received have this problem, thankfully, and I've removed the infested one away from them. However, I'm concerned that this might permanently damage my VCR. I'm going to safely assume I'll have to clean all the heads, but is there any other procedure to prevent anything from spreading or growing? Or will I have to get a new deck entirely?

Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
01-03-2016, 03:17 AM
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You need to take it outside, wear a face mask, open it, and blow it out. You can use compressed/canned air, but I'd actually use a leaf blower (and standing far enough away that you don't damage it with the force of air). Move to another location entirely (front side of house instead of back, etc), to avoid the airborne mold debris. Then clean the heads with non-cotton foam or chamois swabs (or a DLSR sensor swab), using 90%+ isopropyl alchohol.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...QNK5YAZOONOJWW
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ZDP4YCSRYDXSCI

Afterwards, test it with a non-important tape. I like to use the retail tape of 'Liar Liar' or a Cartoon Network tape.

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01-03-2016, 05:18 PM
Intergalactic Pancakes Intergalactic Pancakes is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply! Just went out and used compressed air (I don't trust myself with a leaf blower) and ordered the foam swabs. I do have to ask though, would I be able to see these spores? It looked fairly clean in there so I'm guessing not, in which case I may go out again before I clean it just to be safe.
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01-04-2016, 07:10 AM
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Spores are tiny. Microscopic. See image here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold_health_issues

And read the page is you want to be scared $hitless.

Again, wear a mask. Be sure to blow it out thoroughly, hence my leafblower idea. You'll probably drain a full can of duster.

And change your clothes when you go back inside. The spores are probably all over you now. (I've had to do this in the past, when deal with fleas on outdoor pets. I'd rather assume I'm covered in flea eggs, than find out the hard way later.)

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01-07-2016, 05:09 PM
Intergalactic Pancakes Intergalactic Pancakes is offline
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The swabs came today. I went out and did everything, but I came back in and the head drum looks wet. I'm not sure if it's from the alcohol (I didn't use much) or if it's condensation from being outside and coming back in. Should I attempt drying it with one of the swabs?
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  #6  
01-08-2016, 11:47 AM
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Alcohol should evaporate almost instantly. It's probably condensation. Wait a few hours for it to reach room temp again. You can use a swab to mop up the water.

^ But since you left this post last night, this is all a moot point.

Go ahead and re-clean the heads, but inside the house this time. You don't want condensate on them, as that may harm tapes.

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01-10-2016, 10:07 PM
Intergalactic Pancakes Intergalactic Pancakes is offline
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Re-cleaned the heads and everything is working great. Thanks for all the help!
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  #8  
07-01-2017, 11:08 AM
Dude111 Dude111 is offline
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I wonder if you can clean these tapes with warm water????

Just put the whole cartridge in water.... One time I found a tape @ salvation army 1/2 in water outside on a warmer winter day...... I brought her home (Star trek 5) and let hit dry 2 days before running it..... She plays fine
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  #9  
07-01-2017, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude111 View Post
I wonder if you can clean these tapes with warm water????
Do NOT do that!

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  #10  
07-02-2017, 04:18 PM
Dude111 Dude111 is offline
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Thank you lordsmurf,Im glad I didnt try it!!
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