How can you clean or restore tapes and discs?

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audio+video

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Posted by Conservation Answers(Questions:33:Answers28)
Answered On 28 January, 2014 4:14 am

Before playing, discs with light contamination (such as airborne dust) should be cleaned by hand using a suitable brush, with antistatic treatment as required. Keep a separate brush for 78’s and LP’s if you have both.

Clean extensive contamination, including mould, from disc surfaces and tape edges before further handling. The flanges on the tape spools may be removed if necessary. An effective cleaning solution is a 1% solution of cetrimonium bromide in distilled water (available from well stocked pharmacies). Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

If tapes or discs get wet, remove all moisture as quickly as possible. If flooded with dirty water, rinse with distilled water, trying to minimise any more exposure than necessary. Special cleaning machines are used by archives and professional engineers for maximum effectiveness.

Warped discs may be temporarily flattened by gentle and precise heating before playing, but professional help is recommended. With tapes, any splices or leaders that show signs of deterioration should be renewed.

Clean CDs by wiping across the direction of the recorded signal – never in a circular motion. Care should be taken not to scratch the label side as it is much thinner than the clear playing surface.

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