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aussievintage

The insidious vinyl misting problem

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I suppose all collectors of secondhand vinyl have run into this.  I am talking about the dull misting that some records get, that is impossible to clean off, and sounds like uneven tape hiss when played.  It can be so bad, the record is unlistenable.

 

Theories have been put forward as to what causes it, and I am certain that one correct one is that it is outgassing from certain external sleeves that were popular, maybe in the 70s/80s.  They are recognisable as very clear sleeves that sometimes stick to the covers and go harder with age, and also go wrinkly (see photo).  These are all clues that they are losing their plasticizer.   One theory also suggested, high temperatures it conjunction with these sleeves, was the cause.  I am certain, normal high room temperatures, or just age, is enough.

 

I have records, purchased new, in these sleeves.   I have discovered the dreaded misting on them.  What really convinced me, was that I discovered misting on a record, stored adjacently on the shelf next to one of these - but only on the side next to the wrinkly sleeved record.  Luckily, only a small number of my records have these sleeves, and I have removed the sleeves now - and saved most of them.

 

Be warned :(

 

DSC_0414.jpg.9af58f4e311a4ef1877e351a69ec2c5d.jpg

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Unfortunately for me my entire collection were stored in those PVC sleeves throughout the 80's & 90's and thus some of my precious collection has been contaminated to varying degrees. Ive ended up replacing the worst affected and for the past 9 odd years replaced all PVC jackets with poly ones.

 

Amazingly you still see new pressings for sale with those nasty outer sleeves and combined with those sh*thouse non lined paper inners your record doesn't stand a chance!

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5 minutes ago, Tubularbells said:

Unfortunately for me my entire collection were stored in those PVC sleeves throughout the 80's & 90's and thus some of my precious collection has been contaminated to varying degrees. Ive ended up replacing the worst affected

When that's possible, yes.   More luck than anything that only about 10%, maybe less, of mine had these sleeves.

 

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Oh sh%t, is that the cause.

Most of my collection has or had these outer sleeves, they also seem to attract mould as they get older, coincidentally I have been throwing them out as I either clean or play the albums, I think I will remove them all asap, luckily I don’t think that too many of my albums have the misting.

@aussievintage, thanks for posting this.

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6 minutes ago, awayward said:

Oh sh%t, is that the cause.

Most of my collection has or had these outer sleeves, they also seem to attract mould as they get older, coincidentally I have been throwing them out as I either clean or play the albums, I think I will remove them all asap, luckily I don’t think that too many of my albums have the misting.

@aussievintage, thanks for posting this.

 

Well, it's just my theory,   but the misting of an adjacent album, just on one side is fairly convincing to me.     A record inside one of these sleeves would be existing entirely in an atmosphere of this plasticizer gas, so both sides mist.   On a firmly packed record shelf , one side of the adjacent record only had one layer or cardboard and an inner sleeve between it and the offending outer sleeve.

 

 

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The majority of my records are second hand and/or op-shop finds. I can't say I've ever noticed these pvc sleeve ones to be any worse or noisier than the rest but for like 30c? a record I've gone ahead and swapped them all out anyway. Cheers for the heads up.

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Guest Muon N'

I always thought it would be inner sleeves, but I really only know for certain that I hated coming across a nice album only to find the milky/misty effect on one or both sides :(

Could it have been contaminants in the vinyl, or a reaction between contents of the vinyl formula and some sleeves.

I never could find a reliable pattern to the cause, but inner or outer sleeves is a possibility. Often the pattern matched wrinkly inner or outer sleeve wrinkles in some effected records, but could that have been a related pressure aspect.

 

It suxs, whatever the cause.

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7 hours ago, aussievintage said:

I suppose all collectors of secondhand vinyl have run into this.  I am talking about the dull misting that some records get, that is impossible to clean off, and sounds like uneven tape hiss when played.  It can be so bad, the record is unlistenable.

 

Theories have been put forward as to what causes it, and I am certain that one correct one is that it is outgassing from certain external sleeves that were popular, maybe in the 70s/80s.  They are recognisable as very clear sleeves that sometimes stick to the covers and go harder with age, and also go wrinkly (see photo).  These are all clues that they are losing their plasticizer.   One theory also suggested, high temperatures it conjunction with these sleeves, was the cause.  I am certain, normal high room temperatures, or just age, is enough.

 

I have records, purchased new, in these sleeves.   I have discovered the dreaded misting on them.  What really convinced me, was that I discovered misting on a record, stored adjacently on the shelf next to one of these - but only on the side next to the wrinkly sleeved record.  Luckily, only a small number of my records have these sleeves, and I have removed the sleeves now - and saved most of them.

 

Be warned :(

 

DSC_0414.jpg.9af58f4e311a4ef1877e351a69ec2c5d.jpg

 

Sad news, av.  :(  Luckily for me, I have never used external sleeves.

 

Given you say the 'misting' has a definite (negative) sound effect ... have you tried us cleaning these LPs (I would've thought it should take off the misting deposit)?

 

Andy

 

 

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9 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Sad news, av.  :(  Luckily for me, I have never used external sleeves.

 

Given you say the 'misting' has a definite (negative) sound effect ... have you tried us cleaning these LPs (I would've thought it should take off the misting deposit)?

 

Andy

 

 

It makes no difference - the misting changes the plastic formulation of the record itself, and cannot be cleaned off with anything I've ever heard of yet (certainly with nothing less than hard abrasives, which will of course kill your record before it removes the milky alteration.)

 

The old PVC sleeves must be removed and replaced with nothing, or modern polys/Blake sleeves, which are much more inert.

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I've seen the same happen to records where the entire collection spent it's life in the clip lock style bags. The plastic formulation is completely different to the clear bags. The clear bags do however attack the laminate coating on the cover on some records. I have spoken to an industrial chemist about it and he felt the most likely cause would be the release agent used when making the plastic sheet that the inners are made from. He came to this conclusion after inspecting some records and noting the pattern aligned with the wrinkles in the inner as mentioned earlier, and the fact that only one side is effected in many cases (different release agent compound on each sheet). I believe this was also the issue with the dodgy mofi inners.

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It's a well known problem. Google Records & PVC off gassing, PVC fogging, PVC clouding. It has ruined entire pristine collections. Fortunately I have only come across a few when buying second hand. It's real and unrepairable.

 

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1 hour ago, candyflip said:

It makes no difference - the misting changes the plastic formulation of the record itself, and cannot be cleaned off with anything I've ever heard of yet (certainly with nothing less than hard abrasives, which will of course kill your record before it removes the milky alteration.)

 

The old PVC sleeves must be removed and replaced with nothing, or modern polys/Blake sleeves, which are much more inert.

 

Yes, impossible to clean off.  I have never noticed anything on the stylus after playing one.   I have thought that the second playing of the record might have sounded improved, but that could be just polishing.   Not sure it playing them is bad for the stylus either.

 

btw I always give the record a new inner sleeve when I replace the outer sleeve.  Mainly for insurance in case the mist is in the inner sleeve plastic as well.  Hey, they are cheap enough anyway.

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Damn, into my collection I go!!

And thanks A/V.

Edited by Wimbo

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37 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

Damn, into my collection I go!!

And thanks A/V.

No probs.   If I could find a way to photograph a damaged record, that really showed it, I would.  Hard to do though.

 

This sort of shows it...

 

DSC_0415.jpg.28494af221a570461380a59fad74bd32.jpg

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14 hours ago, aussievintage said:

No probs.   If I could find a way to photograph a damaged record, that really showed it, I would.  Hard to do though.

 

This sort of shows it...

 

DSC_0415.jpg.28494af221a570461380a59fad74bd32.jpg

I've got a few with these types of covers but they are not sticking and the Album cover slides out easily. Also the record looks fine. Should I still toss them out? They are from the 70's and very early 80's.

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14 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

I've got a few with these types of covers but they are not sticking and the Album cover slides out easily. Also the record looks fine. Should I still toss them out? They are from the 70's and very early 80's.

Most of mine were not sticking.  Still misted the record.       I won't take the risk any longer.

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38 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

I've got a few with these types of covers but they are not sticking and the Album cover slides out easily. Also the record looks fine. Should I still toss them out? They are from the 70's and very early 80's.

 

Yes Wim, get rid of them! They're a ticking timebomb lurking in your collection!😲

 

It's definitely the PVC outers that cause it. As @aussievintage said, they don't need to be sticking to the album cover to cause it. I've probably had this happen to about 5% of my collection. I call it 'hazing' and the hazy pattern on the record is always the same as the outer cover creases.......making these PVC covers the enemy of vinyl.😞

Edited by stevoz

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42 minutes ago, stevoz said:

 

Yes Wim, get rid of them! They're a ticking timebomb lurking in your collection!😲

 

It's definitely the PVC outers that cause it. As @aussievintage said, they don't need to be sticking to the album cover to cause it. I've probably had this happen to about 5% of my collection. I call it 'hazing' and the hazy pattern on the record is always the same as the outer cover creases.......making these PVC covers the enemy of vinyl.😞

Thanks guys, will do.

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Guest Muon N'

I still have an issue thinking It's the pouter sleeves, there is a cardboard barrier between it and the record, so it would mean the polymer is traveling through this barrier to effect the record.

I'm more likely to believe It's the inner sleeves.

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1 hour ago, Muon N' said:

I still have an issue thinking It's the pouter sleeves, there is a cardboard barrier between it and the record, so it would mean the polymer is traveling through this barrier to effect the record.

I'm more likely to believe It's the inner sleeves.

I typically face the opening of the cardboard sleeve into the bottom of the plastic sleeve to help prevent dust ingress.  As it is a gas, I believe it fills the whole inside of the envelope.  It might even be able to permeate cardboard as I found an adjacent record on the shelf (that had no outer sleeve, that had this contamination on the side next to the suspect outer sleeve, but not on the other.

 

I any event, it would be too much of a coincidence that it's only these types of outside sleeves, that contain records with the problem, even though all the inner sleeves are of random mixed types and very similar.

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Guest Muon N'
9 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

I typically face the opening of the cardboard sleeve into the bottom of the plastic sleeve to help prevent dust ingress.  As it is a gas, I believe it fills the whole inside of the envelope.  It might even be able to permeate cardboard as I found an adjacent record on the shelf (that had no outer sleeve, that had this contamination on the side next to the suspect outer sleeve, but not on the other.

 

I any event, it would be too much of a coincidence that it's only these types of outside sleeves, that contain records with the problem, even though all the inner sleeves are of random mixed types and very similar.

You may be correct, I personally can't say for sure what is the direct cause.

 

With patterns it sometimes leads to the correct thing, and sometimes it doesn't.

 

But It's worth guarding against any possibility :)

Edited by Muon N'
typo

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1 hour ago, Muon N' said:

You may be correct, I personally can't say for sure what is the direct cause.

 

With patterns it sometimes leads to the correct thing, and sometimes it doesn't.

 

But It's worth guarding against any possibility :)

Only gone through about 40 albums so far. Not hurrying. Don't hurry anymore. Anyway, came across my first album where the outer plastic cover was stuck to the Cardboard  sleeve. Manhandled the Record out of the PVC sleeve and sure enough, Stuffed. Thank god I don't listen to Earl Klugh that much anymore. One stuffed Finger Paintings.

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Guest Muon N'

Bummer.

 

When I was scavenging op shops a few years back (when there were lots to find) often I'd find a collectable or just an awesome title, only to find it pristine apart from this horrid milky mist :(

Heartbreaking!

Edited by Muon N'
typooo

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