A search for “moldy VHS tape” or "mold on videotape" yields lots of well-intentioned ideas about how to deal with the problem. It is my professional opinion that the advice and tutorials about cleaning up a tape that has been affected by mold is actually very bad and will at best do nothing for a tape and at worst will destroy the tape’s footage.
I won’t provide links to the bad advice, but my critique can be easily summarized: liquid substances of any kind and videotapes do not mix; liquid substances and mold-affected tapes is a recipe for disaster. This applies to VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Digital8 and miniDV.
I do regret the tone of this post, because I’m sure it comes across as a self-serving ad for our services, but the simple truth of the matter is that if your tape has been affected by mold and the footage is of value to you, the very best thing you can do is send it to us. Unfortunately not all mold damaged tapes can be salvaged; but if your tape can be restored we will be able to recover the footage with a minimum of loss. Our experience, custom-built equipment and time-tested methods allow us to work with mold in a way that people offering their advice online don’t even begin to realize is necessary and productive.
So, if you found some tapes in the basement or attic that have white, tan or brown mold growing on the reels, or if Costco, Rite-Aid, or any other DVD transfer establishment told you that your tapes can’t be transferred, contact us. You’ll be very glad that you did!