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T.A.P.

Moldy games

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I recently got back into Atari 2600 stuff and bought a stack of games. A fair number of them were shrinkwrapped, and as I sadly discovered today, 6 of them had brown mold either on the cartridge or the manual or both. :(

 

That leaves me with two questions:

 

Is there a way to remove mold from a cartridge label or manual without damaging it? I figure the answer is 'no' but I thought I'd ask anyway.

 

Is the mold likely to spread to other games or manuals if I store them all together? Right now I've got the moldy ones isolated from the rest, but if it isn't going to spread, I'd prefer to keep it all together instead.

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For additional clarity, these were all late-era Red Box Atari games, not Activision ones:

 

Venture

Moto Rodeo

Radar Lock - this got it the worst

Realsports Boxing

Mouse Trap

Ikari Warriors - Just the manual

Edited by T.A.P.

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On 9/6/2020 at 1:59 AM, T.A.P. said:

Is there a way to remove mold from a cartridge label or manual without damaging it? I figure the answer is 'no' but I thought I'd ask anyway.

I don't know but if there is I doubt it would be easy without damaging the paper, a web search for the term "foxing" may provide a possible solution.

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I believe the only way to remove surface mold without touching would either be UV light (which would fade the paper pretty quickly) and an Ozone Machine in a smaller enclosed container.

Edited by keithbk

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If it is foxing then it is not as serious as mold.

 

Foxing is essentially rust -- moisture in the air reacts with trace iron in the paper and it oxidizes. Iron oxide is reddish-brown in colour. As long as you keep everything in a dry place, then it will not spread to other games, etc. I am not aware of any way to remove it. Check the staples in the manuals; they may well be rusty and need to be replaced.

 

Mold, in contrast, is alive and it will spread! It is usually black in colour.  It can be removed with diluted bleach (I don't know the proper concentration), but this may well do some damage to the underlying surface, especially printed materials. If you really have mold, I would segregate the item(s), and seriously think about if you want to keep them at all.

 

 

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