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MMD > Archives > November 2013 > 2013.11.23 > 03Prev  Next

Removing Mildew from Old Paper Piano Rolls
By Candy Hawblitz

How can I remove mold spores from old rolls?  I realize this is a
difficult question since paper can be damaged by any type of spray that
would cut down on the mold.

The piano rolls that have been in my home and played over the many,
many years are fine, but I have acquired many through the years that
were stored in cellars and garages and possibly barns by others.  Since
I'm terribly allergic to mold spores, I can play an old roll, but not
be affected by the "mold" released until hours later.  This results in
very severe coughing and a general ill feeling.

I have absolutely no intention of giving up playing my old rolls, but
boy do I suffer the next morning!  I listened to one person on YouTube
who actually had to stop playing his music roll as he became ill from
the mold spores released.

My piano, a 1921 Stultz & Co. player, is very clean inside and has all
the original felt and parts.  The bellows, pouches, etc. were newly
recovered some time ago so my piano does not emit a dusty or moldy odor
-- it's the old rolls.

I tried bringing up many of my rolls from the building (air-conditioned)
and putting them in cardboard boxes with mothballs in old nylon
stockings, mainly to kill any silverfish or moth larva, but this did
not help with mold.  Any ideas out there?  Thank you.

Candy Hawblitz [delete ".geentroep" to reply]

 [ An overview on dealing with mold and mildew, published by the
 [ Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, is presented at
 [ Another good article on the same topic is at
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 23 Nov 2013, 07:13:03 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Mildew, Old, Paper, Piano, Removing, Rolls

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