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Vinyl cover blues resolved (Richard Violette) ANN ERCELAWN 16 Nov 1993 14:22 UTC

Date: 16 Nov 1993 09:05:55 -0500
From: "Richard J. Violette" <LIBTECH@UI.URBAN.ORG>
Subject: Vinyl cover blues resolved

THANK YOU to all those who have responded to my newsprint/vinyl problem.  The
innovation and inventiveness (and wit!) displayed was wonderful.  That anyone
would spend five minutes on my problem (from as far away as Australia!) was an
illustration of the power of the Internet!

So, what works?  I went with what I had on hand at home and tried rubbing
alcohol, lemon oil, cider vinegar, and nail polish remover, first on an old
vinyl notebook before using it on the clear vinyl covers.  Lemon oil and
alcohol both worked with a little "elbow grease."  Vinegar didn't do a thing.
Nail polish remover left spots on the vinyl but didn't clean the ink.  As a
control, I also tried baby oil and lemon extract.  Both did as well as the
other oil and alcohol based products.

Since the oils and alcohol worked about equally well, I would be inclined to
recommend an oil based product, since (as was pointed out to me by Doug
Winship--thanks, Doug) the alcohol is likely to cause the vinyl to become
brittle.  Rub out the ink with oil, and then rinse off with a mild soap or
detergent, like dishwashing liquid, to remove the oily residue.

One point of clarification:  Several people have suggested discarding the
covers for preservation reasons.  Certainly, I wouldn't recommend vinyl covers
again!  Actually, they are clip-on covers that hold a single periodical issue.
We use them for current awareness magazines like TIME, NEWSWEEK, THE ECONOMIST,
etc.  Most issues don't stay in the binders for more than a week or so, or two
months at the very latest.  In all cases, the issues are eventually discarded
when received in microform or CD.  The covers were expensive, and our budget
small, so ditching the covers isn't a really good option for us.

Thanks again for all your help!  I am keeping all suggestions for future

Virtually yours,

Richard J. Violette                     Cataloging/Serials Technician
Internet:          The Urban Institute Library
Vox: 202/857-8578                       2100 M St. N.W., 5th floor
Fax: 202/452-1840                       Washington DC  20037

THOUGHT PROVOKING THOUGHT: "Calm down, he's like that to everybody." --
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