How to Fix Water Damage on VHS Tapes

When VHS tapes were first introduced to the public, it completely changed the way people captured memories. The hard plastic made it difficult to damage the item, allowing the memories to have a longer shelf-life. VHS tapes gave families the option to record longer events, with up to 6 hours of audio and recording available. However, technology continued to advance to where VHS tapes are no longer needed to capture memories. For those who are holding onto the boxes of VHS tapes in your basement or storage closet, you are putting your memories at risk to be ruined. If you notice water damage on your tapes when preparing them to be digitized, don’t fret! The expert staff at Keepsake is here with tips on how to fix water damage on VHS tapes, allowing you to safely ship them to us.

Timing Is Important

If you discovered your tapes have been exposed to water or moisture, time is of the essence! Tapes are very resilient to brief exposure, but will soon deteriorate if not properly cared for. It’s important to not attempt to play your VHS tapes while they are wet, as this will cause permanent damage. We suggest tackling the problem immediately upon discovery, and to transfer the tapes to DVD or another digital format as soon as possible!

Identify the Liquid

If the tapes have been exposed to water with known contaminants in the water, consider submerging the tapes into distilled water to rinse contaminants off of the tape. This includes contaminants such as chlorine, salt water, or other chemical solutions. Once you have identified the liquid and rinsed off the tapes, the next step is to dry out the reels.

Dry Your Tapes

It’s important to not use any heat, such as a hair dryer, as this will warp the film and cause permanent damage. The safest way to dry tapes is to remove the reels from the cassette, and place them in a cool location out of sunlight that has a constant air flow. An open window or large fan should do the trick.

 

 

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you’d like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.

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