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Author Topic: Vinegar Syndrome Odor Cure
Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted July 11, 2014 02:59 PM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe I have found a cure odor of VS. I recently got back into 16mm and bought a cheap 2k film that I knew had VS. I was think of a way to try and rid the smell. I thought of Fabreeze after watching the TV commercial. When it said it "breaks down" odors and eliminates them I immediately thought of VS. So here is what I did. I took the film out of the plastic can and sprayed it generously with Fabreeze on both sides of film. Then I put it back in the can for 2 days not opening it. On the 3rd day I opened the can and BaddaBoom! No VS odor. I hasn't come back yet and it has been 3 days. Somebody else try this a report back please.

[ July 12, 2014, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: Pasquale DAlessio ]

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Roger Shunk
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 604
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: Nov 2011


 - posted July 11, 2014 03:32 PM      Profile for Roger Shunk   Author's Homepage   Email Roger Shunk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pat,
This is an interesting concept here but looking at the ingredient label for febreze it's has some really harsh chemicals in it.
You may just be just covering up the VS smell on the outside of the film at that's it. Films with VS I guess you would have nothing to loose anyway so maybe this is worth trying. Any particular scent of febreze or just the plain?

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

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From: Bristol,RI, USA
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 - posted July 11, 2014 03:48 PM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The scent I used is Spring Renewal. I haven't seen and damage to the film yet. If this stays as is this is awesome.

Is it possible something so simple can solve this? Stay tuned and find out!

PatD

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1257
From: USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted July 11, 2014 04:14 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Anything is possible unless you try.

If there is any slight amount of water in Fabreeze it may have helped too.

I had used Film Renew on reel two of a 16mm print of Way Out West when it began to emit a slight vinegar smell.

I immersed the metal reel in a metal can with enough Film Renew to cover the bottom and with lid on for 6 months to a year.

I believe that any small holes in the film were sealed and it stopped the film that was in the beginning stages of breakdown.

If a film is scratch coated or sealed with products that permanently cover scratches, then there is not any solution that would inhibit the breakdown process.

Some people have had good results by using Vitafilm with the same method that I had employed.

I think that I read that other collectors used Film Guard in a similar fashion.

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

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From: Essex, UK
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 - posted July 11, 2014 04:15 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Evience is that VS can't be cured.

Eliminating the smell doesn't halt the process, unfortunately.

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Maurizio Di Cintio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 966
From: Ortona, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted July 11, 2014 09:41 PM      Profile for Maurizio Di Cintio   Email Maurizio Di Cintio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I second that, Michael: the smell is just a symptom, the illness remains... Unless Pat has watched his film after this "treatment" and found out the colors have been restored...

--------------------
Maurizio

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted July 11, 2014 11:49 PM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's on a B&W film. What I meant was the VS smell was gone. That in itself is cool. I do realize that it is not completely gone but the smell is at least. It's a step in the right direction.

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

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From: Bristol. United Kingdom
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 - posted July 12, 2014 10:59 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Anything that gets rid of that awful smell is a great help.

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=271562386

--------------------
Maurice

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3318
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted July 12, 2014 12:13 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This sounds great Pat. I have about 10 400 ft. 16mm home movie reels that have a very bad chemical smell. I thought it was VS at first ... but my cousin who sent me the films to transfer says they have always smelled that way. I'm going to try your Fabreeze solution. Getting that smell out would be wonderful. Thnx Pat!

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Dominique De Bast
Film God

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From: Brussels, Belgium
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 - posted July 12, 2014 01:35 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had also smelling films (but not VS). Where does that come from ?

--------------------
Dominique

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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From: Dallas, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 12, 2014 04:04 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
As stated above, there is no cure for VS...although to cover up the odor might make the film able to be brought back into the house to run it! [Wink]

I know FilmGuard covers up the odor and lubricates the film so it can run through a projector without too much stress. I've heard similar reports on other cleaners. My concern with Fabrese is that it isn't designed as a film cleaner, so you may find in 6 months the film is literally glued together, or you could actually be making a NEW odorless chemical gas that could be worse (either to that print or others in the same room).

It's a very interesting test, but I would keep that print completely separated from all other prints for at least a year before even considering using it on another print. For example I had FilmGuarded test prints in beta test sites and various rolls in torture storage conditions for 10 years before I released the product to the public. Time is everything here, and it's possible one year may not even be enough, but I wouldn't consider anything less.

(By the way, take half of the film and rewind it once a month to give us status results and keep the other half on a reel without unwinding it for the full year.)

Do please let us know the results.

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1257
From: USA
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 - posted July 12, 2014 04:32 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Do not use Fabreeze. It's not an approved for films.

Only use Film Renew, Vitafilm and Film Guard on films.

There are cleaners that are approved in Great Britain too.

I once purchased a cleaner from Derann. It was toxic, but it had a smell of camphor to it.

My films were rejuvenated when I used it and they became the most pliable films in my entire collection.


If it's a chemical smell that you experience then leave the films alone. It may be only the chemicals from the film processing.

Some "TV Prints" have been known to have been scratch coated to hide scratches.

I need to clarify that films that have been scratch coated or sealed may eventually develop vinegar and there is not any treatment that will help or cure it.

If it smells of chemicals then only air out the films, or keep them in a cardboard box and not sealed. Films need to breathe.

Keep the films away from heat, and high humidity climates. A stable climate is necessary. Kodak recommends 72 degrees with 42% relative humidity. Do not freeze the films in the 'fridge.

Films also get VS if they were not prepared properly during the developing and washing process.

Store the films preferably against an inside wall and not facing an outside wall in the house.

I keep my home movies in a closet that is not facing or against an outside wall.
I do not recommend a moldy basement.

VS may not be curable, but there are collectors that have experienced good results with the products and techniques that I mentioned and I attest that my results on the Way Out West feature was successful and it's not masking or covering up a vinegar smell. The Film Renew chemical smell is not present anymore and the film does not have any foul odor. Instead it has the smell of fresh film.

If a film has vinegar, then it must be kept separate and away from other films in a collection. VS has been known to infect good films.

I once had films with severe vinegar syndrome before the films began to spoke on the reel and I was never able to rejuvenate those films. But if you don't try, these recommendations that I mentioned earlier then you will never know if you can salvage the film.

I rather try to help the film, then not trying at all.

If you truly like a film, then isn't it worth a shot to try to reverse the process, providing that VS has not advanced too much on a film?

I wish everyone the best with their film collections and I only want to share my experience which has been positive.

--------------------
Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted July 12, 2014 04:49 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I see no harm in trying this experiment with Febreze as long as the film is a print which you won't be too upset to lose if it all goes wrong.

After all, scientific progress has to be research based.

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

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From: Bristol,RI, USA
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 - posted July 12, 2014 06:39 PM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Mike. Maybe I should have said remove smell of VS and not cure? Of course it is and old film but I was amazed that the smell went away. I check it today and it still doesn't smell. So the damaging process still goes on but at least the smell is gone. Isn't that the most annoying about VS? So I edited my original post and it's title.

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Dominique De Bast
Film God

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From: Brussels, Belgium
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 - posted July 12, 2014 10:49 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If VS is contagious, what should you use to clean the projector with after projecting the infected film ?

--------------------
Dominique

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Dino Everette
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Long Beach, CA USA
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 - posted July 13, 2014 12:44 AM      Profile for Dino Everette   Email Dino Everette   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dominique I would use alcohol to clean your projector after running a vinegar print, since you'll want something that will clean but also not stick around like some of the slow drying cleaners just to ensure that nothing has been left behind. In fact I try and run some alcohol through the projector after each reel, or each feature at the very least.

--------------------
"You're too Far Out Miss Lawrence"

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

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From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted July 13, 2014 04:40 AM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as alcohol, I recommend Jack Daniels!

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Dan A. Caprio
Film Handler

Posts: 71
From: sarasota florida
Registered: Jun 2010


 - posted July 13, 2014 07:34 AM      Profile for Dan A. Caprio   Email Dan A. Caprio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whenever I purchase a film from someone I keep it in a film can for a couple of days...if it has VS beginning my nose will pick up the smell...after being confined for that brief of a time...always do this when buying a film and you should be ok

I have never purchased a print where someone "recently cleans their films before shipping them out" as some ebay sellers...usually its a sign in my opinion of someone covering up the VS smell.

If a print goes in and out of focus its usually a sign of beginning or advanced VS

Use Ad strips when in doubt on your purchases or to monitor your collection.

As far as Fabreeze...as others have stated....NO... [Eek!]
You might as well use Cigar Smoke ... [Razz]

As far as a VS cure...There is None....Only Life Support...for a short time.. [Cool]

Now Blue Track Vomit Smell is another story...I just love the smell... [Smile]

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted July 13, 2014 11:49 AM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I merely stated what happened when I tried it. So are you saying I'm a liar. What do you mean by NO? If I try something and it works why not post it to help others. have you ever tried Fabreeze? if you haven't then you shouldn't say NO! That being the case I won't bother posting anything else for you negative people to cut up.

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted July 13, 2014 12:29 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pat,

Don't worry about it. Give it a go. As I said, I can't see any harm here as long as the print in question is not a treasured print.

Incidentally, I'm not convinced that VS is contagious. This is a process which comes from within the film, is it not?

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Dan A. Caprio
Film Handler

Posts: 71
From: sarasota florida
Registered: Jun 2010


 - posted July 13, 2014 01:03 PM      Profile for Dan A. Caprio   Email Dan A. Caprio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
By NO I mean I wouldn't recomend an unproven product not meant for film to be applied to film.

I'm quite sure the vs smell is disguised as you stated but by no means cured...Just worried about some new collectors appling this product to their films and finding bad results down the line...stick with a product meant for film and developed by people in the industry... [Smile] No offense intended

There is a well known collector who's been around forever...he swears he has a cure for Blue Track "Vomit Smell"...by long story short suspending reels above bucket of bleach....gets rid of the smell but guess what it smells like.. [Confused] ...Bleach supposedly...Now would I recomend this or try it on any of my prints....NO...who knows what long or short term bleach vapors have affect on Blue Track Color prints...

Dan

Dan

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1257
From: USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted July 13, 2014 02:49 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pasquale,

It's your print, and if you wish to treat the film in that fashion that is your choice.

I keep VS infected films in my garage and far away from the collection inside the house.

I agree with Dino that the projector should be cleaned with alcohol.

I still stand by my experience in using Film Renew to eliminate early VS. If there is a time in the future I will use Vitafilm and

if these will not work then I too will use Fabreeze.

[ July 15, 2014, 09:31 PM: Message edited by: Michael De Angelis ]

--------------------
Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010


 - posted July 13, 2014 05:18 PM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio   Email Pasquale DAlessio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Personally I would not use Fabreze on film prints in my collection that do not have a VS smell, or if the film smells of chemicals. Leave well enough alone. If it's not broke, then don't try to fix it. This is just my 2 cents.

I didn't say a damn thing about treating good films with Fabreeze. All I said was I treated a print that I had with VS and the smell went away. i wanted somebody else try try it an report back. man you guys can be so friggin picky you really pis me off. i will NEVER post any advice her again. It ain't worth the aggravation! Ya try to be helpful and share info amd people crawl out of the wood works to bust chestnuts. never again. I'm done.

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

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From: New York, NY, USA
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 - posted July 13, 2014 08:07 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pat,

Don't leave us! Everyone is entitled to their opinion...for and against. There are folks here who have treated their films with WD-40, Armor All and even coffee and vitamin C (for B&W processing!). If a film already has been stricken with VS, there's no known cure, so why not try something different?

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1257
From: USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted July 13, 2014 09:31 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I apologize to Pasquale and to all collectors.

No offense.

--------------------
Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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