What do you people use for tape cleaning ?

From: THETechnoid_at_home.com <(THETechnoid_at_home.com)>
Date: Thu Mar 1 20:39:03 2001

For cleaning a tape drive, ISO alcohol should be just fine. Many folks
will tell you that chemwipes and special solvents are required. This is
not true.

A paper towel (I like the scott brand) and some ISO alcohol will work
peachy. Maybe 800 cleanings will harm it but a few hundred won't.

As for cleaning TAPES themselves I used the same paper towels and alcohol.
It is laborious but will get the job done. If you want pure alcohol, go to
your local liquor store and buy a bottle of EVERCLEAR. This is very pure
alcohol with no added ingredients. Be careful as alcohol is flammable as

I suspect what you may have is a 'squeaky' tape. This is mostly caused by
oxide from the tape being deposited on the read head along with it's
binding agents (glue). The tape then would be at fault: You can clean the
tape by holding a pad of alcohol soaked paper towel against the tape and
then manually spooling it through the drive several times. This will
remove a layer of bad oxide and glue while retaining the data. Believe
me. I rescued a couple of important tapes this way.

There is such a thing as a tape cleaner machine, but they are expensive
and hard to come by. Basicly, they are tape drives with angled cutting
edges on which the tape bears. These edges (blades) scrape the 'bad'
layer off the tape revealing a good bearing read surface.

Alcohol is also a nice lubricant if a tape is judged unsalvageable. You
can dump a bottle onto a tape, and run it through your drive ONCE. The
alcohol will help prevent the tape from shedding oxide during the read.
Once you are done, clean the head with alcohol thouroughly and then write
your copy to a good tape.

Best of luck,

In <20010301092637.B712_at_sd160.local>, on 03/01/01
   at 09:39 PM, Jarkko Teppo <jarkko.teppo_at_er-grp.com> said:

>as the subject says, what do you people use for tape cleaning ? I have a
>few drives that desperately need cleaning, a HP 9144 and a HP 9145 (the
>9145 is smart enough the blink the "CLEAN" (or something) led on
>power-up). The not-so-desperate cases are a QIC-24, QIC-150, HP 7979A and
>a HP 7974.

>The few docs that I have seem to recommend some sort of Freon based
>substance but for some weird reason I can't find it in the stores:)

>So, now my plan is to use isoprophyl alcohol but I'd like to be sure
>before I do any damage.

>Thanks in advance,

Jeffrey S. Worley
Complete Computer Services, Inc.
30 Greenwood Rd.
Asheville, NC 28803
Visit our website at HTTP://www.Real-Techs.com
Received on Thu Mar 01 2001 - 20:39:03 GMT

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