Looks like we have fungus growing on a couple of our Betamax tapes. You can see it above on the Goldfinger tape. Kinda eats into the tape like the opening title sequence of John Carpenter’s The Thing. We are gonna have to get a headcleaner for the Betamax and do a full inventory check given this can spread communicatively through the machine! What’s more, we will have to do a fairly thorough inventory check for mold. Mold is pervasive and it ruins both the VCR and any tapes you play through it. I love this description from a forum post I found, this is no joke!
It is not safe!!!
What will happen is the mold will spew all over the inside of the VCR, ruining it, as well as infecting any future videotape put into it. Mold spores are pervasive, and often toxic. They will leech outside the deck, through every vent hole, and get everywhere in your home.
The only DIY method to mold cleaning is to take the VCR outside, and don’t be downwind of it. Wear a face mask. Realize this VCR will be trashed afterwards, and only usable for mold removal. Never again to be used inside, never again for playing tapes.
We are gonna try and avoid the “nevermore, nevermore” scenario above and be sure to check all VHS and Betamax tapes given this is one of the scourges of the trade. It would be a good, fun 80s horror, b-movie, no? The VHS mold that feeds off the customers viz-a-viz the machines? “Get Stevie King on the line, I want to talk a script treatment.” Lunchmeat’s Spare Parts provides a good guide for removing mold, and it is a fairly intense process that would take a while, I am pretty sure from the looks of it that that the mold on the Goldfinger tape is too far gone for repair, but I’m open to being wrong on that.