Thursday, February 14, 2008

British Library's Rotten War

How do I eliminate or reduce a musty odor in a book?
This musty smell is most often noted in books that have been moldy or mildewed in the past. The first step is to create an enclosed chamber. This is most easily done by using two garbage cans, one large (with a lid) and one small. The object to be "deodorized" should be placed in the smaller can, which is then placed inside the larger can. Some type of odor-absorbing material should then be placed in the bottom of the larger can. Odor-absorbing materials to try include baking soda, charcoal briquettes (without lighter fluid), or kitty litter. The lid should then be placed on the larger can, and the chamber should be left for some time. You will need to monitor periodically to see how long the materials need to be left inside the chamber.
How would I remove spots of mildew that are on the cover of a book?
If you have mold or mildew on a book do the following: get a slightly damp cloth and gently wipe the stop of the book working away from the book (i.e. start at the spine side and work out towards the foredge). Do this over a garbage can, preferably outside. The mold spores will get into the air and if you are outside you won't be spreading the spores into your house.
A weak solution of boric acid may also be used to dampen the cloth and wipe off the stain. After cleaning throw away_ the cloth (this has mold on it, get rid of it), and wash your hands. Let the book dry (this shouldn't take too long because the cloth should not be too wet) and then store in a cool, dry location. The key to avoiding mildew and mold is a safe storage environment. You may still have a stain but most of the spores will have been removed.(read more)

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