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old, musty gothic books
#1
I have a bunch of gothic books I purchased off ebay awhile back. I am now starting to read a few here and there. Unfortunately, they all smell musty like they were stored in an attic for awhile. Can anyone recommend a way to remove this smell? Trying to read one of these books while eating dinner is kinda gross Tongue
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#2
What I've done is air them in a cool, dry place. You just keep fanning through the pages. It may take a long time, depending on how musty it is. Some people have recommended baking soda (that is always so popular) or even spraying some deodorant as you fan the pages. To me, adding deodorant might make the smell worse. I don't know, though if baking soda works, you could always use baby powder.

Perhaps, you should reserve those books for "bathroom reading".
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#3
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a try. May take my next choice and leave it opened on the window sill so the air can get to it. I only hope my cat doesn't puke on it - silly beast!
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#4
Actually, that's a fairly common problem encountered by used book stores and there's probably more than one method. If you Google the subject you'll probably find a really good solution. Because some books are really valuable, I'm sure someone has devised a way to deodorize them with the minimum chance of damage or wear to the books.
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#5
Good advice, I'll try that too!

I had a box of books in the trunk of my car and the box got wet and most of the books stuck together. I tried to separate them but I lost some of the cover pics due to the rips. I know everyone will understand when I said I was devastated when this happened. I learned my lesson to never keep those kind of books in my trunk - will just have to put up with numerous book piles in the house.
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#6
(06-02-2009, 02:30 PM)coramunroe Wrote: I have a bunch of gothic books I purchased off ebay awhile back. I am now starting to read a few here and there. Unfortunately, they all smell musty like they were stored in an attic for awhile. Can anyone recommend a way to remove this smell? Trying to read one of these books while eating dinner is kinda gross Tongue

I'm a librarian. If books smell musty, they're holding moisture. Mix baking soda and talcum/baby powder in equal amounts. Baking soda removes the odor and talc absorbs the moisture. Get a box or tub, plastic or cardboard whatever, it really doesn't matter but you have to be able to close and seal it. Libraries call them "stink tanks." I use a plastic tub. Spread the bottom of the container with the baking soda/talc mix. Open the book and sprinkle the mix through out the pages. Place the book with pages open into the container, igently "layer" the books on top of each other while sprinkling the mixture between layers. Then, seal the container. Leave it sealed for at least five days. When you ready to open the container, spread out an old sheet, place the container in the middle of the sheet, open the container, take your hair dryer, set it on low and cool, pull out a book and blow the soda/talc mixture off the book and back into the container. Do a couple books and if they still smell musty put them back into the container and seal it again for another five days or whatever. When you done, dump the residue from the sheet back into the container. If there's still a slight powdery residue on the book, brush it off with a clean paint brush.
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#7
(02-06-2010, 02:54 AM)edwardia-victoria Wrote: I'm a librarian. If books smell musty, they're holding moisture. Mix baking soda and talcum/baby powder in equal amounts . . .

Thank you for posting this advice. A few months ago I ordered a used book online that reeked of old, stale cigarette smoke. Even after sitting in clean air since then, it still smells too foul to read. I'm going to try the solution you recommend and see if it takes care of the problem.
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