Topic | Getting rid of the musty smell in books

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  crazy4boys 3 years ago.

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  • crazy4boys
    Participant

    Does anyone know how to get rid of the musty, old smell in books?  Some of the older, used books we buy have “that” smell.  And I don’t particulary like it.

    Any suggestions?


    sheraz
    Participant

    On page 12 of “Who Should We Then Read?” Jan Bloom suggests that you

    “…place the book in a large plastic bin filled with crumpled newspaper, a few sheets of fabric softener, kitty litter, or activated charcoal (for aquarium filters).  Seal the bin and let it sit for a day or two. Repeat this with new deoderizer if the smell lingers.  Another option is hanging the book on a hanger out in the bright sunlight for a few days. (Be sure to bring it in at night so it doesn’t collect condensation.)  I’ve read that freezing a book for a week or two may eliminate odors.  i’ve tried to microwave smelly books, but haven’t been satified with the results.”

    I haven’t tried any of these, but wondered if you could out baking soda in the tub under the newspaper or something to help absorb a smell.  Personally, I think that I would try the sunshine method.  That has taken odors (including a very acidic cat urine smell) out of furniture in my experience.  It was worth the time in the sun. =)


    crazy4boys
    Participant

    Sun???  What’s that?  Maybe if we had some I could try that!

    So, you use newspaper and then one of the options – dryer sheet, kitty litter OR activated charcoal?  Just want to make sure I understand it.  Baking soda sounds good too.

    Thanks, Sheraz, for looking that up for me!


    RobinP
    Participant

    If you leave it out in the sun, just make sure you bring it in before any dew falls!  I also probably wouldn’t leave it out on a humid day.


    sheraz
    Participant

    That is the problem with the sunshine method in the Midwest and South, Robin…the humidity sometimes causes more problems than it solves.  =) Plus we are finally getting our spring rains at the moment… but I think that you have the idea, Crazy4boys.  


    crazy4boys
    Participant

    Yes, we’re getting our spring rain too.  Today we went on a worm rescue mission and tried to find as many as we could in the streets and put them in the grass.  It’s been so humid here too!!!  We just came from dry-as-a-bone Texas….putting books outside would have been easy, with no chance they’d be rained on at all, for months at a time.

    I’m going to have to go buy kitty litter which will be weird because I don’t have a cat.  Or dryer sheets which I can’t use due to son’s eczema.  Or fish tank stuff….for no fish.  Books make us do crazy things.

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