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Q: Removing Mold from an antique book ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Removing Mold from an antique book
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: meh12-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 30 Mar 2006 09:00 PST
Expires: 29 Apr 2006 10:00 PDT
Question ID: 713621
How do I remove mold from an antique book?
Subject: Re: Removing Mold from an antique book
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 30 Mar 2006 09:30 PST
Hi meh12,

Thank you for an interesting question. Times Publishing, LLC - Antique Books Preservation

Scroll to middle of page for:

Can I save wet books? What if my books are moldy?

How can I get rid of the smell of mildew in my books?


rec.collecting.books FAQ

4.12 How Do I Get Rid of Mold?

"R.L. Shep in his "Cleaning and Repairing Books... a Practical Home
Manual" mentions using hydrogen peroxide, carefully applied to the
area with an eyedropper; lemon juice applied the same, and placed in
the sun for a "short time only"; denatured alcohol, applied with a
soft rag or cotton swap; thymol in a solution of alcohol. As with all
"blot up any excess". If mildew is between the pages of the book, he
suggest diatomaceous earth, sprinkled between the pages and brushed or
vacuumed out several days later. If the book is spotted from a
previous "infestation", using lemon juice or a weak solution of
peroxide, applied in small amounts with an eyedropper and wiped off
quickly, followed by a good coat of "Renaissance Wax" (available from
McCune, Inc., San Francisco) or some other good wax."


"(2) Killing off the spores. The spores (if they are such) are
probably best killed off by sunshine, which apparently works just as
well (or even better) behind glass as in the open air. Leave it on the
windowsill on a sunny day for an hour or so. Ideally, if you are going
to dampen the board to clean it, do it on a sunny day and put the book
in the sun to dry. Don't do *any* of the above on anything that's
really valuable; leave it in the hands of a professional. [John

========= - Tips on Book Care

"I am a Florida bookseller, and mildew is a problem with me though I
keep the air-conditioning going? Any tips for me?"

"Mildew, also know as mold, can destroy a book and it can spread.
Webster defines is as ?a furry growth on the surface of organic
matter?, and indeed your book is made of organic matter, made from
materials which were (formerly) alive. The dry cleaning pad is helpful
against mold. The fungi thrive on moisture and heat, so the
air-conditioning is a good idea."


Invasion of the Giant Mold Spore

Scroll slightly down from top of page to: 

III. The Repulsion of the Giant Spore, or How To Rid One's Collection of Mold 

and then continue reading the entire page.


"III.B.2.c. Cleaning Books and Paper is appropriate once the mold has
been inactivated. Vacuuming is the most effective way to remove mold
spores from books and paper because it doesn't spread the spores
around. You must use a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate
air) filter. Ordinary vacuums should be used outdoors ONLY, their
filters don't trap mold spores, rather they circulate them back into
the air. Vacuum mold from flat paper documents through a screen to
avoid damage. For books use the nozzle or brush attachment covered
with cheesecloth. If needed, residual mold can be wiped from bindings
with dry or slightly damp cloth.

You can also clean mold with a soft bristled brush or clean rag, but
this technique in some instances can cause increased staining. When
wiping off mold, be careful not to brush it into the air indoors or
onto other objects; this can be accomplished by wiping books or papers
off outdoors or under a fume hood. Replace rags frequently and store
used rags in sealed plastic bags until they can be washed in bleach
for re-use. For fragile and rare materials, or if you're unsure about
how to treat an item don't hesitate to consult a conservator. In some
cases it may be necessary to remove active mold which is done through
a technique called aspiration and should be conducted by a trained


keyword search:

mold removal antique book


Best regards,
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