Removing the smell from old books

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Rainbow
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Removing the smell from old books

Post by Rainbow » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 3:31 pm

There's such a vast amount of knowledge on this forum that I thought I try my luck...

I've just received a vintage book bought online. It's the worst smelling book I've ever had. I've asked Mr Google how to get rid of the smell, and recommendations include cat litter, baking soda, hairdryer, warm sunshine (I wish!) etc. Trouble is, I've no way of knowing how sensible the suggestions are so I thought I'd ask the very sensible members of this forum for suggestions :D

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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by Steve N » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 8:05 am

Mark (NYAF) where are you, this is right up your street :rock:
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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by prospero » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 10:32 am

Yes. Or right up his nose. :lol:
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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by Steve N » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 10:46 am

:lol:
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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by Rainbow » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 2:04 pm

So much for me thinking the members here are sensible :lol:

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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by prospero » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 3:17 pm

This may not be entirely sensible, but....

When I moved to my present shop it had been shut up and empty for a while and it had been a butchers. There was a prevading
pong of rancid fat which I couldn't shift. Tried Disinfectant, Jeyes Fluid, allsorts. Opened all the doors and windows and let the
breeze blow through. That improved things for a while but it always came back.
It wasn't until I painted the skirting boards (which were new) and varnished some shelves that the smell vanished and never returned.

You could try placing the book in a confined space with a tin of solvented varnish or paint with the lid off for a while. :roll:

My be talking rubbish but it's worth a shot. :D
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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 3:31 pm

Steve N wrote:
Sat 09 Nov, 2019 8:05 am
Mark (NYAF) where are you, this is right up your street :rock:
Yes, but there are smells and smells. Maybe the treatment for different smells are not the same. The sure fire way to sort this is to clean the pages with chloromine T. Organisations like the British Library are equipped to wash the pages without pulling the book apart and needing to rebindit afterwards. They dry it out in a vacuum chamber and the book condition is not adversely affected.

Another possibility is to wipe the face of each page with dilute chloromine T and sandwich between the pages with blotting paper until every page has dried. Replacing the blotting paper several times during the process. If the book is worth it you could get the book professionally cleaned and rebound, but it won't be cheap.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by Rainbow » Mon 11 Nov, 2019 1:57 pm

Thank you both! :D

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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by cleaver » Fri 15 Nov, 2019 10:44 am

What about those deodorising machines that look like microwave ovens? In the demo I saw, they put in an awful-smelling pair of trainers and sorted them out.

I'm sure you won't want to buy one, but I wonder if companies will put an item through for a fee?
:head:

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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by prospero » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 3:04 am

Have you tried using an OdourEater as a bookmark? :lol: :roll:
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Re: Removing the smell from old books

Post by vintage frames » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 11:53 am

Ten points to team Prospero.
Buy some activated carbon from e-bay and seal it together with the book in a plastic bag. God knows how long it takes.

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