Book Deodorizing: removing smells and odor from books and paper.
Problem: Your book stinks – literally. Books and paper are highly absorbent and will pick up the odor of anywhere they have been stored. Storage areas that are conducive to even minor amounts of mold and mildew will impart that smell on books; cigarette smoke, mothballs, wood stoves, cigars, pipes, perfumes, a coal cellar, and foodstuffs.
I have collected these solutions from many booksellers over many years and most people swear by their method. Just as many people swear that my Book Deodorizer product works better, but you should do whatever works for you.
- Solution A: Put the book in a zippered plastic bag or airtight container with a plain charcoal briquette.
- Solution B: Put the book in a brown paper bag with crumpled newspapers.
- Solution C: Put the book in zippered plastic bag or airtight container with an unscented fabric softener sheet.
- Solution D: Put the book in zippered plastic bag or airtight container with unscented cat litter.
- Solution E: Put the book in zippered plastic bag or airtight container with Book Deodorizer.
- Solution F: Run a rope clothesline around a room and hanging the books from them with their pages fanned out, run a fan blowing across the pages for a few weeks.
- Solution G: Wipe the exterior of the book with a clean rag sprayed with a fabric refreshener or odor remover, especially the kind sold in pet stores. The active ingredient in Febreze® is cyclodextrin, a modified starch which will not harm the average book.
Note: For solutions A-F, the length of time will vary depending on the strength of the odor and the types of materials from which the book is made. Leave the book for at least two weeks and then check again every two weeks to see if the odor has improved. Some books may require a month or more.