How To Get Rid Of Musty Smells From Old Books

How To Get Rid Of Musty Smells From Old Books
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We’ve been talking about what to do with old books this week as part of Earth Month; I’ve been lucky in that the books I’ve stored in my garage haven’t managed to become musty during that time. But what can you do if you do have a cherished old volume that smells as if it’s been stuck in a vat of festering yoghurt for a decade?

Picture by umjanedoan

While the books will eventually improve in smell if you leave them out to air, that can be a time-consuming process. An author discussion forum I frequent discussed this issue earlier in the week, and came up with two potential solutions: athlete’s foot spray and dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are one of those weird products which are common in the US but largely unknown down under, quite possibly because we’re not that addicted to using dryers in the first place. But if you do have some around, they appear to work quite well.

The idea of using athlete’s foot spray seems pretty clever and potentially more effective, since it should relatively quickly kill off the mould that causes the smell. Bathroom mould killer might also be a possibility, provided you don’t saturate the book in the process. If you’ve got another tried-and-true method for dealing with this issue, we’re all ears in the comments.

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