How do I clean mildew on the outside and inside of books which have been stored?
By Joanie from the shores of Lake Michigan
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How do I remove mildew on a book's cover?
By B. J. Coats from Marshfield, MO
Spray them with Lysol wipe them off and spray again and leave them in the sun a few hours. Then the odor should be gone. I have done this before and the books actually had mildew on them. (09/03/2010)
By Ann Parker
Does anyone know how I might be able to remove mildew from books? Our old yearbooks from school have mildew on the front and back covers. Thanks.
Theresa in Southern CA
My best advice would be to brush off as much as possible, then wipe them down with a damp cloth with a little bleach (1 tbs. per cup of water), let them sit for a few minutes to give the bleach time to work. Then rinse with a damp cloth with clear water (use only a damp cloths so you don't get the covers too wet.) You might want to use a little Pledge on them after you finish and they are totally dry. That will seal the covers so hopefully they won't mildew again.
Please do not use bleach on books. Even a very diluted amount will eat through the paper. The best thing to do is put the book, if possible, in the freezer. That immediately kills the mold. Then take out of the freezer (at least one day later) and take rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and wipe the mold off the book. Then put outside on a sunny day to help take the mold smell out. But don't leave the book out over night.
I have heard that a (very) short time in the microwave will kill mold and mildew. I'm not sure if it removes the smell though. (08/18/2007)
I tried the microwave thing on some very old Dick and Jane Readers from 1946. I think it helped. I did 10 seconds each book. There is still some odor, but not as much. These books were "new/unused" and in original plastic package. The package was worse than the books. I guess books need air. I am going to try the sunshine thing, but not today, it's raining. (07/23/2008)
Try putting your books in a bag with baking soda for awhile, a couple of weeks, works pretty well although some smell may still remain in the binding. (05/24/2009)
I used some books to press some flowers and they must not have been dry enough, because they became moldy and rotted through the paper used to press them. Now some of my books are coated in musty-smelling mildew. How do I get them cleaned without ruining the books? They're big heavy textbooks.
By Nada from Halifax, NS
I had that same problem once. The mold was not from flowers, but the books had been stored in a damp place. I sprayed them down with Lysol spray and left them in the sun. It worked. They didn't even smell musty afterwards. (12/03/2009)