Difficulty Removing a Musty Smell from an Old Cloth Bound Book

I bought a long out-of-print hardcover book through the mail. The musty smell is strong. I sprinkled baking soda through the pages and sealed the book for days in a gallon food storage bag with more baking soda. Days later I found it still stank. I used plastic covering as a book cover. I tried microwaving the book in spurts for a total of 30 plus seconds.


How do I get rid of the musty smell? I don't just want to mask the smell by perfuming the book with clothes softener sheets. Has anyone learned how to rehabilitate a musty cloth-bound hardcover book? The smell is a real turn off, but the book is a reference work I hoped to use with some regularity. Any solutions? Thanks.

By WV Papa from Jefferson County, WV

October 11, 20100 found this helpful

Try storing it in a paper bag with newspaper and charcoal. Plastic bags retain moisture.

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful

The book needs to be put out in the fresh air. In time, the odor will disappear.

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful

I would put it out in the sun and rifle the pages occasionally to dry it out. Try putting the book on its spine with its pages fanned out. You could also try to spay really bad parts with spray disinfectant, which kills mold. Sounds as if the mold persists, which could be the cause of the odor. Oh, and putting it on a sunny part of a hot car would probably help, too.

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