Removing Odors From Books

My wife and I buy a lot of used books. The problem is, often the books have been in storage, or in a smoker's home (no offense to any smokers), or in other conditions that have left behind odors. I used to apply Febreze to rid books of these smells, but I've found a much cheaper way.


Simply take a sample perfume strip such as are found in many magazines and slip it into the book. Place the book in a sealable storage bag for a day or so. I've found that this will replace odors with the scent of the strip.

Of course, use a scent you don't mind smelling!

Source: My personal experience

By Mad Rabbit from Lovington, IL

July 8, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

Try putting the book in a zipper-lock bag with either a new, unused fabric softener sheet or with about a teaspoon of fresh, dry, unused coffee grounds. Leave the book in there for at least 8 hours. Good luck!

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April 28, 20130 found this helpful

Unfortunately, I'm allergic to most perfumes and laundry fragrances. And I don't drink coffee, so I don't have coffee grounds on hand.

Any other suggestions?

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October 17, 20140 found this helpful

I haven't done this following suggestion myself, but you may want to consider dusting all of the pages with baking soda, and let the soda sit on the pages for several days. First, test a small area of a page in each book to make sure that the soda can be easily brushed away without ruining the look of the books pages. Maybe use a clean dry soft makeup brush to brush the soda off the pages.

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Anonymous Flag
August 18, 20160 found this helpful

Febreez? Laundry strips? These are not solutions to the smell problem - they are different problems. The bag and baking soda seems the best so far. Let's try that.

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