I have many (childhood) books that were stored less than ideally and now smell really musty. Any way to save them? There's no water damage, but they really stink, even after standing them open in fresh air for days.
I did something for this issue but I can't quite remember what it was - either unscented talc or cornstarch or baking soda...shook it between the pages (not worrying about getting every page, just sprinkling as I flipped the pages), then packing them into a box (when moving). Later when unpacking from moving, flipped/fanned the pages to get the powder out. Sorry, I can't recall what it was I used! I read about it somewhere on the internet no doubt.
Put them in a room with a dehumidifier ... for weeks! Then vacuum or dry dust gently. The mold spores <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/scared.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="scared"> will still be there, so any repeat exposure to humidity will bring the smell back.<br><br>
Book sellers sometimes pack in unused kitty litter and check every 6 months or so. (for "smoking" books or ones from a fire.)<br><br>
If there is significant value, you could have the books treated by a paper conservator. They can unbind, wash, and rebind the books. Irradiation to kill the mold is another option. ($$$) Or you can get replacements at Amazon or Abe - most will be just a few dollars each.
Thank you for your replies!!<br>
The books aren't valuable, so I'll definitely try the DIY methods <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">