A Guide on How to Get Rid of Book Odor Easily and Effectively

What Causes Book Odor & How It Can Be Prevented

keywords: book odor, book smell, musty books, smelly paperbacks, mildewed books)

Book odor is a common issue faced by many book owners, and it’s caused by the accumulation of dust, mold, mildew and other substances over time. It can range from a musty smell to an unpleasant odor that lingers in the air. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent book odor and minimize existing odors. This article will discuss the causes of book odor, how to identify it and what steps you can take to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

The Best Strategies to Remove Book Odor

keywords: book odor removal techniques, how to get rid of musty smell in books, eliminating book smells naturally)

Books can develop an unpleasant musty smell due to age, humidity, or other factors. This odor can be a real nuisance, especially when it lingers in your home or office. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to remove book odor from your books and make them smell fresh again. View the video below to learn how to make your own odor removal chamber for your books.  If the odors you are dealing with are strong, you could consider treating your collection with an ozone generator, but this isn’t recommended for rare or precious volumes, as ozone can catalyze degradation processes.

How To Thoroughly Clean Dusty and Moldy Books

keywords: cleaning moldy books, dusting off smelly paperbacks)

Cleaning moldy and dusty books can be quite a challenge. These books are often smelly, have yellowed pages, and can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Fortunately, you do have a couple approaches available to you.  In addition to the odor removal chamber illustrated in the video above, you can also use chemical sponges to gently swab away dust from the covers of your volumes.  Please note that if the covers or pages are very deteriorated, you may wish to hire a professional conservator to complete this job to prevent further damage from occurring.

What to Do When You Have Too Many Stinky Books?

keywords: getting rid of old musty books, mold removal books)

Having too many musty and odorous books in your library can be a real problem. Not only do they make your library uninviting, but they can also cause health issues due to the mold and mildew that may be present in the books. If the above methods have not worked successfully for you, you may need to consider discarding your collection, particularly if there is mold present, as that can pose a health threat.

At Kelsey National Book and Paper Conservation, we offer a full range of services to assist our clients with preserving their works of art on paper, manuscript & document collections, vellum & parchment artifacts, and bound volumes.  These may include lithographs, serigraphs, mezzotint, aquatint, engravings, acrylic paintings, watercolor paintings, gouache paintings, pencil & ink drawings, historical documents, vellum scrolls & manuscripts, rare antique & vintage books, family bibles, and more.

We serve clients nationwide, including areas such as:

Asheville, North Carolina – Atlanta, Georgia – Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Charleston, South Carolina – Charlotte, North Carolina – Chattanooga, Tennessee – Columbia, South Carolina – Durham, North Carolina – Fayetteville, North Carolina – Louisville, Kentucky – Nashville, Tennessee – Raleigh, North Carolina – Richmond,  Virginia – Roanoke, Virginia – Savannah, Georgia – Virginia Beach, Virginia – Washington, DC

Contact us today for an estimate!

Share this article

Related articles

Kelsey Conservation

Book & Paper Restoration

Restoring memories and preserving important materials for individuals and organizations

My Favorites

This is the heading


Kelsey National Book & Paper Conservation © 2023. All Rights Reserved
Website design by A10 Web Design, A10 CyberWorks LLC
Privacy Policy