Remove Mold, Mildew and Odors from Books
Summary: Ozone will easily and effectively remove smoke and musty odors from books and documents. Longer treatment can even kill mold and mildew
In an article published in the March, 2008 issue of “The BookThinker Newsletter”, editor Craig Stark had this to say in his article entitled “Removing Odors From Books With An Ozone Generator”:
Books are like sponges. They soak up odor by the gallon, and the most offensive of these odors will all but destroy values...
...There are dozens of techniques for eliminating book odor...but most of them involve the use of chemicals and lots and lots of patience, sometimes weeks of it. And even then odors may return over time.
I’m going to propose a faster and more effective method, one that not only eliminates odors quickly and completely but also treats mold and mildew - ozone.
Whether you are trying to remove a “musty” smell, smoke odor, urine smell, or had a skunk let loose in the library – Try these 10 easy steps to remove the odors from your books.
- Get one of our inexpensive ozone generators. Then, prepare a container as in steps 2 & 3 below.
- Gather up a container that is tightly sealable and tall enough for your book to stand upright in (the article recommended a styrofoam container that steaks were shipped in but you can use anything the ozone can’t escape from).
- Make a hole in the side, or a notch on the top of a side, to run the power cord through. Place the ozone generator into the box with the switches set to operate and run the power cord outside. Next, seal the hole or notch with putty, tape or whatever you choose to keep ozone from leaking out.
- Place your book(s) into the container, standing in an upright position.
- If the pages need treatment instead of just the covers, you can “fan” the pages and hold them open by inserting anything that will allow air to flow between the pages.
- Replace the cover, taking care to tape any gaps where ozone my leak out.
- Plug in the ozone generator and let it run. The amount of time involved to remove odors will depend on the size of the problem but 1–2 hours is usually enough. If you are trying to kill live mold or mildew spores then let it run at least a day, more if you want to be sure.
- Once finished just unplug the ozone generator, open the container and remove your book. Ozone is heavier than air so it won’t “jump out” at you, but you should take the box outside and turn it upside–down to remove the ozone.
- Enjoy your fresh–smelling book.
Have more than just a few moldy, smelly books to treat?
If you have more than just a few books to treat for odor, mold or mildew you will need more room and more ozone power.
Select a closet or small room that you can close off and perform steps 5 and 6 listed above. Even books that are covered with mold can be treated in approximately 30 hours with a higher output machine.
The best ozone generators to use to treat your books will depend on the number of books you need to treat and the amount of time you want to spend treating them. Book depositories often prefer the PRO-44, but the FM-14 and PRO-4 are both good choices that produce excellent results.
Please Note: Once you have finished the treatment, allow the closet or room to “air out” to disperse the ozone before letting humans or pets in.
Questions? Phone us at 1-603-673-4830.