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Topic: Best way to get smoke out of a book?

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Subject: Best way to get smoke out of a book?
Date Posted: 9/25/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2005
Posts: 135
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I recently have gotten about 10 books that smell of smoke to varying degrees, even though my RC's say no smoke.

Whats the best way to get rid of the smoke smell? I am planning on keeping these books for quite some time.

Kitty litter in a tote with books on top of crushed paper? Activated charcoal?

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 3:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2007
Posts: 64
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I've heard that sealing the book in a ziplock with a used dryer sheet (an unused one may damage the book) for a couple days will remove the smell of smoke. I haven't tried the tip but it sounds like it just might work!

~ althena

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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Keep in mind though, that if you're planning to send the book back out again, some people are allergic to whatever it is that the dryer sheets have in them.

I've heard putting the book in a container or plastic bag with some baking soda will work. I haven't tried it yet because I can't figure out how to keep the baking soda from getting into the book...

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,243
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I tried the baking soda  - had it in a bag for 4 weeks - and it didn't work for me.  :-( 
Another recommendation of putting it out in the sun or in the garage didn't work for me either.

I ended up giving the book to a friend who wasn't bothered by the smell.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 589
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At the library I used to work at, we'd place some torn newspaper into a brown paper bag put the books inside and then fill it to the top with more newspaper. Then the top of the bag was sealed with either duct tape or staples and leave the books for about three days. We got this tip from a book preservation site, not sure why it works but somehow the newspaper ink soaks up the smell from the books without adding any to the books (like a dryer sheet would).

Through trial and error, we discovered that with hardback it was best to only put up to three in a bag (we put in one put newspaper on it and then the next more newspaper, etc) and with paperback about six. (at we had one patron who smoked cigars and this worked as well)

 

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 8,533
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Wow!  What a simple solution.  Almost can't wait to get a smoky book so I can try this.   <vbg>

I'm picturing the book(s) simply lying the bag closed with the newspapers on top and between them.  Is this correct? 

~ Becki B.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2007
Posts: 97
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When I get smokey books, I do put them in a zip lock with the used dryer cloth, usually within a week the smell is pretty well gone. If it is still there, I enclose another used dryer cloth. It has worked fine with hard back and paper backs.  Hugs and good luck

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 28,227
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When I was a heavy smoker, I put all my listed books in a plastic Rubbermaid box with lots of crumpled newspapers and just left them there until requested.   I never had a complaint about a smokey book.   

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 1,726
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please, do to many people having allergies. dont put dryer sheets in your books. that is one smell that is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 8,533
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Last Edited on: 3/9/11 8:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/26/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 589
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Becki, you're right. The book(s) should be sandwiched between the layers of the newspaper that are in a brown paper bag. And for some reason, it has to be a brown paper bag filled with newspaper and not plastic with newspaper for it to work. So, I'd toss in some newspaper to fill the bottom of the brown paper bag, place the book inside, and then add more newspaper and seal the bag up. I used staples as the stapler was always right there on the counter and I didn't want to hunt down duct tape. The quicker I got the books into the bag, the better. = ) This saved us from having to replace a lot of books that were returned with a severe smoky smell.

 

Date Posted: 9/27/2008 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke, but I have left smokey books to air and that took care of the problem by itself.

Date Posted: 9/27/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 28,227
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Mine worked fine in a plastic bin not a brown paper bag.   <shrug>

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2005
Posts: 135
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I hope it works - i did the following after asking my local librarian.

 

Put a layer of activated charcoal in the bottom of a 18 gallon tote. Cover with crumpled newspapers and then a layer of books. repeat newspapers and books as needed.

 

*fingers crossed* that it works - I had a good 10 books to try to get the smoke out of.

Subject: Smokey books
Date Posted: 9/28/2008 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,148
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I have only gotten one smokey book. I left in out on the back porch for several weeks. I don't think it took that long to "desmoke" it, but I forgot it was out there.

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I recently have gotten about 10 books that smell of smoke to varying degrees, even though my RC's say no smoke.

 

I hope you marked the books RWAP. If you have a condition stating no books smelling like smoke, and the senders sent books smelling like smoke, then the senders violated your conditions and should have returned the credit you spent.