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Topic: Books that smell???

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Subject: Books that smell???
Date Posted: 9/14/2008 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2008
Posts: 177
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Hello all!

I hope you can answer a question for me. I picked up some books from a flea market. When I got them home and went thru them, I found that some smelled funny, as if they were kept in a basement or attic. There is no mold on any of the books, but they smell a little. Can I post these books or should I try to get the smell out of them first?

I found a way to get rid of the smell and am going to try it, but it will take some time to get ride of it. I was just wondering if these books are postable with out going thru all the trouble of getting ride of the smell first?

I wouldn't want to send someone a book and them have them come back to me because it smells funny. What should I do?

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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If you are having a nice sunny day you might air them out outside. If not I would try your trick as some folks may mark them with a problem if they fear mold or mildew.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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In about a week's time this should work; Put some baking soda and some clean kitty litter in a big plastic back, crumple up some news paper and set it on top of the baking soda/litter and then put the books on top. Twist tie the bag and let it sit for a few days. If they still smell when you open the bag, add a bit more baking soda/litter to the bottom of the bag and reseal it. They should be fine in about a week., unless there is mold hiding somewhere.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2008
Posts: 177
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Thanks! I'll try it! I don't think there is any mold. I didn't see any, just this bad smell.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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You could also try the Scholl's (or other brand/variety) odor-eaters for shoes (sneakers).  I hear they work (activated charcoal) pretty well and there wouldn't be much in the way of mess to contend with.  It will take some time.  Also air them out in the sun.  I had one I was airing out on an open window sill for the afternoon - and it started rain all of a sudden!  I was taken by surprise because there had been no weather forecast for it and there hadn't been any clouds until just before!!  I saved the book, but now I know how to make it rain!  ;D


Date Posted: 9/15/2008 12:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 16,998
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Tina, I know what  you mean and I recently received a book that just "stinks".  so, I added the requester condition that if the book smells, to please not send it.  I don't care if my requests get cancelled because if it, I just can't stand the smell.  I even tried dryer sheets, which helped a little. 

So to answer your question, I wouldn't post a smelly book.

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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This is my biggest book pet peeves - *please* don't put dryer sheets in a book you intend to post. The smell will *never, ever* leave.

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 1,001
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I echo Willa's plea - those little things are deadly for folks who have asmtha, or bad allergies.

Date Posted: 9/16/2008 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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Baking soda in a plastic bag...that's what I usually try. Yah, and the dryer sheets isn't a good thing. They make me sneeze and make my dog go krazee.

Subject: air them out in the sun, no dryer sheets!
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 5
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Date Posted: 9/19/2008 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Try the charcoal (activated) insoles for stinky shoes...they are contained and won't be messy.  Put them  (new one) with the stinky book in a Ziplock.  It should help.  And probably the insole can be used several times.


Date Posted: 9/20/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,985
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I agree...Please, no dryer sheets!!!!!!!!!!!

Date Posted: 9/20/2008 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 1,748
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I agree no dryer sheets and NO KITTY LITTER either! There is stuff in cat litter that can make people very ill! It can cause some people who are sensitive to have painful bloody diarrhea and vomit blood if they are exposed to it for long periods of time. And some people read slow and could be exposed to this day after day for months!

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Baking soda will also help dry out books.  I put those fridge ones with the books in the sun.  Being hot and dry speeds up the airing out. 

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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Smelly books are still postable. But if you decide to air them out, I'm sure whoever gets them will be grateful :) I agree that dryer sheets should be avoided; I'd rather have a book that smells like dryer sheets than a book that smells like cigarette smoke, but the dryer sheets do make me feel slightly allergic, and I know a lot of people are more sensitive to them than I am.