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Topic: My books been smoking

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Subject: My books been smoking
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 12:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2009
Posts: 40
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I just noticed that one of the books I received smells like smoke.  I am really sensitive to smoke. It gives me a really bad headache just from smelling it.   I didn't think about the possibility of getting one from a smokers house before hand. 

Does anyone know how to air out the book or if it is possible?  This is probably a dumb question, but i'm hoping there is a way.  I think I will try to set it up on its side with the pages spread, if I can, overnight, to see if that helps any.

Otherwise the book looks like its in practically perfect condition.

Thanks!

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,193
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 I got a kick out of your subject line! lol :)

I've received a few that smell like 2-pack a day smokers. I usually let them air out in my garage for a couple days. More often than not, that works for me but I've also put them in a large plastic bag with a dryer sheet and that takes the rest of the smell out usually.  I've heard cat litter works as well.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 2:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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Such a book as I can not deal with the smell at all would stay out on my front porch to air out, no matter how badly I wanted to read it, until I freecycled it and someone came to take it off my porch. LOL Just not worth it to me.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 2:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,336
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Check out the thread Adrienne posted -- lots of ideas there.  Sprinkling baking soda between the pages and letting it sit for a while can work.  If you use cat litter, I strongly recommend unscented.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2006
Posts: 422
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I just got my first "Smoking Book."  I read the Forums, considered several methods of smoke removal, and tried one that worked.  I put baking soda in a cup next to the book with the pages slightly fanned, and placed all in a large shoe box.  Took two weeks to air out.



Last Edited on: 9/27/09 10:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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Sitting in a  bag with crumpled up newspaper for a few days took the smell out of one I got that was so bad, I think I could see smoke when I looked at it.  I think I got the idea from the thread Adrienne posted.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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You may also want to add a Requestor Condition to your account settings, although wording odor-type RCs can get tricky. Many of the books here are picked up used so it's hard to guarantee that they've never been exposed to smoke and some people are more sensitive to smoke and other odors than others. 

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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To remove smoke smell:

Both kitty litter (clay type - unscented) and baking soda do work. Put book and deodorizing materials into a bag or box which can be sealed. If the book really reeks, you will probably need to refresh the odor soaking materials at least once.  Dump them out completely and start with new. This has always worked for me. The worst smelling books do take a little longer to deodorize and may take several changes of odor soaking materials. If there is still a faint smell, you can put the book outside in the sun to bake out the smell (stand up with pages fanned out).

Note about masking odors:

Using things like dryer sheets may mask the odor temporarily, but it usually returns because you haven't really deordorized, just covered up the smell with another stronger smell. You want to use something that soaks up, not covers up, the smell.



Last Edited on: 9/27/09 11:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,193
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Using things like dryer sheets may mask the odor temporarily, but it usually returns because you haven't really deordorized, just covered up the smell with another stronger smell.

Christine: Not true. Using the dryer sheet method was a big thing on here for awhile - it's where I learned the trick. It does work and I used unscented. It works like baking soda and pulls the smell out of the book and onto the sheet. No perfume smelling books.

I've never had the smell return or I obviously would have stated that here. Ya think?  Perhaps, since it didn't work for you (I'm guessing you've tried since you know it doesn't work) you should try a different type of dryer sheet.

Can I make a suggestion please? In the future, how about  we simply give opinions on what she can use instead of discounting other methods. That's what starts the wars. The dryer sheet method obviously worked for me ... I'm not going to come on here and say it did, when it didn't.  I did not create a perfumed book that masked the smell of smoke.



Last Edited on: 9/27/09 12:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I use baking soda in a shoe box and then air.   I used to use dryer sheets, but they leave a odor and when my asthsma was acting up it made it worse.  However, if you do not have that problem the dryer sheets also work.  Again, it must be sealed in a box for some time.   My baking soda worked after about 1 week of  being in the box.



Last Edited on: 9/27/09 1:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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I have to say, I have received maybe 1 or 2 dryer-sheet scented books ... and I would have prefered the smoke. The dryer sheet books stunk horribly. And made me sneeze uncontrolably. And, I use dryer sheets at home all the time with no problem. I suppose if you have an exact brand of dryer sheets that are unscented and don't make books smell worse, you should advocate that specifically. Because just saying "dryer sheets" seems to lead some people into making the original smell worse by adding dryer sheet to it.
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,193
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I have to say, I have received maybe 1 or 2 dryer-sheet scented books ... and I would have prefered the smoke.

Well not me. That's for sure.

I'm not understanding how people can think that unscented dryer sheets can make a book smell. What does it smell like? That's a serious question ... please answer. The dryer sheets don't even have a smell coming out of the box.

The books I had to do this with are still on my shelf, in my house. They smell like nothing to me. Perhaps I'm not as allergy sensitive but I do have two children with asthma (one is on PBS with serious asthma and uses the same method) and  it has caused no problems what so ever. (Asthmatic children = unscented products in my household) 

How do you know they used a dryer sheet with the book and it used to previously smell like smoke, anyhow?  

Because just saying "dryer sheets" seems to lead some people into making the original smell worse by adding dryer sheet to it.

I simply to chose to utlize a method used by many, many old-timers on PBS who recommended it to me when I initially had this problem in 2007. It's worked for me for 2 1/2 years. These threads come up on a semi-regular basis and this is the method I chose. I don't feel the need for people to come on and slam any method that's used. Bravo if it works for them. It's all trial and error, anyhow. Find a method, stick with it.

And I use Bounce Unscented.



Last Edited on: 9/27/09 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,193
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I also wanted to add that one of the methods mentioned a couple years ago was cat litter ... I mentioned it here in my first post even though I can't use it because cat litter makes my daughter sneeze uncontrollably.

She even has to leave the room when I change the cat's litter box. But I still mentioned it cuz it might work for someone else.

Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it's a bad idea and doesn't work. I'm tired of certain people coming on and dissing ideas set out by others.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,441
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Please don't use dryer sheets.  They are filled with a bunch of toxins.  Even the unscented ones.  I know that a book "treated" with fabric sheets is one that I might never be able to read.   Smoke I can often air out.

I use a black shoe box with several baking soda fridge boxes.  The book goes in with the pages fanned, and I put the box in the sun to bake it.  The sun dries the book out faster.  Shaking the baking soda box will make it work longer.  Kitty litter, crumpled paper, activated charcoal, and several other products all work like baking soda, to absorb moisture and odors. 

I would not use this method on valuable old books.  I would keep those out of the sun, using just baking soda.

 

One of the problem is that the ingredients of dryer sheets are protected under trade secrets.  So we cannot even find out which ones are safer. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from the 1990s, the following is a list of chemicals in fabric softener products, most in untested combinations.

  • Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer.
  • Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant.
  • Ethanol: On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders.
  • Limonene: Suspected Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant, Immunotoxicant,
    Kidney Toxicant, Neurotoxicant,
    Respiratory Toxicant, and Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant.
  • A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage.
  • Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
  • Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders.
  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic.
  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders.
  • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled.


Last Edited on: 9/27/09 2:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Susan - I will give the Bounce-unscented a try - I think mine was always - fresh air, ocean breeze or something like that.   I don't think dryer sheets make the smoke worse, the smoke smell IMO is replaced by the drysheets.  My problem is the dryer sheets (for me) made my asthma worse when it was active.  When it isn't active - they don't bother me -hope that makes sense.  I prefer dryer sheets because you don't have to worry about baking soda getting on the books so if the unscented works, then that would be great.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2009
Posts: 40
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Thank you all so much!  I am sorry if this has been discussed before.  I should have looked for the search button before asking.

I am running low on kitty litter so I think I will try some baking soda.  Well, i'm running low on baking soda too, but it is cheaper to replace.

I will try dryer sheets secondary because I buy natural ones and they are harder and more expensive to replace.  My dryer sheets are scented with essential oils and do not at all smell like perfume like the mainstream brands.  The perfume smell of mainstream brands gives me a headache, like smoke does.  I am glad to hear that, Bounce, a mainstream brand has an unscented version.   If I did use my dryer sheet I don't think they would cause the books to smell.  The smell is so light on the sheet it doesn't even add smell to my clothes.

The book is not as bad as I know it could be, smoke wise.  So, I am glad it is not worse.  I thought about adding non-smoking to my RC aftr getting this book, but like it was mentioned, it might be hard.  There is a chance that this one didn't come directly from a smoker, but the person might have got it from one.   Though, if I can't get the smell out I might add the stipulation to the RC.  It would at least guarantee I wouldn't get one straight from a smoking house.  It is kind of hard to ejoy a book when you are nearly passing out from the pain and nausea the smell is causing.

We'll see how the baking soda goes now.  I'm so glad there are so many options.  Thank you all again!

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2009
Posts: 40
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I wanted to add that I use Mrs. Meyer's and thankfully they do not use those ingredients in their fabric softeners or dryer sheets. They use vegetable softeners and essential oils. They do not use ingredients that cause harsh fumes, but they do use essential oils and even some people can be allergic to those. Thankfuly natural smells do not cause problems for me. These dryer sheets are vegan, as most are not. That was the number one selling point for me :o).
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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I personally would have a problem with any type (including "natural") of dryer sheet that was used to mask/remove the smell of smoke.  Most people believe that "unscented" dryer sheets do not have a smell but, well I hate to say this my lungs/nose say that they do.

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2009
Posts: 40
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Well, everyone can sleep well tonight because I have absolutely no plan to use a dryer sheet even though I use uh "natural," for reasons I already stated. Yes I am aware that the only way something is truly natural is for it to be 100% from a plant w/out being processed. But, I can guarantee you that my "natural" is not a fake greenwashing like Clorox, etc. Of course everything has a smell. Unscented just means no added scent, not no smell. I am confused with everyone protesting. Are you telling me I ran into a board full of people who do not buy mainstream products and who make all their own cleaners, like me. That would be cool, but I have a feeling that I not the case.



Last Edited on: 9/27/09 11:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2009 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I received a book sealed in a zip-lock with several dryer sheets.  After having been in the mail at least a week, the book still reeked of smoke.

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,193
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I received a book sealed in a zip-lock with several dryer sheets.  After having been in the mail at least a week, the book still reeked of smoke.

Well, of course. You're not supposed to seal them up and send them in the mail with dryer sheets. The dryer sheets absorb the smell so if it's packed and smothered with the dryer sheets and sent in the mail then the smoke is still sealed in with the book.  You might have to change the dryer sheet a couple of times before the smokey smell is gone.

Are you telling me I ran into a board full of people who do not buy mainstream products and who make all their own cleaners, like me.

LOL. What you ran into is a board full of  a lot of people who like to be contrary. This forum especially.   Most can't just say "I like to use this - it's what works for me." They have to shred someone else's idea or point. You'll see it often on this forum and CMT. The other forums are rarely controversial or adverserial. (And many of us are on all the same forums and get along fine every where else ... go figure. lol)

Welcome to PBS, by the way. It really is a fun place. :P

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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Well, I don't know that expressing a different opinion is being contrary.

I am willing to believe that some people use dryer sheets to successfully de-smell books. From my own experience I have observed that the wrong type of dryer sheets can, IMO, ruin the book instead.

It's not being contrary to give the OP (and whoever else is interested) an opinion that comes from different experience. Or a perspective that they may not have thought about.

I will do you the courtesy of believing that you have used dryer sheets to de-smell books to your satisfaction. As long as you do me the courtesy of believing that not everyone appreciates dryer sheeted books, eiher because others have used strongly scented dryer sheets or because some people are just more sensitive to the smell of dryer sheets than others are.

I usually use cat litter or baking soda ... but I don't put those substances on the actual book. I put some in the bottom of a plastic container, that has a tight cover, like a rubbermaid container, and then fan the books open on top of a baking rack so that they're not getting covered in dust.

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 5:22 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,441
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Oh.  A baking rack.  What a marvelous idea.  That will let me use a bigger box.

(And I use plain white vinegar as my fabric softener.  Works great and is much cheaper than those sheets.  But does nothing for my books.)

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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You could also do a combination of throwing the baking soda on the bottom of the container, and then using crumpled newspaper to keep the books out of the dust.

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