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Topic: Cleaning a book

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Subject: Cleaning a book
Date Posted: 5/25/2011 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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Not sure if this is the correct place but I have a question. I clean my books when I get them maybe a a germaphobe. I usually do it with alcohol or clorox wipes. I cleaned one today and after I did it it was smudgy, I havent had this happen before so maybe it was the type of paper it was printed on. Does anybody know how to remove the smudges?

Date Posted: 5/25/2011 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Sorry to say you cant. You've made the ink run. To suggest anything more could make the book unpostable.  You are better off using a spray very lightly on the cover of the book rather then wiping them with a liquid. Spray it, set it in the sun to dry. Sunlight destroys many germs as well.

Date Posted: 5/25/2011 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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like a disinfectant spray?

Date Posted: 5/25/2011 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Lysol or something similar. You don't want to use a huge amount just a quick squirt front then back.  We've used this at the library on paperbacks that we KNOW were sneezed on.

Date Posted: 5/25/2011 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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thank you for your help

Date Posted: 5/25/2011 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I agree, if the ink looks smudgy the cleaner has probably damaged it.  Probably unpostable. 

Publishers are often using different paper these days (cheaper), and it reacts differently than some of the higher quality products.  Besides not holding ink as well, some of the paper develops waves when exposed to humidity (even average levels).  Some members mistake this for actual liquid damage instead of merely cheap paper.

Date Posted: 5/26/2011 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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well it was a wish list item so I wasnt planning to relist it which is why I did the cleaning .

Date Posted: 5/26/2011 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I've noticed the same thing on the covers of newer paperbacks. The paper is cheap and any amount of moisture leaves a permanent smudge. 

If I want to list a paperback that has any dirt on the cover, I use a barely damp sponge with a tiny bit of cleaning solution on on it. It may take a while to get it clean but since there's not enough moisture for the cover to absorb, it doesn't harm the paper or artwork.

Date Posted: 5/30/2011 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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Sometimes lighter fluid or some similar solvent will clean surfaces/covers of books without making the ink run.  Try that sort of thing on a corner to see about it. before using it----sometimes price tags have glue that won't come off without a solvent and that will help clean it off.