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Some months ago, possibly a year ago, I posted a question about what to do with a book which I received that smelled a lot like cigarette smoke. I was wondering if I should put "received with a problem" or whatever the phrase is, and people advised against it, pointing out that I had no requestor conditions.
That was SUCH good advice! At least one person, too, had asked if I could get the smell out of the book, by liberally applying baking soda to the book and sticking it in the closet in a paper bag for a while.
The sad answer was no. I think if I made it sort of an obsessive mission to try and get the book to not smell bad, maybe I could have done it, but the baking soda created a huge mess and I ended up dumping the whole thing. :( BUT I immediately added appropriate requestor conditions, and life at paperbackswap.com, for me, has been almost perfect. :)
Sorry for the late update AND thanks for the great advice, cool people!
I've had a book in a plastic ziplock for a while now, with an unscented dryer sheet to soak up the smoky smell. It seems to slowly be working. I take it out every now and again and change the dryer sheet and fan out the pages. The smoky smell is definitely getting fainter.
Kate, so sorry the baking soda trick was such a messy operation for you and not even successful in the end. :(
To other folks. This does work. I have done it with many books. It just takes time. I use both kitty litter (clay type) and baking soda. You don't need to pour the baking soda all over the book, that does make a mess. Just put the baking soda and kitty litter in the bottom of a large ziplock baggie or plastic grocery bag and set the book (s) on top., close up the bag tightly. Leave for a week. Come back, carefully remove books and throw away the bag with kitty littler and baking soda. If book (s) still smell (make sure you are smelling just the book not the bag with the kitty litter and baking soda - it will stink!). Start the process over with fresh bag and ingredients. You will get rid of more smell each time. It usually works for me with just 2 tries.
NOTE: Make sure you are using baking soda and not baking powder.
P.S. For anyone with a room ionizer, this works great also.
Last Edited on: 6/12/09 9:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
I've done the same thing with one of those baking soda boxes that they make for refrigerators, where you peel open the top and bottom flaps and there's an air-flow screen over the baking soda. I put one of those boxes in a zip lock bag with some smokey children's books (that I received for my daughter before I thought about adding RCs) and in about 3 weeks you can't smell the smoke at all. And much less messy!