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Topic: How do I get smoke out of books?

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Subject: How do I get smoke out of books?
Date Posted: 8/18/2009 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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I think I did a bad thing and ordered books without my RC and, of course, got books which REEK of cigarette smoke.  Just opening the box gave me a headache.  I am bummed because I really want to read these books...and they are in gorgeous condition.

So, I've placed them in a plastic bag with a sock full of baking soda.  I read it on the internet.  Is this going to work?  Does anyone have any other ideas?

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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There have been several threads about this problem in the past.  I haven't tried any of the suggestions myself.  Good luck.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/search.php?q=smoke+smell&s_type=s&fid=49&action=search

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I now use baking soda in a small dish - place in shoebox wth book for at least 3 days to a week maybe longer - then let book air out.  I used to use dryer sheets work well, but I have asthma that is active and it is bothering me now.   Heard kitty litter (non clumping) and newspapers are also a good remedy.

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,664
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clay kitty litter is great. This works ... its a great odor absorber.

I think dryer sheets add odor to the book, not remove it.

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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A number of PBS members have dryer sheet allergies/sensitivity, so I don't recommend those.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,953
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Don't use dryer sheets. I put dryer sheets in with books that reeked with smoke. They were in there for over two weeks. The dryer sheets did not get rid of the smoke. Unfortunately, I had to throw the books away.

Date Posted: 8/19/2009 4:52 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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I've received books with dryer sheets between the pages...they still reeked of smoke.

Tried both baking soda and clumping kitty litter, 3 weeks in a zip lock with the book...they still smell of smoke, just not quite as much.

Date Posted: 8/19/2009 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Both kitty litter (clay type) and baking soda do work. 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.

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.

 

Date Posted: 8/19/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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Of the 1,340 some books I've received, I don't recall any of them smelling at all like smoke. And I do know what smoke smells like--for example, when I visit my sister or my mother for a couple of hours, I can come home and my clothes reek like I've been in a bar all day. But I've never received a PBS book that smells of smoke. How weird is that? I don't have an RC or anything either.

(Knocking on wood, because I'm sure this will jinx me! LOL)

Cheryl

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2006
Posts: 795
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only one cure for when a book really smells bad - the recycle bin. I know, I know!!! It galls me, too, and it is a waste of a book, but, I consider the book just as damaged as if - as someone once it said - they had dropped it in the bathtub.

 

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Crumpled newspapers and book  in a plastic bag or storage bin.  Change the newspaper every 3 days or so.  Check again in two weeks.

 

Date Posted: 8/22/2009 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I think the key is whatever you decided to try it needs to be in a closed container or bag.  I use a showbox put the baking soda in a bowl in the  middle and place the books on each side.  I have not rec'd a book from PBS smelling like smoke but I have from other sources.  I will also give the newspaper idea a try - see  if it shorter length or better results!

 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/22/2009 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Ok Christina, I'll try changing the absorbant :-)

Cheryl, I've received several hundred books and only two or three have had smoke odor...and one of those was from another site :-)  IMO the types of books you request may effect how many you receive?  Other members seem to receive many more than I have.

Date Posted: 8/22/2009 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 160
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A number of PBS members have dryer sheet allergies/sensitivity,

 

Good grief.   In this day and age Im seriously amazed that myself and my children have managed to live for 48, 27, 26 & 16 years without ever once having had an allergic reaction to some everyday item.

Ive often thought that possibly the reason people have so many allergies in this day and age is because babies and children are kind of raised in a plastic bubble today.  I cant tell you how much dirt my kids ate, how many times they didnt wash their hands 75 times a day, etc etc and I really do think that it helped them to grow up allergy free.



Last Edited on: 8/22/09 6:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 8/23/2009 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Somewhere on one of the threads, it was recommended to put the book (encased in plastic) in the freezer for a week.  LOL  Don't know how or why that would work, but they swore by it...

 

Jedipriestess, I tend to agree with you.   Immunities are built up over time from infancy on.  That is why the series of shots starts at about 2 months old.  Presumably, they are slowly introduced to the ravages of life in our world to better fight them off.  Also, presumably they are nursing and therefore receiving good antibodies from mom.  Iit allows them to adapt over a period of time.  Sorry to hijack here - couldn't resist! LOL   :) D.

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 7:20 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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You can try using Odor Eaters in a closed container, too.  It has activated charcoal.  And I figure if it works on smelly feet/shoes it probably works on smokey books!

Ruth

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Ive often thought that possibly the reason people have so many allergies in this day and age is because babies and children are kind of raised in a plastic bubble today.  I cant tell you how much dirt my kids ate, how many times they didnt wash their hands 75 times a day, etc etc and I really do think that it helped them to grow up allergy free.

I was never allergic to smoke until I was in my 30s - pneumonia and developed asthma. My asthma is triggered by odor such as smoke, natural gas, and gasoline when it is active.  When the asthma is inactive the odors bother me  but I am not gasping to breathe, but if I am around it too long the asthma will become active.   Not fun.  The only thing I was allergic to when I was a kid was dust/dirt and wool.  My mom always said it was so I could get out of cleaning :)   Anyway as I get older I am becoming allergic to more things such as food, but maybe it is because of the chemicals and hormones that is used in food!

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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When I first joined I put dryer sheets in all my books.  I thought it was a nice thing to do!  LOL   NO ONE ever complained and many said thanks.   When I mentioned it here I got my head blown off!     Pesonally, I think if you have any allergy of any kind you should have RC's.  

Of course I never did that again but wonder how many people actually have this allergy?   I agree with whoever said they wonder about allergies caused by living in a bubble.        I am careful not to send any books with those with allergies because I'd so hate to make anyone sick. 

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 160
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Jubead I completely understand that since its illness related.  I work in a childrens center and Im amazed on a day to day basis at all the food/other general items that children have today.  I really do think its because in todays society people dont allow their kids to "become exposed to" ( for lack of a better phrase) to many of the germs/foods etc that we all did when we were younger.

I can remember when my 16 year old was 2 her sitter called to tell me that the other kids had chicken pox and asked me what I wanted to do.  BOTH of my sisters would have kept their kids home but I sent my daughter because I wanted her to get it before she went to school.  Also my 2 sisters are fanatical about germs and not being around someone who has even the slightest sniffle and ALL of their children have been sick a whole lot more than any of mine have. 

I just think that  we as people are meant to be exposed to somethings otherwise we never develop an immunity to them.



Last Edited on: 8/23/09 3:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/23/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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jediprietess - I hear what you are saying and I agree that parents need to let their kids be exposed - especially to childhood diseases.  I had german measles twice (I found the hard way you can get them more than once).  I was 17 and the disease was alot worse than when I was a young kid and I think the are more dangerous for adults than kids. Parents aren't helping their kids from keeping them from a disease they should be teaching them to wash their hands, to place their hand over the mouth when they cough or sneeze etc. 

Cozi - I agree that people with severe allergies should be careful on a used book site and put on a RC.  I don't have a RC and won't put one on for smoke smell.  I treat any book (which I haven't rec'd so far) that I receive the same as if I purchased it at a UBS, flea market, tag sale etc and it had a smell.  Place it in a box with baking soda for a week and then let it air out.   I am accountable for my own decisions so if I have a allergy and I don't put on a RC - I am the only one to blame if I have a reaction....not you or any other member.  People have to be accountable for their decisions.     I was also reminded (head wasn't taken off for that comment - it was saved for another time) that many people have allergies to dryer sheets.   To be honest when my asthma was inactive - they didn't bother me at all - I used spring rain and loved the smell - but now that my asthma is active - they do bother me and I had to switch to baking soda.  

I also think alot of allergies have alot to do with the environment, diseases mutating, hormones and chemicals in food, and engineered food. 

Ok - sorry for hijacking - back to the OPs question which I think they got some good ideas. 

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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febreeze it then ziplock in the freezer.  a lot of people swear by it.

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Exactly!  See my above post on both!     :)     D.

Date Posted: 8/25/2009 2:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Odor Eaters with the charcoal sounds like an excellent idea.  So does feBreeze - I thought that had a scent in it, though?    D.

Date Posted: 8/25/2009 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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Update: After a week in the plastic bag with a sock full of baking soda, 4/7 books are totally odor free and the other 3 are significantly improved!  I'm going to add newspaper to the mix and see how it goes.

My husband votes for slowly fanning the book pages in a mist of Febreeze, but I'm worried about the books getting wet ;)

Date Posted: 8/25/2009 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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WooHoo Purvi! Baking soda works for me every time.

On the Febreeze, I wouldn't recommend it. It will only mask the odor, not eliminate it. A larger droplet could cause a water spot. And some people are allergic to the smell.

Thanks for updating us on your success.

Blessings,
Christina

 

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