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Topic: Smelly Books. (UPDATED)

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Subject: Smelly Books. (UPDATED)
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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I recieved a book that smells like maybe permanent marker or some kind of like strong painting material. I received it a few days ago and have been opening the book to new pages every few hours to see if it would air out and the smell would go away but it's not working. I don't think I can read this book with this smell. It is VERY strong! I am also pregnant so it is probably 10 times worse for me.. What can I do to get rid of some of the smell so I can read the book????? Any suggestions?

 

I did hear back from the person. They said that the book was stored on a raw pine shelf. Could this give the impression of a like paint thinner/permanent marker type smell?



Last Edited on: 3/26/08 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 729
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Try putting the book in a ziplock bag with baking soda and/or kitty litter for a week or so.  People say this works with smoky books, so maybe it'll work with yours.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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Won't the baking soda get inside of the book and be hard to get back out?!?!

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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just shake it out when you take the book out, small bits might remain but it shouldn't be that much

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 7,199
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Just sealing it up in a bag and putting in the garage for a few days should help to. You can try putting a dryer sheet in the bag with the book - just don't put the sheet in the book - i have done that before

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Please don't use fabric sheets!!! This comes up about once a month on here, and we keep trying to catch people that don't realize many people are just as allergic to dryer sheets as anything else, but have no clue that people will try to stick them in the bag with a book! So they don't put it in their RCs because they would never think of it.

Fabric sheets give off an oily air that attaches to books and cannot be removed like other things. It is absorbed into the paper and cannot be aired out. Please stick to unscented kitty litter, baking soda, and crumpled newspaper to remove smells from books. If airing it out or sticking it in a bag with one of these 3 items doesn't help, a dryer sheet won't do anything but turn it into a perfumy mess. Even if it's only IN THE BAG, NOT IN THE BOOK. It is still absorbed into the book.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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I will try the newspaper.. Do I put the book in a plastic baggie and then put crumpled newspaper inside with the book?!?! I really don't like the idea of all of that left over baking soda inside of the book and the thought of using kitty little just makes me want to gag!. lol... Hopefully the newspaper will work! Thanks for the tips!

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm not even sure baking soda and kitty litter woul remove that kind of chemical odor from books.  Trisha, you should contact the person who sent the book and ask what it is - especially with you being pregnant.  It could be contaminated with something you shouldn't be handling.  I don't know why it would smell like permanent marker, but they contain toxic chemicals like Xylene and Toluene, and if the odor is as strong as you say, I don't think I'd be handling it without knowing what it has been exposed to.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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I noticed at the bottom of the book there is a marker print on the book. I'm not sure if the person might mark all of their books to show that they have read them. Or if they are ever returned they know that it was theirs..

How do I go about finding who sent the book to me?!?! I already marked it as mailed so it's not in my information now. Where can I go?!?!

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,122
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Trisha, look in your transaction archive (under "My Account").  Also, does the book have glossy pages?  I've bought books that have the heavyweight glossy paper, and the ink does have a chemical smell to it.

P.S.  Try the kitty litter --new and unscented, not used--it won't make you gag--lol !

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,310
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I sympathize with you!  Ever odor was multiplied by ten when I was pregnant!  One of my co-workers used to spray down her phone and desk with Lysol four times a day!  It's been 22 years, and I still can't even look at the stuff!

Baking soda tends to stick to itself rather than other things, and, like cat litter, it really absorbs odors, but I suppose you could put a dish of it in the bag, if you didn't want to sprinkle in through the pages.  I doubt if it would be quite as effective, but it might really help.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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I e-mailed the person! Hopefully they get back to me. They do not have their profile set up to see when their last login was! So I will just hope that they check their stuff a lot.

I moved the book and put it in a plastic bag from my grocery store and put it up a shelf until she lets me know what it is!..

The book doesn't seem to have glossy pages, it is a hard cover book with very thick like pages! It is in great condition, all but the smell!

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 7,199
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gee sherry never knew that ! I guess I won't be doing that anymore - I learned that trick on tv cleaning show.

Thanks for the info !

 

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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"I noticed at the bottom of the book there is a marker print on the book. I'm not sure if the person might mark all of their books to show that they have read them. Or if they are ever returned they know that it was theirs.."

 

That is likely a remainder mark-- it's what publishers use to mark books that are being discounted (like they print too many of them and can't sell them all).  The remainder marks generally are just a black (or sometimes other color) marker along the bottom of the book. 



Last Edited on: 3/26/08 2:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 7,199
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i got a book a couple of weeks ago with a black mark along the top of the pages - what is that ?

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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Jennifer, I didn't know that!! I wonder what the heck this smell is then.. I did wrap the book up tight in a plastic bag until I hear from the person...

 

If this person doesn't contact me what should I do?!?!

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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If you are concerned about loose baking soda, you can buy one of those refrigerator packs of it and put that in a ziplock bag with the book.  You could also wrap some baking soda up in a coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band to keep it from coming out.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Wende, no problem! It's a great trick for lots of things, but not books that you are going to share with other people! hahahahaha

For a lot of people it wouldn't be a problem, but there are some of us that do have chemical alergies and perfumed things just give us problems. I get an instant migraine with most perfumes, altho there are certain ones I can stand. I think it depends on how much it's smell is based on chemical and how much it is based on natural odors. For example, I rarely have a problem with any Vanilla scented perfumes.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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Great idea about the coffee filter..

I think my last question got skipped.. What do I do if this person doesn't contact me back to let me know what the smell is?!?!

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Trisha, if I were you, I'd just try to deodorize the book with the techniques listed above. If it doesn't help, I'd just set it aside until after the baby comes. Perhaps you won't be as sensitive to the smell by then. Some permanent markers are really strong, and if there's a remainder mark and it's recent, it might smell now. But usually that smell will go away with some time.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Could the smell be from glue?  How old does the book look to be?  Sometimes people try to glue covers back on to books and some glues are really smelly.  I would definitely put the book in plastic so it isn't in your environment.   It's just me, but when I was pregnant - I was paranoid about chemicals and smells (among other things).  I hated being in traffic with no air conditioning in the car - I'd hold my breath waiting for the light to change to avoid breathing in exhaust fumes!  LOL!!

Subject: smell of book
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 195
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Trisha  M

    Try putting Johnson's Baby Powder on the book pages . I done that already and it took the smell away .

                                                         Dolores H

 

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Dolores,  some people (like myself) are allergic to scented things, so baby powder might not be the best option.  If Trisha plans to reswap this book at some point, she should look for things that will not leave a residual scent behind.

Date Posted: 3/26/2008 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The thing that concerns me the most is that she says it's a chemical smell, like permanent marker or a strong painting material - which the closest thing to that I can think of is mineral spirits, which isn't good either.  Pregnant women do tend to be more sensitive to odors - with me it was eggs, yuck - but still this comes off as being something rather more than some residual odor from a permanent marker slash on the book.  I'd be concerned, and definitely asking the sender.  She may have had the book stored in a garage or basement near some old painting materials, and it may be no more than that, but I'd definitely try to find out.  As far as what you can do, Trisha, if it has been contaminated with something you shouldn't be handling, or the smell is just too overpowering to bear, ask her if she'll refund your credit and let you send the book back.  Explain the problem; most people understand that pregnant women should be extremely cautious about handling things that have been in direct contact with toxic chemicals.

As to your last -and skipped - question:  I'd say either see if you can report it, or toss it.  I wouldn't take any chances.



Last Edited on: 3/26/08 4:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/26/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,122
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Trisha--maybe ask someone who isn't pregnant to smell it!  If it's very mild to them you'll know it's just your senisitive nose right now and if you put it away til later it probably won't bother you.

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