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Topic: for those who wrap in saran wrap/cling wrap

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Subject: for those who wrap in saran wrap/cling wrap
Date Posted: 8/8/2007 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,713
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To everyone who uses saran/cling wrap to mail your books - you might want to switch to grocery bags for a while. Due to the extreme heat in much of the country right now, the saran wrap is MELTING - and believe me it isn't pretty. I got a book today that literally looked like the saran wrap had FUSED with it. Plastic bags are made of a different plastic compound and shouldn't have that problem.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2007
Posts: 26
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Darn it... I just mailed out a book that I wrapped in plastic wrap, too.  And the heat index was up to 108 degrees today.  I hope the book gets there okay; I will use different plastic until it cools off.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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Wow.  This topic came up not to long ago and I did a little experiment with Saran wrap.  I use Glad brand cling wrap, wrapped a paperback in the same manner as I would for sending then I stuck it in the microwave for I think a minute or so.  The book was fine, the wrap did stick but only to itself not the book.  This same microwave boils a cup of water water in about the same time.

I know it's 89 but feels like 101  here where I am in FL.  so I can only guess what it is out in the middle of the country.  I guess those who are sending to hotter areas might want to take care.  Avoid it all and just use bubble wrap envelopes maybe.

 

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 16,763
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Plastic baggies such as the Ziplocks I use do not melt the way Saran Wrap does. I will not send out a book without wrapping in  plastic first.  Bubble envelopes get ripped by the postal machines all the time. I just got a book that the envelope was torn, but the book was in plastic so it wouldn't get wet if it rained.  I recently sent out a book in Tyvek envelope and Ziplock wrapping the book and the receiver PM'd me to thank me for wrapping in Ziplock first because the envelope was in shreds from the postal machine but the book was protected.

 

 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Tammy - I admit I simply DO NOT understand this either.  It doesn't melt in the microwave, how does it melt in a package???  I wonder if the melted wrap is the type you get at the Dollar store on special???  I mean I microwave with saran wrap for 20 minutes or longer and it doesn't melt.   It will defrost 2 pounds of meat but the saran wrap simply doesn't melt. 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I live in MS we topped out at 98 today. I got a book that sat in the mail box for at least 5 hours wrapped in plastic wrap and it wasnt melted. I have a dark colored metal mail box thats in full sun to so if it was gonna react like and oven it would have done it today. Ive never recieved a book with melted plastic wrap (and weve have the same mailbox for years its a Scooby Doo one). Im wondering if some people are getting them melted because of machinery at the PO sorting places.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 1:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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I wonder if these melted-plastic incidents actually involve Press-n-Seal plastic wrap, which should never be used because it definitely will stick to bookcovers and ruin them, instead of regular plastic wrap. I've had plastic-wrapped books sit for hours in my black mailbox in direct sunlight in 90-degree heat with no melting whatsoever.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I hadnt thought of that Jessica but its a good point. Ive never recieved a book in that stuff though. I can tell you I hate it worst invention ever well maybe not worst ever but totally useless.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2006
Posts: 95
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Here are a few differences between sunlight based heat and Microwave heat:

1) Microwaves from the sun are based on principles of pulsed direct current (DC) that don't create frictional heat; microwave ovens use alternating current (AC) creating frictional heat.

2) A microwave oven produces a spiked wavelength of energy with all the power going into only one narrow frequency of the energy spectrum(radio waves). Energy from the sun operates in a wide frequency spectrum(Infrared (IR), Ultraviolet (UV), Micro, Radio, X, and Gamma waves).

Just found that interseting and might have some relavence to why one would and the other wouldn't.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Brendon, I would have never thought of this!  I don't use Saran Wrap though.  I save all those useless air plastic bags that are used in packaging.  It's good to know though.  Thanks!

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/9/2007 6:18 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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When you nuke *something* wrapped in plastic wrap, the *something* acts like a heat sink.  All of the energy is absorbed by the *something*.  That's completely different than direct heat.

 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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This whole thing sounds like a good kids science project.  Find a handful of icky books.  Wrap them in grocery bags, saran wrap, cling wrap, dollar store cheap wrap and press n seal.  Actually, wrap two books in each plastic.  Then, microwave each type of wrap for a period of time.  At the same time, set the other books out in the direct sun for the day on a 100 degree day.  Photograph and view the results.  You could even microwave the books longer to see if you get different results or how long it takes for the book to go up in flames.  For added measure, then wrap each book in brown paper and dunk in a bucket of water for 30 minutes and see if any of the books are dry.  :)

Kerry

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2006
Posts: 280
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Be sure and share your results Kerry! LOL  It would be my luck I would blow up the microwave somehow and would banned from bookswapping forevermore if my husband figured out why I was experimenting.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Kerry get out of my head! I was just thinking of doing the same thing. Sorta like the one I did last summer to see which wrapping method protected the books best. (grocery bags won on that one BTW they did better than ziplock bags even)

Anyway I was thinking Id set one in the mailbox one in the car and maybe one on the porch.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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Well I discussed this with hubby, who is a much smarter person than I as far as physics go.   And his thoughs were maybe something was on the book that the wrap stuck too, not the book itself.  Could be that particular book had a coating or something.   In my experiment the saran wrap stuck to it's self, but not the book, in fact it stuck to itself so well I needed scissors to get it off the book.  Now microwave or ultraviolet, that is freakin hot.

Also, wouldn't a mailbox, enclosed and usually metal, act like an oven?  So books inside still don't get direct heat. 

I do believe that all wrap isn't created equal, I wish I could test the theory in my mailbox, but hardly any books I receive ever have any wrap on them. 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,713
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This particular book was wrapped in the colored (hot pink) wrap - I wonder if the dye had anything to do with it being more "meltable" than other types?

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
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I wonder if that book hadn't set in a HOT car for a day or two before being mailed.  Everyone knows how hot cars can get.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Another very good point Pattie which is why Im gonna do one in the car. My car has no AC and gets unbelievably hot even when its moving. BTW todays a good day for my experiment. The temp is 89 and its 11 oclock. Its supposed to get up to 102 by 2 pm with a heat index of 107.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I almost thought the OP was talking about me with the hot pink saran wrap...I have a violet color that I use but it doesn't sit in my car before being mailed other than on the way to the PO.  and I usually drop it inside because I buy the postage at the APC.

I'll be interested to hear how this turns out

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I just wrapped three books in saran wrap (the real stuff I dont have the cheapie stuff around) then packaged them with my normal method (manilla envelopes) One went in my car one on the porch the other in the mail box. That was at 11:42 the temp was 92 degrees. at 5:42 (six hours later) I will retrieve them and report the findings.

My hypothesis is that the one in the car is going to be the worst. The one on the porch will have no damage. The one in the mailbox will have minimal to no damage. We'll see though. Ive proven myself wrong before. In fact I did that in the last experiment.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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The last two books I packed, I wrapped in typing paper first, then the plastic wrap, then typing paper again.  The extra layer of paper should keep any melting from affecting the book.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2006
Posts: 280
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Good idea, Lita.  A little more time consuming, but maybe necessary in some cases.  Guess we'll hear back results later.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I use rose colored Saran brand plastic wrap on mine, and have never had an issue with it. I use the same wrap to encase hot loaves for freshly baked bread (two minutes out of the oven) so that they retain their softness, and it has never fused itself to the loaf of bread (from a 350 degree oven), so I can't imagine it sticking iteself to a book's cover. I am going to wrap an old phonebook in the stuff and set it outside for the rest of the day and see what happens. It's 1:30 here.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,713
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Chris I'm looking forward to the results of your tests. Considering how many people here seem to wrap in cling wrap, I'm hoping my book was just a fluke...

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out as well. I just started wrapping in cling wrap. Before that I was using Walmart bags.

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