Deodorize musty books. Keeping books in humid conditions can cause mold and mildew to grow and multiply, resulting in a musty odor. The first plan of action should be to place these books in a dry environment, but beware—musty books can pass their mold onto clean books, so this should be a preventative action. In their book, Haley’s Cleaning Tips, Rosemary and Graham Haley recommend placing the book in paper bag with some loose baking soda. Let the book sit in the bag for approximately 10 days before shaking the baking soda off. You can also try unscented kitty litter or cedar chips.
- If you are pressed for time, you can also try propping the book up in front of a small fan with its pages fanned out, then spraying Lysol from behind the fan. This should not be done on rare or valuable books.
- If you notice mildew on pages of your book, sprinkle some cornstarch on the affected areas and let sit for 24 hours before dusting off.