General Question

flo's avatar

How to sterilize a book, let's say that was thrown out and is now mouldy?

Asked by flo (11610points) 1 week ago

Let’s say it’s not easy to find to buy, borrow etc. I think it’s mouldy but even if it hasn’t gotten mouldy yet, how to sterilize it? Or a piece of paper with important stuff written on it, ends up in a toilet bowl somehow.

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9 Answers

chyna's avatar

Why would you want to? Anything you could use to take mold off a book would further ruin it.
Anything dropped in a toilet would not be in my house.

snowberry's avatar

Vinegar will kill mold.

You could also buy a hospital grade liquid disinfectant, dilute it according to directions, and try it on an unimportant page to see how it affects the ink. If it doesn’t bother the ink you should be able to soak the entire book in the liquid for an hour or so to make sure it gets everywhere. You will probably want to rinse it well. Then it’s a matter of figuring out how to dry it.

Even if the book is out of print, you should be able to purchase a duplicate. Search online and see what I mean.

snowberry's avatar

To dry out your book, you can take a fresh sheet of paper and place it between each wet page. If it’s a big book, it’ll be awkward. Of course your book will never be the same again, and if it was valuable, all monetary value will be lost.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I don’t imagine you have the capability to do this, but freeze-drying is the best way to save a book.

https://www.bmscat.com/2017/01/choose-freeze-drying-salvage-wet-books-paper/

better than paper towels between pages. But not cheap.

kritiper's avatar

You might spritz each page with a light spray of water that has some bleach in it. Each page would have to be left open over night so that the pages would dry. The bleach will sterilize and bleach out the stains caused by the mold. The paper towel thing might work with this bleach solution. Good luck!

stanleybmanly's avatar

How about some time in a microwave oven? I have no idea whether or not your book would be destroyed before or along with the mold.

gorillapaws's avatar

I wonder if you could use gas to kill all organisms? Perhaps you could seal the book in a bag/container with 100% Nitrogen for a week or something? I’m not sure what gas would work though. Toxic gasses would probably be effective, but they’re dangerous, obviously.

YARNLADY's avatar

I had a sewing machine manual that got moldy and I photo copied the pages to get a clean (fuzzy looking) copy.

flo's avatar

I definitely don’t have a “Modern large-scale freeze-drying chambers”
(from your link) @elbanditoroso but it’s very good to know.
Theysoundgoodideas @snowberry @kritiper @gorillapaws @YARNLADY

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