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Anyway to remove bad musty smell from paperwork and photos?

Started by Ivydiv , Jun 30 2017 03:38 PM

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#1 Ivydiv

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 03:38 PM

I didn't really see anything here addressing this subject. I picked up two groupings of patches, paperwork, photos, etc to the same man. 13th Bomb Squadron 1946-47, and later USN Helicopter unit Korea. Anyway, they were in a basement in Pittsburgh and they smell so bad I can't bring them into the house. I had them outside all day airing out, but no help. The papers and photos are in very sound condition, but still hard to spray them with anything because it soaks in. I tried some Fabreze but it didn't really absorb into the photos or papers. Just lays a liquid on top. I would greatly appreciate any input or ideas how to correct this problem. It is a great grouping, and there must be something I can do. Thanks in advance. Dave



#2 huntssurplus

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 03:44 PM

Maybe these will help? Maybe air them out for a couple more days as well?

https://www.hunker.c...ls-out-of-paper

 

http://ask.metafilte...ells-from-paper

 

-Hunt



#3 Ivydiv

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 04:04 PM

Thank you very much for the response. They both seem like good ideas. I will give them a try. I was hoping someone had some ideas to deal with this problem. Thanks again. Dave



#4 1canpara

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:01 PM

Maybe try putting them in a box or a big paper bag with some Bounce dryer sheets, they are not bad for absorbing odours and leaving stuff Bounce fresh!

#5 BEAST

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:07 PM

For musty papers, I have had good luck placing the papers into a paper sack and putting balled up newspapers in with them, then closing the bag. It usually takes a few days and you may have to replace the balled up newspapers.

Good luck!

#6 Ivydiv

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:44 PM

Thanks to everyone for the tips. I really appreciate all the helpful hints. Seems like the consensus is the crumpled up newspapers with dryer sheets. I will give it a try tomorrow and see what happens. Again, thanks to everyone for their input. Dave



#7 Sgt. BARney

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:57 PM

I recommend lots of fresh air and time, the lower humidity the better.  I leave musty smelling stuff in a box on the porch for weeks and this always seems to work.  It can take time (weeks +) and low humidity helps.  Don't leave the stuff in one big pile - Spread it out, open it up, so it can get some air.  I don't leave stuff in direct sunshine - always worried about fading. 

 

Might try baking soda too (?) like they suggest for refrigerators. 

 

Good luck!



#8 Teamski

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:58 PM

Dryer sheets for sure.  

 

-Ski



#9 Ivydiv

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 11:25 AM

I put the first batch of photos, papers, etc in a box with a lid with crumpled up newspaper, and the dryer sheets, and I must say I see a noticeable difference after letting them set overnight. There are two or three books that I think will take a few more treatments, but the papers and photos show a remarkable improvement. I just put the second batch into a tub with the lid sealed with Saran wrap. I will see if the sealing does any better. Anyhow I would like to thank all for their input and ideas. I will probably try to treat the book pages with baking soda, if a second "soak" does not do the trick. This was another suggestion that was made. Thanks, Dave



#10 Steve D.

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:07 AM

I have put WWII manuals in a small sealed plasitc box filled with cat litter.

It takes away the smell in a couple of weeks.



#11 ssgmac

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:31 AM

Bought a Ozone machine at a pawn shop, industrial strength, they use them on used cars that have been flooded or smoked in and it will remove any smell and kill mold and bacteria just For future reference....




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