Getting Rid of Odors in your Altered Books


Sometimes altered books have musty odors, or other unwanted smells.

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None of these suggestions are guaranteed to work under all conditions. Howver, they have been known to work and are all worth trying.

odor Old books could contain a white powder that is actually a mold. Avoid touching this mold, or inhaling it. Place your book in the microwave. Nuke it at high heat for 10-15 seconds, then place the book in the sun to air.

  • Baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda throughout the book's pages. Place in a zip-lock back and leave for a week or so.

  • Cat litter. Place your book in a zip-lock bag. Bury it with deodorizing, fresh cat litter. Check after a few days.

  • OdorCide. This product comes in a spray bottle. It's available in places like Walmart. For more information, check

  • Coffee Grounds. Remove smoke scents by sealing your book in a zip-lock bag along with some coffee grounds. (Not used grounds).

  • Fabric Softener. Remove smoke smells by sealing your book in a baggy with some fabric softener sheets.

  • Potpourri. To get rid of mothball smells, try storing your altered book in a ziplock bag along with some potpourri. Place the potpourri in an unsealed bag within the ziplock bag.

  • Newspapers. To get rid of a musty smell, try fanning your book's pages a few times to allow air in, then place your book in a zip-lock bag with old newspapers.

  • Sunshine. Try placing your book in the sunshine for a few days to get rid of odors.

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Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished reading about odors.