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RPG» Forums » General Discussion » General Role-Playing

Subject: Mildew on game books, a cure? rss

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Darren Breidigan
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Found some in my books in the closet, oddly enough it is a select few in a stack.

Almost all are from the early 80s.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Clark Timmins
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Short answer: Good luck

https://www.biblio.com/book-collecting/care-preservation/pre...
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William Hostman
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bhyeti wrote:
Found some in my books in the closet, oddly enough it is a select few in a stack.

Almost all are from the early 80s.

Any help would be appreciated.


Keep them away from other things, dry them thoroughly.

Then, keep them dry.

Brush off as much as you can without ripping the pages or removing what ink is left.

Fume them lightly with fungicide... and re-dry.

Drying them can be done best by hanging them in a low-heat oven, hanging from the spine - but only if the spine is intact. You want it hanging so the pages can vent. Also, if you have desiccant powders/pellets, put those in the same space. And you want the oven door open, so the moisture can leave. Don't bother to try this on a damp day, tho'...

Note that any treatment (including the Hydrogen Peroxide and the Denatured Alcohol in Clark's wonderful link) needs to be tested for ink solubility... if you use alcohol on alcohol soluble ink, even as a vapor-treatment (put it inside the oven, in a baking pan, bottom rack, while hanging the book above, 170°F, to vaporize the alcohol so it can attack all the fungus at once), you will blur the letters, and transfer them to contacting pages, etc.

Also, some cheap black inks turn brown when exposed to H2O2...
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Darren Breidigan
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Strange as it is they are not wet or damp, there is like a black powder on some pages, maybe I caught it in the beginning?
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Hans Messersmith
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aramis wrote:
if you use alcohol on alcohol soluble ink, even as a vapor-treatment (put it inside the oven, in a baking pan, bottom rack, while hanging the book above, 170°F, to vaporize the alcohol so it can attack all the fungus at once), you will blur the letters, and transfer them to contacting pages, etc.
This sounds like a pretty dangerous way to cure mildew! Alcohol vapors plus heat source = yikes! Not to mention make sure you have excellent ventilation or you will feel very high followed by very sick pretty quickly I expect. Ink solubility seems like the least of the concerns regarding this method. I'm not saying it won't fix the mildew/mold, I trust William's judgement on that. I'm just saying William's can-do frontier spirit exceeds my tolerance of alcohol related fire/illness risk.

Good luck with the mildew. I'm going to assume the books have some nostalgia value for you that makes it worth mitigation, so I'm sorry you have to figure this out.
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John James
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Brush off what you can and leave them in the sun for a few weeks.
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Darren Breidigan
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I'm pulling everything out and going through it and store it somewhere dry, the house is really old and we're tired of putting money into it.

I think within a year it's going to be torn down.
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Eric Etkin
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Honestly, this sounds to me like a mold problem, not a mildew problem. Are you see the black dots other places in that area? Not just the books?
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Darren Breidigan
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Honestly, this sounds to me like a mold problem, not a mildew problem. Are you see the black dots other places in that area? Not just the books?


Just a few of the books, exasperating the problem is the record number of consecutive rainy days(68?) and total rainfall in the last 12 months have been off the hook.

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Scott
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Doomsword wrote:
Brush off what you can and leave them in the sun for a few weeks.


Love the BOC shepherds crook. Big fan! laugh
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William Hostman
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skalchemist wrote:
aramis wrote:
if you use alcohol on alcohol soluble ink, even as a vapor-treatment (put it inside the oven, in a baking pan, bottom rack, while hanging the book above, 170°F, to vaporize the alcohol so it can attack all the fungus at once), you will blur the letters, and transfer them to contacting pages, etc.
This sounds like a pretty dangerous way to cure mildew! Alcohol vapors plus heat source = yikes! Not to mention make sure you have excellent ventilation or you will feel very high followed by very sick pretty quickly I expect. Ink solubility seems like the least of the concerns regarding this method. I'm not saying it won't fix the mildew/mold, I trust William's judgement on that. I'm just saying William's can-do frontier spirit exceeds my tolerance of alcohol related fire/illness risk.

Good luck with the mildew. I'm going to assume the books have some nostalgia value for you that makes it worth mitigation, so I'm sorry you have to figure this out.


Alcohol fuming is reasonably safe in an electric oven - the autoignition temp is ~750°F. The paper will ignite before the alcohol. I am so used to electrics that I forget many people use gas ovens.
Lethally flammable in a gas oven - the gas burns over 1000°F, and the fumes WILL ignite and eat your book, too.
A woodstove is even more risky.

Note also: Alcohol fuming is VERY dangerous if you don't vent it. Have the range fume hood on, and open the nearest window, put a fan drawing air out, and open several other windows with fans blowing fresh air in.

Isopropyl (the standard rubbing alcohol) is toxic if taken internally. It can damage liver, nerves, and eyes. Drinking or breathing it can blind or kill.

Fuming is the easiest way to get alcohol in to every part... but it is a matter of risk assessment on whether it's worth it.

Other fuming methods are less risky...
Some chemical fungicides can be fumed at room temp.

Tea fuming is great for faking age.
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