How To Clean Books? Best Full Guide [2022]

How To Clean Books

Books have been an integral part of my life. Books are more reliable. Have you noticed that your books look a bit shabby? How To Clean Books? There are many effective ways to clean your books. You can dry the pages, clean mold, and remove dirt. These are the easy ways to clean old books efficiently.

How Often Should a Book Be Clean?

Dust is one of the most damaging elements for books. Dust can build up and cause irreparable damage to paper and covers.

It would help if you dusted a book once a week with a soft brush, sandpaper, or broom. You can also inspect the book for mildew problems that need to be addressed immediately while you dust it.

What you’ll need?


  • Protective clothing and mask
  • Vacuum, duster, or soft paintbrush
  • Use soft drying clothes.
  • Optional sealable plastic containers
  • Optional: Circulating fan


  • Cheesecloth or another mesh fabric
  • Cornstarch
  • Art gum
  • White paper towel
  • Rubber gloves that can be used as disposables
  • Saddle soap for leather (optional).
  • Baking soda (optional) or activated charcoal
  • Dry blotters (optional).
  • Optional: Waxed paper (optional).
  • Optional: Large, sealable plastic bags
  • Optional: Vulcanized rubber soap sponge
  • Optional pesticide

It would help if you cleaned a book that has been damaged by excessive water, smoke, or other substances as soon as possible.

Vacuum, duster, or soft paintbrush

How to Clean Books Effectively?

It’s all about taking care when cleaning books. Books are made from paper. Liquids and paper don’t mix well. It can smudge the ink, especially if it is heavy paper. When cleaning books, be sure to consider the best way to clean them. There are a few effective methods, however:

  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • T-shirt from the past
  • Soft cloth
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Thin cloth
  • Wax paper
  • Rubber eraser vulcanized
  • Saddle soap
  • Baby oil
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Paper towel
  • Mask for air filter
  • Gloves
  • Sealable bags for gallon sizes
  • Scraper for plastic

How to Clean and Reuse Old Books?

Old books may have fragile edges or dirt that is difficult to clean. It can be not easy to give up books that have been part of your library for many years.

If you have an antique book or a valuable first edition, it is important to seek professional advice before attempting any home cleaning techniques. It is important not to reduce the book’s value. You should first remove dirt from personal books and items you purchased at a thrift store.

  • To reduce the vacuum hose’s sucking power, place a thin cloth on top.
  • Place the book flat.
  • To loosen dirt, start at the cover.
  • Use the vacuum hose to go through each page.
  • To remove dirt or marks, use a rubber eraser.

How Do You Clean Mold And Mildew From Books?

After you have cleaned up the dust from your books, it is time to check for mold. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems as the spores can spread.

You should inspect the pages and cover them for mildew or mold. You can usually tell mold stains from the musty odor.

  • Protect your nose from mold spores by wearing gloves and a mask.
  • Place the book outdoors in the sun.
  • Put a piece of wax paper underneath the mildew laden page.
  • Brush any mold or mildew with the toothbrush
  • Use hydrogen peroxide to dampen a clean cloth and then blot the mildew.
  • Before you move on, let the area dry completely in the sunlight.

How To Get A Book Smell Out Of Books?

After removing the mold and mildew from your books, it is time to eliminate the permeating odor. This works well for books that aren’t mildewed but have odd smells, such as those found in thrift stores with a smoky odor.

  • Wrap the book carefully in an old tee shirt.
  • Bake soda should be used to coat the bottom of the bag.
  • Place the book in the bag along with the baking soda.
  • Let it sit for several hours or days.

Getting Grime and Stains Off Books

Getting Grime and Stains Off Books

Have you ever spilled a little food on your book? Your book may have a pest problem. A freezer is a great option in these cases.

  • Place the book in the freezer for several hours.
  • Take a look at all pages and get rid of any pests and bugs that have become frozen.
  • You can use the scraper to remove any dry-on food that you feel with your finger.
  • Use the vulcanized rubber remover to get rid of any traces or strains.

You can also use vulcanized rubber erasers and Absorene paper. This pink paste absorbs stains and grime but does not damage the pages.

How to Clean Water Spills from Books?

You need to act quickly if you accidentally spill water on your book or get wet from a flood or rain. You can freeze your book while preparing if you don’t have the time or patience to handle it right away. These steps are for when the book is ready to be used.

  • The book should be placed in a window but not directly in the sun.
  • A fan should be placed between the book and the fan.
  • If the air is sufficiently warm, open the window.
  • Flip through the pages regularly by opening the book. Do not force pages to open. Be gentle.
  • To restore the page’s flatness, stack several heavy books on top once all pages have dried completely.

How to Clean a Leather Book?

You need to take extra care when cleaning leather covers on books. Because leather reacts differently to different cleaning methods, you need to be more careful. This is why you should test the leather cleaning method in a small area before applying it to leather bound books.

  • Use a clean, dry cloth to dip in the soap. Then, rinse it with water.
  • It would help if you squeezed as much moisture out of your skin as possible.
  • Cleanse the binding and cover.
  • To buff the leather cover, use a dry cloth.

Protecting Books from Damage

Protecting Books from Damage

Books need to be cleaned every once in a while, and there are some instances when damage can occur. However, it is better to prevent damage by keeping your books at the right temperature and place. Here are some tips to keep your books clean.

  • You can reduce dust by keeping books in a cabinet or container.
  • Before storing books, make sure to store them upright.
  • Avoid placing your books in areas that are high in humidity.

If books are left out, dust them regularly and keep them away from direct sunlight. This can cause pages and covers to become yellowed.

Keep Your Books Clean

Books are essential. You don’t want to let go of a book that you treasure. You now have the toolset to clean your books and remove dirt from antique books.


What is the best way to clean books?

It would help if you dusted a book once a week with a soft brush, sandpaper, or broom. While dusting, inspect the book for mildew. It would help if you cleaned a book that has been damaged by smoke or excessive water as soon as possible.

How do you disinfect old books?

Many libraries cover their hardcovers in waterproof plastic that can be gently wiped with a Lysol wipe or cloth. To preserve the book’s life, some libraries cover their paperback covers in sticky plastic contact paper.

What is the best way to clean dusty books?

To remove dust from the book’s top edge, use the soft bristle attachment on a vacuum hose. You can remove dirt from pages that are more fragile using a soft, lint free cloth such as a cut up T-shirt or a very soft paintbrush.

How do you refresh old books?

Put a cup of baking powder or an open box in a container or bin with a lid. Close the lid and place the book in the container with the baking soda. The book should be left for between 48 and 72 hours. After that, check on it. Continue this process until the odor disappears.

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How do you clean dirty books off pages?

You can sometimes remove stains with a kneaded rubber eraser, Absorene(r), Paper, and Book Cleaner. Use a little bit of Absorene to soften the surface. To freshen the surface, rub some Absorene in your hands until it has absorbed any dirt or stains.

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