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Thread: How to get a strong smoke smell out of books?

  1. #1
    Power Poster
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    How to get a strong smoke smell out of books?

    I bought some cookbooks and did not notice how strong they smelled of smoke until I got them in the car. The sale was outside.

    I want to keep the books, but I don't want to contaminate my other books with that smell.

    Any suggestions on how to get them to be odor neutral - or at least odor subdued???

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    I might suggest putting them in a closed container with charcoal .... like the bricks used in an outdoor cooker. That's worked for me in the past. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Get the kind that does not have lighter fluid in it.

  4. #4
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    Check with your library, they receive book donations and I am sure they have to clean them up.

  5. #5
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    These are all good ideas and I would get some baking soda and sprinkle through the pages. Sit outside where the fresh air can get to it. Of course you'll want to keep it out of the elements. I would check on it after about 4 days. Then maybe repeat the process.

  6. #6
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    You can also try baking soda. It works good too. Put it into an old nylon and into a sealed container. I have also used the charcoal for getting orders out. Both worked really good for me. You can also use both of them when you store a refrigerator or washer for a period.

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    Equal parts of Cornstarch and Baking Soda-I put some cake racks in the bottom of totes and stood the books -opened in a V forming a zig-zag -Put the lid on and 3 days later books were smoke free. And the mix in the bottom of tote was not wasted -I sprinkled it on the ant hills in the sidewalk cracks and I no longer have ants.

  8. #8
    Senior Member aeble's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with using a fine grit sand paper on the top side and bottom of the pAges when the book is closed. Then I put them in a sealed box with a small cup of unground coffee for a week or two.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work will not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." --Henry David Thoreau

  9. #9
    Senior Member suzanprincess's Avatar
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    A friend loaned me a book I really wanted to read, but he was a heavy smoker and I'd have had to hold my breath while reading because the book reeked so strongly. A month or so in the sunshine (it was a very thick book), turning a few pages daily, made it usable. A sister-in-law did the same thing with her family bible after her heavy-smoker father passed away, putting it out on sunny days over about six months.

  10. #10
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    Home Depot sells containers of activated charcoal which is meant for taking out strong odors. Put the books (separated and open, if you can) in a big plastic box or closet with the open container of charcoal for a couple of weeks. If it takes out the smell of old cat urine, surely it can take out smoke!
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  11. #11
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    When I worked at the library..We had a few heavy smokers..We used room air refresher in a bag with the book and seal it for a day..We picked baby power smell..So it wouldn't be a strong smell.

  12. #12
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Kitty Litter. My husband and I purchased several hundred old books and when we opened the boxes ... ugh! It wasn't smoke, but it was a musty smell. The kitty litter cleaned it right up. Be sure to get the kind without Oxyclean which can bleach out some spots.
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  13. #13
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    What kind/brand of cat litter?

  14. #14
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    Charcoal, non clumping litter or newspaper are all suppose to be good at capturing odors

  15. #15
    Super Member rexie's Avatar
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    Smoky Books

    I bought a laptop once and it was terribly smoky. I took a fabric softener sheet and closed it up in there and the smell was gone.




    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I bought some cookbooks and did not notice how strong they smelled of smoke until I got them in the car. The sale was outside.

    I want to keep the books, but I don't want to contaminate my other books with that smell.

    Any suggestions on how to get them to be odor neutral - or at least odor subdued???

  16. #16
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    I would suggest putting the book and activated charcoal into a cooler or ice chest and closing it up for several days and repeating it as necessary.

  17. #17
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    I've read only Tidy Cat litter has the enzymes to get rid of odor.

    I've used the above tip of baking soda sprinkled in the pages, then sealed in a plastic bag for a while. Then i flittered it all out and sat it out in the sun.
    :-)
    CAS

  18. #18
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    try placing them in a large black tash bag and put in two or three cotton balls soaked with vanilla in a small plastic container so the books don't get wet. Seal the bag tight and let sit for a couple of days. Hope this helps

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