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PRST5450-eTraining. Book Cleaning Tips. The topic for this module is about book cleaning tactics. Listed in the next few pages are tips related to book care.

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Book Cleaning Tips

The topic for this module is about book cleaning tactics. Listed in the next few pages are tips related to book care.

There is also link located within the toolbar (video camera icon) that redirects you to Brodart’s YouTube page, which includes a few videos on cleaning as well as general book repair.

For more information about this and other modules from PRST5450-eTraining, click on the website link below.



Book Cleaning Tips

“Preventive Measures”

  • Being proactive and using preventive measures can insure book longevity. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Keep your hands clean/dry when handling books (use white gloves for special materials)
  • Prohibit the use of food or drink around your collection(s)
  • Shelf books in a proper manner (i.e. spine out; spine up or laid horizontal for tall books; no cramming, no loosening)
  • Retrieve books in a proper manner (grasp the spine, not the head)
  • Maintain the environment your books are housed (70F/50% humidity)



Book Cleaning Tips

“Cleaning Tools”

  • There are all sorts of tools used during the cleaning process. They vary with the task at hand. Look to vendors such as Brodart for an idea on the scope of available supplies. Here is a list of common tools used for book cleaning.
  • Soft, clean cloths
  • Soft brushes
  • Art-Gum Eraser
  • Plastic Eraser
  • Steel Eraser (knife)
  • Liquid Ink Eradicator
  • Fine-Grade Sandpaper
  • Book Cleaner
  • Document Cleaning Pad



Book Cleaning Tips

“Removing markings (pencil, ink, etc.) from pages”

Most pencil and some ink marks can be removed using art-gum or plastic erasers. Rub an eraser from the inside margin outward to avoid wrinkles.

With most ink marks, a steel eraser is your best bet, though you can try commercial liquid ink erasers. If after all is done the ink stain remains (i.e. ballpoint markings), it’s best to leave alone to avoid extreme paper damage.



Book Cleaning Tips


  • There are simple tips that can help reduce the amount of dusting required in many cases. For starters, make sure you shelf books in close manners. It keeps dust and debris from entering loose books and covers. For other cases, following the below tips.
  • Using soft cloths or brushes can remove most dust, especially from edges.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner is another method. Use precaution in the suction power by placing cheesecloth or other mesh-like materials in front of the nozzle to catch loose bits (i.e. ripped pages).
  • Stubborn dirt can be removed using erasers (art-gum or plastic)



Book Cleaning Tips


Listed below are links to additional resources. They range from vendors (supplies) to organizations dedicated to book preservation.

The University Of Rochester-General Collections Book Repair Manual

American Institute for Conservation

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services-Preserving Your Memories

Brodart-Cleaning Supplies

Highsmith-Book Care & Repair