Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
}<-('o')-
Joined
·
9,895 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We found out the hard way that our new garage floor is not level causing melted snow to pool in a buried corner, damaging sheetrock and a few boxes that shouldn't have been, but were on the floor. This dirty, probably road salty water has soaked through a couple boxes of good books and sheet music...and then froze, creating bloated booksicles.

I know I can't save them all, but I would like to help as many favorites be usable again. As water runs out the pages as they thaw, I'm trying to finesse the pages apart, but some are tearing or disintegrating. Should I leave them to dry naturally? Get the hair dryer out? Just chuck the lot of them?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Attachments

·
Resident Hijacker
Joined
·
8,758 Posts
As a booklover, I find this heart-breaking.

I'd let them dry on their own and then see if you can pull the pages apart then to make them useable... the wet paper is too delicate. They will be wavy though... I've had books get wet (though not soaked like this) and they don't dry straight and flat.
 

·
Palindromic Pooch
Joined
·
10,621 Posts
I could give you my copy of "The Golden Encyclopedia of Music," but it's damaged, too. It was chewed by a rabbit, and is missing a corner.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,014 Posts
Perhaps the lowest possible setting on your oven?

I would leave them flat, the better to take that ripple out.

It may take some time, but if you have enough racks, and a convection oven, you could really load it up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
566 Posts
Microwave & brick?

I have heard that a microwave and a brick on some books will help it to dry out and flatten out - make sure there is no metal in the binding (or paperclips/metal bookmarks within the pages)

Microwave Drying of Water Soaked Booksf

I believe the authors of that paper are using an industrial oven.

But there are other links here that do not recommend it -

Google search - books drying microwave

I have done this carefully with one or two soaked books over the years with "ok" results - some improvement, but not complete recovery.

Good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,014 Posts
Interesting, but super-heating the water molecules in the paper might not be such a good idea.

The water got in there slowly, by osmosis, and I think that slowly is the way to get it out.

The Sun method is certainly the slowest of the slow. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,588 Posts
Heavy pressure on the books and slow drying.
 

·
}<-('o')-
Joined
·
9,895 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Perhaps the lowest possible setting on your oven?

I would leave them flat, the better to take that ripple out.

It may take some time, but if you have enough racks, and a convection oven, you could really load it up.
I have heard that a microwave and a brick on some books will help it to dry out and flatten out - make sure there is no metal in the binding (or paperclips/metal bookmarks within the pages)

Microwave Drying of Water Soaked Booksf

I believe the authors of that paper are using an industrial oven.

But there are other links here that do not recommend it -

Google search - books drying microwave

I have done this carefully with one or two soaked books over the years with "ok" results - some improvement, but not complete recovery.

Good luck!
I need to mention here that none of them are accounting or recipe books.

Thanks for the suggestions and advice everyone - I am trying a number of them - we'll see what happens.
 

·
}<-('o')-
Joined
·
9,895 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: Most books I attempted to save have dried, but some are amazingly still a bit damp.

I would say I was mainly successful in my rescue attempts, but my goal was to render them useful again, not caring as much whether they were as pretty as their prior dry forms.

It's hard to be conclusive on the best method, because no two books were alike, but I think the microwave may have been somewhat damaging, especially for the binding.

I also surmise that in the case of books with heavy ink/imaging (say photography and art) that it was best to peel the pages apart while damp. Some pages like that missing that treatment are now inextricably glued together. I may rewet them, just to see if they'll give me a second chance to pull them apart.

Two methods not mentioned above, that I thought of later were to use the drying rack in the clothes dryer and the warming tray under my stove. Low heat, good air circulation...but the books in the ovens could have used a bit more seasoning.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top