[Michlib-l] Cleaning books from a smoke- and soot-damaged home

Driedger, Kevin (MDE) DriedgerK at michigan.gov
Mon Feb 2 07:37:39 EST 2015


My understanding of using ozone to deoderize books and other materials is that the treated books are entirely safe for people. The only concern is that this treatment will likely speed up the rate at which the organic material - paper, leather, etc. - decays. This won't likely be a concern for things you anticipate aren't going to be on your shelves for longer than 20 years, but it is something to be aware of.

As far as I'm aware there are no real strong alternatives for removing smoke odor. There are other techniques which will likely involve more time and energy which, although they don't pose the challenges of ozone, yield mixed results.?


Kevin Driedger
Librarian for Conservation and Digitization
Library of Michigan
702 W. Kalamazoo
P.O. Box 30007
Lansing, MI 48909
driedgerk at michigan.gov
From: michlib-l-bounces at mcls.org <michlib-l-bounces at mcls.org> on behalf of Jessica Schmidt <jschmidt at chelseadistrictlibrary.org>
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2015 11:17 AM
To: michlib-l at mcls.org
Subject: [Michlib-l] Cleaning books from a smoke- and soot-damaged home

I'm hoping that someone out there has some advice we can pass along to a patron whose home caught fire recently. She has many books that were not damaged in the fire but do smell strongly of smoke, and the insurance company recommended that she have them cleaned using an ozone process. (I believe this is similar to how professional detailers remove smoke smells from cars.)

The patron is looking to donate the books after they've been cleaned but wants to make sure that this process isn't dangerous for those who would receive the books. Has anyone used ozone to clean books-- or know of a better/safer alternative method?

Thank you,

Jessica Schmidt
Youth & Teen Services Librarian | Chelsea District Library
221 S. Main St., Chelsea, MI 48118
(734) 475-8732 ext. 208 | jschmidt at chelseadistrictlibrary.org<mailto:jschmidt at chelseadistrictlibrary.org>
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