The paper conservator says:
For musty SMELL ONLY removal, try this trick on for size (look at #10):
It'll take some time, but the books/LP covers/ whatever will be completely
unharmed and unaltered.
For moldy materials with active mold (that is, spongy, and not dry and
powdery), you need to remove it from its damp, warm environment. Place in a
sealed plastic bag and place in a dry, cool environment. One quick way:
desiccant (silica gel) inside the plastic bag. Mold cannot be active in a
dry (below 60% RH), cool environment.
Freezing will work also. But Mike is right: most home freezers are no frost
and that means it might not get cold enough to render the mold dormant. But
that may be only an issue with insects, not necessarily mold. If you have a
chest freezer, that'll work. Also, sunshine does work wonders as mold does
not thrive in bright light. If you don't mind bleaching out your object.
Once dormant (dry and powdery), then vacuum off the mold spores with a
HEPA-filtered vacuum. Protect yourself with a disposable respirator so you
don't breathe in the mold spores.
If it is dry and powdery (inactive), just vacuum the mold spores with a
For more stubborn mold (inactive), use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and
cotton swabs for removal rather than Windex. Test to make sure that only
the mold comes off and nothing else. Bleach should not be used as you
cannot rinse it out which means it could bleach out your item. Oxidizing
bleaches like Clorox are especially harsh.
OK, that's my speech for the day. Good luck all and let me know if you need
Tara D. Kennedy
Preservation Field Services Librarian
Yale University Libraries
130 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
[log in to unmask]
"let me help you help your library"