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Re: [BKARTS] cleaning mold



Hi Scott

One year ago I had the opportunity to visit a nuclear reactor which is used for scientific purpose. They are specialized also in irradiate wooden objects with microbiological contaminants.
In some rare cases it also has been used to irratiate books. Not very often but sometimes it is being done. The irradiation also helps to separate layers of paper stuck together because of a strong mold damage. But irradiation also damages the paper. It is no visible damage, but the fibers in the paper are shortened by the irradiation.


Greetings

Florian.

Scott Coutts schrieb:
As a microbiologist, I can tell you that there's no one (commonly available) thing that will kill *all* fungi, other than harsh chemicals that will damage the book. I'd say your best bet is an alcohol based substance used at no less than 70%v/v alcohol content in water. You can use isopropanol (2-propanol) like others have suggested, and a pharmacist should be able to sell 100% 2-propanol to you. Otherwise, those pre-packaged medical wipes/swabs that are used for disinfection of wounds and injection sites are soaked in isopropanol as well, but they may not be 'wet' enough to be useful to you. They should not be scented. It doesn't have to be isopropanol either - you could equally well use ethanol which you can obtain in the from pharmacists and also in the form of 'polish spirit'. Vodka or any other spirits are all ethanol based as well, but I would not use them because they contain other ingredients (that give flavour) as well as a proportion of sugar etc. They'll often leave stains on light coloured materials. Also, 'methylated spirits' or 'metho' (as it's sold in Australia) is alcohol based, but it often contains poisonous components, so you should be careful with it.

As a matter of interest... does anyone know if book conservators ever use irradiation as a means of destruction of microbial contaminants of books?

Scott.

Carol Pratt wrote:
Probably. People will try almost anything.

Most of the chemicals that have been suggested have too many unknowns about them. One wants to be very careful about contaminants. Vodka, for example, is not just pure reagent ethanol. There will be some "other" things in there. Ditto household cleaning agents. Some chemicals (common bleach is a good example) are just not good things to use for anything, except maybe for regular laundry. And it can be really bad for that, if improperly used.

I used reagent grade isopropyl for most applications. While not very expensive, it isn't necessarily on everyone's cleaning shelf. For cleaning tape off printing type, it probably isn't going to be very serious if the cleaning chemical isn't "pure", unless the type is part of a museum collect, etc. Nevertheless, for leather one would want to be careful.

Bill Minter is right that mold is not to be treated casually. Cleaning the surface with a HEPA vacuum first to remove loose spores would be a good thing to do. However, most people do not own the protective gear, respirator and/or fume hood that a conservator would also use along with the vacuum. But then most people also don't deal with the stuff as often as a conservator does.

Your contact has already wiped off the surface, so that part is pretty much moot. The issue now is cleaning.

Carol Pratt
Co. Kerry, Ireland

------

On Jan 27, 2008, at 1:32 AM, jgodsey wrote:

thanks muchly folks
i wonder if anyone has tried vodka on mold?

joyce



Carol Pratt wrote:
I have used isopropyl alcohol or (on some surfaces) plain rubbing alcohol to kill molds. An engineer who worked for an agency recovery in Florida recommended it in an AIC workshop some years ago. He said that the water in rubbing alcohol would swell the mold spores and the isopropyl alcohol could then enter and destroy the spores. I don't remember that any controlled testing had been done on this, but the company routinely had to test for spore concentrations after cleanup.

However, in my studio I kept plain Isopropyl for the purpose, and it will do minimal damage to the leather. Rubbing alcohol, which contains 30% water, would not be advised for old leather. Isopropyl doesn't seem to damage gilding or tooling, and it's a solvent for Klucel, after all, which is applied as consolidant to leather.

I don't think chlorine bleach will kill all molds. More likely to seriously damage whatever it's applied to. Don't like the idea of lysol, either.

Carol Pratt
Co. Kerry, Ireland

-------


On Jan 26, 2008, at 6:23 PM, jgodsey wrote:


i got this in my inbox this morning and before i answer
I figure i should toss it out to the troops and see if i forgot anything.


thanks


>
My wife and I inherited a wonderful collection of classic leather bound books from her father. The are an incredible collection of classics like Moby dick and Last of the Mohicans books I love now more than when I read them years ago. They were stored in cardboard boxes in my mother in laws basement for many years. Unfortunately, at one point in time the basement flooded and although the books did not suffer direct water damage, the increased levels of humidity allowed mold to begin growing on the surface of the leather bindings. The books themselves, aside form small amount of mold, are in most excellent condition. I have surface wiped most of the mold away and what appears to remain may just be imbedded mold or staining from either the mold or its byproducts. In either case I am a bit wary of using and cleaners harsh enough to fully destroy the mold (like diluted bleach, lysol, or alcohol) for fear of further damaging either the leather or the gold guilding. I would like to kill all the mold, if possible, before I use one of your leather cleaning/preserving products. Please let me know what you think. Thank you very much.
>


--
j. godsey
www.sicpress.com  - Book repair and cleaning supplies

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