How to: Get the Musty Smell out of Old, Vintage Books.

Learn this simple DIY trick for getting the musty smell out of old vintage books. It is a simple and easy trick, using just baking soda, that will have your vintage books back in great shape and ready for display on your bookshelf.

I love collecting old treasures to add to our shop, and to add to my own personal collection. Sourcing vintage goods is the fun part, but once I get them home it usually takes a few tricks and a little time to get the items back in good shape. One of my favorite vintage goods to source is old books, but I was finding it really hard to rid them of that old musty smell that they had been collecting over the years. Many times they’ve been sitting in a box, basement or bookshelf, tucked away for years in an old home and are in need of a little refreshing.

I did a little research and talked to a few folks at my local antique shops and learned a few tricks to help with this problem. After testing a few methods out I found that the trick was done with just one simple thing: baking soda.

All you’ll need is a box of baking soda, a deep pan and an airtight container. Just pour the baking soda over the cover and in between pages of the book. Make sure the book is pretty saturated with the baking soda. I put the book into a deep container so that the baking soda is easy to clean up.

Once the book is full covered place it in an airtight container and store it overnight for 1-2 days. Allowing it to see will allow the soda to absorb all those random aromas, much like that box you have in your refrigerator for the very same reason. Once the book sits, simply remove it and shake it out gently and fully to get all of the baking soda off. This is more of a tactic for “any old book” rather than an extremely valuable or rare vintage book (for this I’d consult with an expert and review the book in person or over photos with them if possible to ensure no damage occurs which may devalue the book). Otherwise, after this, you should be good to go and your vintage books should be ready to display and smelling a little more fresh than before.

I hope you found this little How To helpful, and will try it out on some of your treasured old books. I’d love to know any other tricks you have for bringing vintage goods back to life. Let me know in the comments below!

PIN IT :


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about my favorite made-from-scratch recipes, creating traditions with your familyfarmhouse home decor, effortless entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, tips on gardening creating a timeless capsule wardrobe, and small town + historic travel. Our product designs feature a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of apronstable linenshand-poured candles and keepsake gifts. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

Join our Newsletter

Join our Newsletter

[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false"]

Leave a Comment