Conservation Tips | Simple way to clean antique books


Antique books | why clean?

Often the hygiene of antique books is devalued because it is a type of treatment whose results are not easily visible.

Let’s look at one of the simplest methods of cleaning antique books from an excerpt from the course Preservation of books and documents, of Geraldine Garcia and Diana Bencatel.

Contains a video tutorial

However, dust and “dirt” are important degradation agents. Conjugated with favorable environmental conditions, they can cause destruction in all type of supports and are food for diverse organisms.

For this reason, their removal is critical to the preservation of any book or document.

It is recommended that, as regularly as possible, a job of cleaning all the volumes to be preserved should be carried out.

This type of intervention helps to remove harmful particles from the surface, such as dust, fungi, and insect debris, which may otherwise get entangled in the materials.

Methods of hygiene for antique books

The methods of hygiene used should be chosen according to the state of conservation of the book or document.

It is recommended that dry cleaning should be done whenever possible, as it is safer for the material to be treated.

Wet cleaning should only be carried out by specialized technicians and only in cases where dry cleaning is not successful, because the paper is more susceptible to damage.

There is a great variety of materials and equipment to carry out the hygiene of books and documents available in the market.

Caution: proper equipment must be selected. Take into account the integrity of the surface to be cleaned and the inks, without risk of damage.

Let’s look at a simple method that may contribute to the longevity of your antique books.

Always keep in mind:

The brush must be very soft.

The book should be handled with care.

Cleaning residues should be discarded from the work surface.

Learn more about conservation

What students say about Preservation of books and documents online course

English Preservation of books and documents