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How To Salvage A Book Damaged By Water

One of the ways you can damage a book is by allowing it to get wet. If it happens to you, don’t worry, there are ways you can fix it.

The video below comes from the preservation experts at the Syracuse University Libraries. It lets you see with your own eyes that you can get a book that has been soaked back into shape again.

The first step if to gather the supplies. They include plenty of paper towels, a fan, flat boards, and something very heavy.

Photo: Youtube / SULPreservations

Put down a few paper towels and put the book on top, then cover the book with more paper towels. Press down on the book gently to remove any excess water on the outside. After removing as much water as possible, insert 2 fresh paper towels between the pages in the book, skipping 10 or 20 pages between paper towels but only do 1/4 of the book at a time. Gently press on the book to get out more moisture but be cautious not to open the book more than 90 degrees or you could damage the spine. Continue to do this until you are all the way through the book.

After you have removed as much water as possible from the book, prop it up carefully and use a large fan set on low to air-dry the pages. Let it in position overnight and it will be dry by the morning. Next, it is time to flatten the pages. Put the book between two boards and put heavy objects on top to press it flat. You should keep it in that position for up to 48 hours and the book should be back to good condition.

Photo: Youtube / SULPreservations

If a book becomes water-damaged and you don’t have time to fix it, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it until you are able to take care of it.

You can see the process in this video:

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