Is it possible to remove the musty smell from old papers and pictures?

by Kathyvaczi
I'm hoping to finally scrapbook papers and pictures from years-gone-by... but I don't want to ruin the project with a lingering musty smell. I'm planning to make copies of fragile yellow news clippings and research a way to restore photos.
  4 answers
  • Teena Mevec Teena Mevec on Mar 22, 2015
    Put them in a new clean box and add charcoal...You can get a bag of it for the grill and pulverize with a hammer and put in an old sock and rubber band it. The charcoal will absorb the smell. Close the box up and let sit a week or so. You can also get charcoal at the pet store...just depends on how much money you want to spend.
    • Kathyvaczi Kathyvaczi on Mar 22, 2015
      @Teena Mevec Great idea...wouldn't have thought to pulverize it...Thank you.
  • Pat G Pat G on Mar 22, 2015
    Airing them helps. Not in direct sun. Save the originals. I find that color copies of old things look great! You could use the copies in your scrapbook, and save the originals in and acid free box.
    • Kathyvaczi Kathyvaczi on Mar 22, 2015
      @ @Pat G Anxious to start scrapbooking again. Can't bear to lose the items my mother saved (long before 'acid free' boxes. Thank you for the reminder.
  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Mar 22, 2015
    If you make copies of the old paper clippings which is a good idea, be sure and use acid free copy paper. It will cost more but won't yellow and fall apart like regular paper. Your big box stores like Staples should have this type of paper. There is a process for newspaper clippings to leach out the acid but, if you copy them, you don't have to worry about it.
    • See 1 previous
    • Kathyvaczi Kathyvaczi on Mar 22, 2015
      How complicated is the process you mentioned?
  • Terry Terry on Mar 22, 2015
    I know someone who would put the old books he bought in a plastic bag and placed in the freezer for a few days. Said it removed the musty smell. Good luck