Ask Annissa: How Do I Clean and Deodorize Fire-Damaged Books? (With Video)
When it comes to cleaning books, it actually looks way scarier than it really is.
There is a 3-step process that I use to clean and deodorize books. First, you will want to HEPA vacuum the exterior of the book to remove the bulk of dirt and soot.
Then, you can use a chemical sponge to wipe all surface areas of the book and its cover (if it has one). This will not only remove soot, dirt and some staining, but it will also deodorize as well.
The final step would be to set up your book(s) in a hydroxyl room and leave it for about 24 hours to remove any odor that may still be lingering.
I want to mention here that cleaning antique books or books of high value are handled just a little bit differently than your average every day book. But that is a topic for another day.
Pictures and books are cleaned in the same way. Here is a video to show you step-by-step how to properly complete this cleaning process.