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Thread: How To: Clean soiled page edges

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    Owner Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg's Avatar

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    Default How To: Clean soiled page edges

    I have achieved moderate to very good success cleaning soiled page edges using sandpaper. Here is what worked best for me:
    • Practice on a book of little value before attempting on an expensive book!
    • Remove dustjacket from book.
    • Cover book boards in construction or printer paper. You don’t want to accidentally sand and damage the board. I use bull clips to hold the paper in place on the boards.
    • Cut a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to the width of the page block. 6” in length for each piece is about right.
    • Holding the pages tightly, sand the soil/stain in one continuous stroke in one direction. You can reverse and do a stroke the other way, just don’t sand back and forth. Even stokes with pressure the full width of the page block works best. Most books a thumb is best, but larger books-The Stand, etc, require 2-3 fingers on the sandpaper.

    This works really well on dust accumulation, spot soil, finger grease and light edge stains. It does not work well on liquid stains-they usually are far into the page, nor does it work very well on mold, mildew or speckles. It also can’t be used on books with rough page edges (Pet Sematary).

    Here are a couple of examples:







    Last edited by Randall Flagg; 12-17-2014 at 07:31 AM.

  2. #2
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    What a difference!

    The edges of the pages aren't roughed up afterward?
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    No. The 220 grit sandpaper is rough enough to get the stain without damaging the page edges. Kind of like wood work. When you clear coat wood after staining, you use a fine grit to "polish" the coat.

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    Other worlds Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick has much to be proud of Patrick's Avatar

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    That makes sense. Thanks.
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    remarkable, er ah I mean wow those look great ! I have some books that need help thanks for the tip! Beautiful.

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    Yea, Iíve always heard about this practice, but Iíve never tried it. I really need to give it a try. I just noticed by UK book club Wizard & Glass looks pretty crappy on the top edge pages. It could use some work.

    thanks for the post RF!
    Geoff

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    Thanks for the advice Jerome. Personally I'd be terrified of hurting my books though. I don't know if I could bring myself to try it. You did an amazing job with yours.
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    Does this only work on hardcover books?

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    WOW..what a difference...think it would work on a "Marker" remainder?? But any ways great tip. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chooch View Post
    ...think it would work on a "Marker" remainder??
    Yes, but only to the top of the page. "felt markers" tend to seep beyond the top of the pages and in most cases (in my experience) can not be removed; only diminished.
    I could put forth a long diatribe regarding remainder marks, but alas tonight I am too tired to do so.

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    I tried this on a old book that I took a marker to..it works, but you will do alot of "excavating" meaning you will create a dip where the mark was removed. I didn't try to blend it in but I think you would be able to see the dip by looking down the pages with book closed
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    Ink, like a remainder felt pen mark tends to leech into the page. The sanding works best on oil and dirt from fingers and accumulated dust-stuff that is really on the very outermost edge of the paper.

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    Does this work on foxing? I have a Skeleton Crew that has brow spots on the page edges.

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    Not very well.

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    I have found that P600 sand paper which is usually used as a primary steep in polishing paint layers when painting a car or polishing plastic works the best. It does not change the outer texture or of the page ends and slowly removes material (harder to accidentally over do it).
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    I'm not sure if this is where this should go, but it's the best match I could find.

    As I've been cleaning, Demco-ing and packing books I've found several with this problem:



    They are from different bookcases, different rooms etc. Any ideas on what it is or how to get rid of?

    I guess slipcases would prevent it, but you can't slipcase thousands of books...

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    Looks like dirt from rubbing on the shelf. I've noticed it on larger books where the text block starts to sag. You could try a magic eraser. I've used that on a couple books and worked nicely. But if it's a deeper then surface staining try what RF suggests in post 1.

  18. #18
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    Thanks. I'll have to pick some up. I just don't think I can get myself to sand a book block...
    I'll let you know how it works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
    Thanks. I'll have to pick some up. I just don't think I can get myself to sand a book block...
    I'll let you know how it works.
    Good luck. Hopefully it's just dirt and not stain from the wood.

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    Anyone have suggestions on what eraser to use on a name and price (in pencil) in a limited edition? Should I leave it alone or try to erase it?

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    This and nothing else:


    Three bucks at Staples. I can't even tell there was a price there and I know where to look for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeDealInLead View Post
    This and nothing else:


    Three bucks at Staples. I can't even tell there was a price there and I know where to look for.
    That's amazing. One of our campus art professors said the same thing. Picked it up, used it, and can't even tell it was there.

    Thanks

    Ralph

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    So - I picked up some magic erasers (Mr. Clean). Do you really wet it first? Or is there some other magic eraser?

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    I didn't wet it. (Didn't know you were supposed to, not that I would have with a book). Mine just had light soiling and the magic eraser worked nicely for me.

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    OK. I rubbed it gently with the first one and it just crumbled. So, tried the second eraser. It stayed together but really didn't do anything. I guess it must be something different, but thanks for the idea.
    They do work really well on the stove...

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