How do I get mildew smell/mildew out of paper?
August 13, 2013 12:18 PM Subscribe
Our firesafe and everything in it smells like mildew. I'm not exactly sure why, I'm not seeing visible signs of mold. But I know a few older documents went in there smelling musty. It's gross, and many of the documents are important stuff that would be difficult/expensive and in some cases impossible to replace. So what can I do?
posted by [insert clever name here] to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The papers feel ever so slightly damp. Right now I've hung the papers outside hoping they will air out/dry out. (Of course once I did that, it's looking like scary rain clouds are hovering. I swear it was bright sun when I started.) I'm going to toss the folders, and bleach the inside surface of the fire safe. What else is there? I was reading Lysol does a good job of killing mildew and mold, and was thinking of spraying the individual sheets but I don't know if that's just a terrible idea.
Also, any suggestions for multiple page documents; ones that can't be easily separated? I've placed pieces of normal paper between them for right now. I read you can do this with books that are musty.
I've also tried putting a dryer sheet in there before I tried drying everything out. I had it in there a couple months, but all it did was make the firesafe smell musty AND perfumey.
Going forward, what is the best way to keep everything dry? Desiccation silica packs? Something else? (And where does one find desiccation packs at locals stores? Or is it an internet order thing?)
There wasn't any event that caused everything to get damp, but I think a combination of putting some musty papers in there originally, combined with being in the basement and occasional opening must have meant trapped moisture.