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How to best dry out a sopping wet book?
April 29, 2006 12:09 PM   Subscribe

What's the best method for drying out wet books?

I spilled water all over my textbook - is there a good method for drying it out that will reduce those annoying crinkley pages?
posted by irregardless to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This is the first hit with a google search for "dry a wet book." The info is very detailed.
posted by wryly at 12:13 PM on April 29, 2006


I've always heard it's better to freeze it and let the water sublime out. I've never tested this, though, and I suspect it would only work for smaller amounts of water.
posted by raf at 12:20 PM on April 29, 2006


there's always a trip to the used textbook store to trade it in for a used-but-dry copy...
posted by ab3 at 12:49 PM on April 29, 2006


I had this happen to me recently with a library book. First I dried it off and pressed it overnight under a huge stack of phone books to flatten it out some, then I microwaved it. I don't have anywhere warm and dry to put it ('tis autumn and very muggy here now) so air drying is impossible, and this was the only way I could think of. It worked though.

I microwaved it at medium power in short bursts (about 20 seconds). This way the plastic on the cover didn't melt and the pages didn't get a chance to crinkle up. Between bursts I took it out and let it steam, then opened it at a different wet spot and zapped it again. Occasionally I smoothed everything out and left it until it stopped steaming in an attempt to stop it heating up too much. It doesn't take much heat to make the pages steam and making it too hot seemed dangerous (and increased crinkleness). When it was about 98% dry I put it back under the phone books overnight, so it would cool down and set flat again while it finished drying out.

The book ended up fine. A little less pristine-looking than when I got it but perfectly readable and certainly able to be taken back to the library without comment.
posted by shelleycat at 3:40 PM on April 29, 2006


Good links in a previous AskMe about wet books, and in another involving beer.
posted by mediareport at 9:19 PM on April 29, 2006


I've always heard it's better to freeze it and let the water sublime out. I've never tested this, though, and I suspect it would only work for smaller amounts of water.

You would have to freeze it, then raise its temperature under many atmospheres of pressure for the water to actually sublimate.
posted by scarabic at 2:14 PM on April 30, 2006


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