No dirty books, please!
May 11, 2021 10:25 AM   Subscribe

What’s the best way to effectively dust/clean a lot of books that are visibly dusty and have been on bookshelves for a very long time—without damaging the aforementioned books?
posted by bookmammal to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I use a soft brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to dust the tops of the books, which is the part that collects the most crud. The spines can usually just be wiped with a cloth.
posted by pipeski at 10:30 AM on May 11, 2021 [4 favorites]

I usually go in above the dusty items with the crevice tool first to get cobwebs and any dust loose enough to be captured by suction. Then the brush attachment, or sometimes a feather duster (or swiffer duster, or Webster duster) in one hand and the crevice tool in the other to go right behind it and capture what gets lifted up. I really like dry Swiffer (or knockoff) cloths for wiping things down like the covers/spines where you shouldn't use a wet cleaner, as it seems to grip a little harder than a cloth or paper towel.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:37 AM on May 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you G//gle "British library bookcleaning" you will find this guide that covers normal cleaning of books, among other items.
posted by Glomar response at 5:41 PM on May 11, 2021

Swiffer sheets? (The dry ones, of course)
posted by kschang at 7:18 PM on May 11, 2021

Whatever implement you choose, use a motion from the spine outward. Otherwise you risk pushing dirt into the spine.
posted by Comet Bug at 7:42 PM on May 11, 2021

Museums often use standard paintbrushes for this.
posted by mani at 3:49 AM on May 12, 2021

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