Tips on Cleaning Used Books

Books/Literature/Writing - General

By: nwgirl     05-Dec-2010

Introduction:

Whether you're selling used books online or maintaining your own personal book collection, you can clean your used books to remove stickers, sticker residue and any scuffs or marks.

Remove Stickers

When cleaning used books, I remove all stickers first; check both front and back covers. Goo Gone is my first weapon of choice when I'm trying to remove sticky adhesive, but a little goes a long way. Only use it on shiny book covers that have that thin plastic coating; Goo Gone will ruin any paper-only book covers. Lighter fluid is a long-time favorite of many book dealers for removing sticky residue on books. It works, but use it sparingly.

Wipe Down With Damp Rag

I always wipe down books with a damp rag once the price stickers are removed. Again, I only use a damp rag on shiny book covers that won't be damaged by doing this. Wiping down a book cover with a damp rag removes any fingerprints or dirt or anything that has attached itself to the book cover.

Use a White Eraser

White erasers are great for cleaning books and are easier on book pages than the pink erasers many of us are familiar with. I use the white erasers to remove any penciled in prices or names written inside the front cover and any notes throughout the book. If there are notes in pencil on only a few pages, it's worth it to remove them, but I don't spend the time removing notes written throughout the entire book. White erasers also work well on the outside covers of books that are only paper and do not have that thin plastic coating; use the eraser on these covers to remove any scuffs or dirt.

Use Sandpaper

What?! Use sandpaper on books? Yes, very carefully and only on the edges of the pages. To remove marks or scuffs or whatever is on the edges of the book pages, here is what I do: hold the pages of the book very tightly with one hand, but do not include the book covers because sanding the cover edges will make them frayed and ruined. With a very fine grit of sandpaper, gently sand the soiled or scuffed areas of the page edges. Huge tip: run the sandpaper in only one direction, lift off the page edges and do it again going in the same direction. If you go back and forth, you may cause the edges to tear. Book pages aren't always very strong, so be careful doing this.

Apply Glue

A small bottle of acid-free glue is an essential tool in my home-made book repair kit. It doesn't clean anything, but it is the last step in cleaning up books. I use it very sparingly to dot on the corner of a paperback book cover that is starting to split or to tack down a small piece on the spine that is starting to tear and peel away. Use less that you think you'll need because you can always add more, but if you use too much, it's hard to clean it up without getting it all over the book.




Final Thoughts

When in doubt of a book cleaning method, try it on a less valuable book first to avoid damaging a unique and valuable book in your collection.


Supporting Links






Comments


Post A Comment

Post this comment to my Facebook Profile




Need a Top Five List Idea?

select one here...

  • The Top Five Items you Can’t Live Without
  • The Top Five Holidays
  • The Top Five Creative Ways to Announce a Pregna ...
  • The Top Five Ways to Find Cheap Flights Online
  • The Top Five Reasons Smoking is Bad
  • The Top Five Home Air Purifiers
  • The Top Five Most Influential Sports Figures
  • The Top Five Google Apps
  • The Top Five Websites for Photographers
  • The Top Five Things you Should Not do in an Int ...
  • The Top Five Books for the Kindle
  • The Top Five Educational Websites for Kids
  • The Top Five Places to Find Crazy Video Clips O ...
  • The Top Five Ways to Get a Grant
  • The Top Five Safest Cities in America
  • The Top Five Items you Never want to Lose
  • The Top Five Websites for Artists
  • The Top Five Outdoor Activities
  • The Top Five Foods for Diabetics
  • The Top Five Ways to Save Money
  • The Top Five Youtube Videos for 2010 
  • The Top Five Things I've Learned from Brittany ...
  • The Top Five Sources for Vitamin D
  • The Top Five Smart Phones of the Year
  • The Top Five Ways to Improve your Health
  • The Top Five Sporting Events
  • The Top Five Steps to Internet Security
  • The Top Five Golfing Tips
  • The Top Five California Landmarks
  • The Top Five Simple Smart Phones
  • The Top Five Chicken Recipes
  • The Top Five Ways to Update your Home Without S ...
  • The Top Five Xbox 360 Games
  • The Top Five NFL Football Stadiums With A Dome
  • The Top Five Ways to Build Muscle
  • The Top Five Places to Find a Job
  • The Top Five Professions
  • The Top Five Ways to Earn Money as a College St ...
  • The Top Five Ways to Relieve Stress
  • The Top Five Websites for Discount Vacation Pac ...
  • The Top Five People you Would Want to Meet
  • The Top Five Most Hated Celebrities
  • The Top Five HDTV brands
  • The Top Five Healthy Recipes
  • The Top Five Foods That Help you Lose Weight
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Potty Train Your P ...
  • The Top Five Pets you Should Own
  • The Top Five Things to See in Dallas Texas
  • The Top Five Fast Food Restaurants
  • The Top Five Superheroes
  • The Top Five Healthiest Choices for Breakfast 
  • The Top Five Facts About the Sun
  • The Top Five Candle Scents for Summer Time
  • The Top Five Funniest Movies Ever
  • The Top Five States to Live In
  • The Top Five Prom Dresses
  • The Top Five Planets in the Solar System
  • The Top Five Video Games
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Avoid Credit Card ...
  • The Top Five Websites for Music
  • The Top Five Five Music Genres
  • The Top Five Country Singers of All Time
  • The Top Five Ways to Get a Phone Number
  • The Top Five Commercials
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Save Money
  • The Top Five Movies With a Twist
  • The Top Five Funniest Websites
  • The Top Five Job Opportunities for People With ...
  • The Top Five Causes of Road Rage
  • The Top Five Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes
  • The Top Five Hair Removal Options
  • The Top Five Paint Colors for a Home
  • The Top Five Pasta Recipes for Kids
  • The Top Five Tips on How to Make Money Online
  • The Top Five Unhealthy Foods for Dogs 
  • The Top Five Healthy Meals For Under 5 Dollars
  • The Top Five Tips for New Parents
  • The Top Five Talk Shows on TV
  • The Top Five Rules for a Strong Relationship
  • The Top Five Five Smart Phones
  • The Top Five Teeth Whitening Tips
  • The Top Five Reasons to Vote During Elections
  • The Top Five Helpful Hints to Get Pregnant 
  • The Top Five Ideas for Anniversary Gifts
  • The Top Five Financial Mistakes People Make
  • The Top Five Movies of 2010
  • The Top Five Stresses of Home Ownership
  • The Top Five Clues for Crossword Puzzles
  • The Top Five Car Seat Safety Tips
  • The Top Five Nascar Drivers
  • The Top Five Makeup Tips for Teens
  • The Top Five Luxury Cars
  • The Top Five Most Influential Speeches
  • The Top Five Creative Ways to Ask a Girl to Hom ...
  • The Top Five Places to See in the World
  • The Top Five Must See Events in Las Vegas
  • The Top Five Tax Mistakes People Commonly Make
  • The Top Five Carpet Cleaning Tips
  • The Top Five Cell Phones Under 50 Dollars
  • The Top Five Places for Kids Birthday Parties
  • The Top Five Clothing Lines for Modest Clothes 
  • The Top Five Nuts that go in Salad
  • The Top Five Free Places for Veterans to Eat 
  • The Top Five Card Games for Four Players
  • The Top Five Places to get a Free Credit Report ...
  • The Top Five Vitamins for Hair Growth
  • The Top Five Wedding Gowns
  • The Top Five Diet Pills
  • The Top Five Songs About Love
  • The Top Five Ways to Stay in Shape
  • The Top Five Ways to Keep your Lawn Green
  • The Top Five Tips for Newlyweds
  • The Top Five Pasta Recipes
  • The Top Five Dog Breeds for Kids
  • The Top Five Michael Jackson Songs
  • The Top Five Things to do at Disneyland
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Make a Website
  • The Top Five Vacation Spots
  • The Top Five TV Shows of All Time
  • The Top Five Hair Products Women Must Have
  • The Top Five Presidents of the United States
  • The Top Five Mistakes Parents Make With Kids
  • The Top Five Tips for Healthy Blood Pressure
  • The Top Five New York Hotels
  • The Top Five Foods For an Upset Stomach 
  • The Top Five Car Maintenance Checklist
  • The Top Five Online Flower Delivery Companies
  • The Top Five Places to Find Cheap Books
  • The Top Five Business Marketing Tips
  • The Top Five Ways to Earn Money Online
  • The Top Five Places to get French Fries
  • The Top Five Foods to Avoid when Trying to Lose ...
  • The Top Five Career Moves for Teachers
  • The Top Five 4th of July Party Ideas
  • The Top Five Movies of All Time
  • The Top Five Online Social Networks
  • The Top Five Attractions in the USA
  • The Top Five Gaming Consoles
  • The Top Five Budget Mistakes Most People Make
  • The Top Five Places to Mountain Bike
  • The Top Five Candle Scents for Winter 
  • The Top Five Inventions That Changed the World 
  • The Top Five Universities for MBA
  • The Top Five Healthiest Fruits
  • The Top Five Book Series for Young Adults
  • The Top Five Reasons you Should Play Fantasy Fo ...
  • The Top Five Motivational Speakers
  • The Top Five Tips for Planting a Garden
  • The Top Five iPhone Apps
  • The Top Five Ways to Keep Track of Spending
  • The Top Five Quotes From the Movie Elf
  • The Top Five Places to Buy Electronics
  • The Top Five Cartoons for Toddlers
  • The Top Five Signs that You are in Love
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Get a Date
  • The Top Five Ways to Get a Loan
  • The Top Five Spyware Removal Systems
  • The Top Five Candy Bars With Peanut Butter
  • The Top Five Most Trusted Cars
  • The Top Five Things to do Before your 60 Years ...
  • The Top Five Books to Read This Year
  • The Top Five Computers for College Students
  • The Top Five Jewelry Stores
  • The Top Five Websites for Kids
  • The Top Five Ways to Keep Unwanted Pests Out of ...
  • The Top Five Reasons For Leaving a Job
  • The Top Five Ways to Workout your Upper Body
  • The Top Five Reasons to Invest in Running Shoes
  • The Top Five Soft Drinks
  • The Top Five Board Games for Groups
  • The Top Five Designer Handbags
  • The Top Five Advice for New Moms
  • The Top Five Photo Editing Websites
  • The Top Five Wedding Favors
  • The Top Five Ways to Invest in Real Estate
  • The Top Five Knock Knock Jokes
  • The Top Five Health Insurance Companies
  • The Top Five Online Gaming Sites
  • The Top Five Bedroom Decorating Ideas
  • The Top Five Schools for Business Management
  • The Top Five Songs About Texas
  • The Top Five Reason to Rent
  • The Top Five Quotes to Live by
  • The Top Five Days During the Year
  • The Top Five Ways to Improve your Resume
  • The Top Five Funniest Movies For Kids
  • The Top Five Places to Retire
  • The Top Five Harry Potter Movies
  • The Top Five Restaurants
  • The Top Five Greatest NBA Players of All Time
  • The Top Five Home Improvement Tips for Selling ...
  • The Top Five Wedding Websites
  • The Top Five Xbox 360 Kinect Games for Exercise
  • The Top Five Auto Insurance Companies
  • The Top Five Places for Discount Furniture Onli ...
  • The Top Five Shampoos
  • The Top Five Places to Live
  • The Top Five Walt Disney Movies
  • The Top Five Ways to Cope With Stress
  • The Top Five Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer
  • The Top Five Ways to Turn Down a Job Offer
  • The Top Five Cities to Live in
  • The Top Five Designer Shoe Brands for Women
  • The Top Five Hair Products
  • The Top Five PGA Golfers
  • The Top Five Funniest People
  • The Top Five Skills Needed for a Career in IT
  • The Top Five Dessert Recipes
  • The Top Five Ways to Avoid Unemployment
  • The Top Five Steps to Home Security
  • The Top Five Places to Get a Student Loan
  • The Top Five Healthiest Snacks
  • The Top Five Tips for New Businesses
  • The Top Five Bealtes Songs beatles songs Writte ...
  • The Top Five Overseas Bed and Breakfast Stops
  • The Top Five Baby Bags for Moms
  • The Top Five Funniest Jokes
  • The Top Five Tips for Staying Positive
  • The Top Five Wedding Themes
  • The Top Five Ways to Stop Smoking