Insitu stain removal from bound volumes
Over the last two decades I have been involved with a number of large flood recovery projects, involving the removal of water staining from historic volumes. To save on the unnecessary time and expense of disbinding the damaged volumes in order to work on the stained folios, I developed a method of removing the stains insitu – whilst the book remained bound. In this way I have removed and reduced the waterstains from many hundreds of bound volumes.
Using very hot water applied using a large brush, water is flooded onto the stained area, with blotting paper below to pull the water through the stain. The stain is released and absorbed into the blotting paper, which is changed regularly. When the stain is removed blotting paper is used to dry the treated area.
To treat a damaged folio can take anywhere between five and 30 minutes, depending on it’s size and intensity. It is usually easier, and more successful, to remove a stain from the foredge of a book rather than in the gutter; access is more difficult here, and it’s is harder to remove the water.
Fresh stains are usually easier to treat than old ones, and it should be possible to completely remove a new water stain.