How to Get Rid of Water Damage to Books

Use white absorbent paper in place of paper towel to remove moisture.
Use white absorbent paper in place of paper towel to remove moisture. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

After the flood waters recede homeowners are left with the task of restoring or trashing their belongings, including books. Books that are not removed from standing water and allowed to dry out properly will become the ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. Improper drying techniques will also cause permanent damage to your favorite novel or the family’s Bible. Restore your water damaged books without the need for special equipment or professional intervention.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen sponge
  • Towel
  • Paper towel
  • Weight

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Remove the books immediately from the standing water. If the water was dirty or soiled, gently rinse the books with cool tap water and wipe away any dirt, grime or debris with a kitchen sponge.

Lay the book on its side on a towel and carefully lift the cover. Set a piece of paper towel between the cover and the first page.

Separate the book every 15 to 20 pages and insert a single sheet of paper towel. Lift the pages carefully to prevent ripping or damage to the binding.

Allow the book to remain on the towel in a cool, dry place. Monitor the book and replace the paper towels when they become soaked.

Set a weight on top of the book once it is completely dry and becomes cool to the touch. The weight will help remove any remaining water and prevent the pages from curling.


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