Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Getting the musty odor out of old photos and documents

We've all been there - we've discovered faded photographs and documents in a basement, attic or storage facility. You immediately recognize the smell.

Today, this blog is turned over to readers to offer their tips. What are some effective and harmless ways to get rid of that odor?

Please share your experiences and comments below.


  1. Maybe it's just me - but that musty smell brings back good memories! My grandmother's basement had that smell. :-)

  2. When I sold out-of-print and first edition books, I would put really nasty books in a plastic storage tub with one or two clothes dryer sheets and leave them closed up for a week or more. I've even put the sheets in between the pages of books. You want to use the ones that look like thin paper and not the sponge type. Any fragrance will work but something that is pleasing to you is best.

    I can't see why you couldn't do the same thing with photos or documents. I think I would put clean copy paper next to the item to protect it, just in case. I've never damaged a book using this method. Might be worth a try.

  3. Here's another idea: close them up in a plastic tub buried in kitty litter. Not any fancy kitty litter with deodorant, just plain crushed clay kitty litter. After two weeks the smell will be absorbed, longer if its really icky...