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Subject: Dry cleaning sponge

Dry cleaning sponge

From: Miriam Kahn <mbkcons>
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 1999
Margit J. Smith <mjps [at] acusd__edu> writes

>Recently the representative of a duct-cleaning company visited us to
>give an estimate on the cleaning cost for our ducting.
>Before he left he showed me how to clean much of the mold on our
>books with a "Dry cleaning sponge" which he said was not treated
>with any chemicals, did not damage the covers, and did not introduce
>any foreign substance into the books.
>Do any of you use these sponges, and if so, what is your experience
>with them. Are they effective beyond just a quick fix? Since most of
>the wet methods of fighting mold also do not necessarily prevent
>mold from reappearing, is this sponge a viable alternative?

The advice from the duct cleaning company is fairly sound.  The
sponges are made from pure rubber, so there are no chemicals in
them.  They should last a long time.  However, when they get dirty,
I suggest cutting off the dirty edges and just continuing with your
cleaning/mold removal project.  It takes a *very* long time for the
sponges to dry if you get them wet.  In fact the disaster response
companies I work with recommend never getting them wet.  I've used
the sponges in cleaning and mold removal projects and they always
work well.

As regards using them for cleaning, the best procedure is to first
determine that the items are dry.  If the books or items are moldy,
be certain to dry them first or you'll smear the mold into the
surface and never get it out.  Next, using a hepa-filter on your
vacuum, vacuum the edges, covers and endsheets of the books to
remove any loose surface mold.  Then use the dry sponges cleaning
the edges, covers and endsheets.  That should remove all the surface

It is important to remember that the mold never truly goes away, so
you'll have to keep an eye on the environment or you'll get another
mold outbreak.

Don't forget to use appropriate health protection when handling
mold. Use a respirator when handling a lot of mold, wear washable or
disposable clothes, and remove them when done with the project or
when walking around your institution.  Work in a well ventilated
area, where the mold won't go back into your air handling system.
Anyone with immune deficiency problems should not be working on your
mold removal project.

You can purchase the dry cleaning sponges from library supply
catalogs that carry archival supplies, or from a cleaning supply

Miriam Kahn, MLS - Preservation/Disaster Response Consultant
MBK Consulting
60 N. Harding Road
Columbus, OH  43209-1524
Fax: 614-239-0599

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:89
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 20, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-89-003
Received on Wednesday, 19 May, 1999

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