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Subject: Dust cloths

Dust cloths

From: Anne E. Downey <adowney>
Date: Monday, February 2, 2004
Carol Fink <cfink2 [at] michigan__gov> writes

>A few weeks ago, I absent-mindedly left a Chix Stretch 'n Dust cloth
>between two clamshell boxes. The next morning, they had the pattern
>of the cloth imprinted on them in an oily residue. I contacted the
>company who sent me the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for these
>cloths.  By weight they are 10-15% mineral oil.
> ...
>Can anyone put my concerns to rest about exposing books (and their
>shelves) to mineral oil?

Your best bet is to avoid the situation altogether and use untreated
cloths. My current favorite is the Pig Polishing Cloth from New Pig
<URL:>. They are disposable, cost about $.07
per cloth, have a slight texture that aids in dust pick-up, and can
be used dry, damp or wet, or with organic solvents. You will need to
work with untreated cloths a bit before you feel completely
comfortable with them, especially if you are used to the treated
variety. But I assure you that after a little experimenting, you
won't look back. And your special collections will thank you.

Anne E. Downey
Head of Conservation
The American Philosophical Society
105 S. Fifth St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3386
Fax: 215-599-8501

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:53
                Distributed: Wednesday, February 4, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-53-008
Received on Monday, 2 February, 2004

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