Book Opened In Half

How to Dry a Wet Book

If you’ve had a pipe leak or, worse still, suffered flood damage in your house, the last thing on your mind might be the little bits and bobs in your home.

However, when you get to the point of trying to salvage what you can, it’s worth having some knowledge under your belt on how to dry out some of those precious items that you can rescue. Books can hold significant memories and pride of place. On the more practical side, if you have a lot of books to replace, it can amount to a significant expense. As long as a book’s ink hasn’t bled, and it isn’t completely falling apart at the seams, you can rescue your books even if they have some water damage.

In this article, we hope to help you get some ideas on how to salvage your reading material.

How to Save a Damp Book

If a book is just a little damp, you have a good chance of saving it. Damp books are not likely to be as fragile as a completely soaked book. Here are some tips on how to deal with a damp book!

Dry Off Excess Water

You can take a cloth and dab off as much of the water as possible. Water will sit on the cover especially so that you can start there.

Stand the Book Upright

If the book is a hardcover, you should be able to stand it up vertically, and it should hold itself up on its cover to allow the pages to fall open and air dry. If it is a paperback book, you may need to use bookends or bottles to hold the covers up to keep it from falling over.

String Up Your Paperbacks

If you have a spare piece of string or a washing line, you can hang up your paperback books specifically to let them air dry. You have to roughly find the middle of the book and drape that over the line.

Fan Out the Pages

You can set your books down and let the pages naturally spread open, and air dry. With this method, make sure to check that no pages have stuck together.

Blue Book With The Pages Fanning

Flatten It Under a Weight

Once your book is dry, it will be a little wrinkly. You can either leave it this way, or if you want the book flat again, you can put it under something heavy to squash the pages. It won’t be completely perfect, but at least it will be salvaged.

How to Save a Soaking Wet Book

Books that have become completely saturated will be more delicate but, given the time and effort, there are some things you can do. Follow the tips below if your books have become sodden:

Gently Shake and Dry Off the Excess Water

The best place to start is removing at least some of the water. Be careful when doing this though, as you may cause more damage unintentionally by shaking it too hard. As best you can, gently shake and wipe down the pages and cover.

Place a Cloth or Paper Towel Between the Pages

In a further attempt to absorb the moisture, separate out the pages and put a paper towel between them. This will also hopefully go some way to preventing the pages from sticking together as they dry.

When working with really wet items, ensure any cloths or paper towels you use to help dry them don’t have any dyes in them. There is the potential that those dyes will bleed into the pages of your book.

Stand the Book Up and Leave It to Air Dry

Similar to when a book is damp, you can stand the book upright and leave the pages to dry. Obviously, a book that has been completely soaked will take a lot longer to dry, but if it is important to save the book, just leaving it to do its thing is the best move.

Check on it every now and then to ensure the pages aren’t sticking together as they dry.

Conclusion

Books may seem like a small part of the home, but in the event of a flood or disastrous pipe burst, most people like to salvage everything that they can. Replacing books given to you by family members, or those that you’ve loved since childhood is never the same as saving the originals.

The bigger issue of the water damage to your home or property is best left to the professionals. With many years of combined knowledge, All Dry USA is here to help you repair any damage caused by water and to put in measures to prevent it in the future.

Call us immediately in the event of a flood or for water damage restoration services.

Ben Suiskind
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