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Cleaning a Comic? Options
BBain75
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:51:06 AM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 2/8/2011
Posts: 5
Points: 15
I purchase ASM #151 and the top center of the front cover along with the first 2 interior pages have some brown substance on them. I am thinking a chocolate candy bar form the 70's.

I didn't pay much for it. So I want to use it as a testing comic for cleaning up a comic. If I can, I will keep it in my collection. Otherwise, I will do what I never do. I would toss it or donate it to some kid. I am very strict on the quality of my books. In that, I allow minor problems. But dirt and filth to this level should drastically reduce a book to G+ at best.

So, I am looking at doing some spot hydrogen peroxide work. Has anyone ever tried that? Any other recommendations that don't cost much?

What exact is Dry Cleaning in the Comic restoration field?

HeroComics
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 1:06:00 PM

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Years ago, I would clean a cover using TOLULENE. It removed the brown from a cover, but you cannot touch the book while it is in the solution or wet, it will smear the ink. TOLULENE is very volatile, so be careful! Open air well ventilated only!

I have used VPD paper in the past, but it never quite worked right for de-acidification.

Food is actually very tough to get off paper, but I have seen some luck with Hydrogen peroxide solutions, but have no experience myself.
thomas4d4
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:32:21 PM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Great topic! I often repair rips with archival tape, or iron rolled spines and things but I have never tried to clean any comics. It's a little more involved than I care to get and there isn't that much call for it.
I have read about using solvents to clean comics.

I got this definition of cleaning from CGCcomics

"Cleaned (lightened). An aqueous process to lighten the paper color or remove soluble acids, often using chemical oxidation, solvents, or water. This process is sometimes called cleaned and pressed or C&P. Common chemicals used to lighten paper include benzene, acetone, xylene, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, chloramine-T, chlorine dioxide, sodium borohydrate, etc."

Another site said that "you can clean a dirty fingerprint off a white dust jacket using erasers, rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid (three popular methods)"

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BBain75
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:52:05 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 2/8/2011
Posts: 5
Points: 15
I sucessfully cleaned the book using Hydrogen Peroxide. At first I was weary about using liquid to clean a book. I mean, liquid and paper..don't usually create a good result.

I use several Q-Tips and after 30 minutes I left it to air dry. The ending results are a much better looking book.
thomas4d4
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:34:56 PM

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Location: in the heart of California's Gold Country
I found this great resource for restoring prints.
Restoring Prints
In it they talk about the kind of spots (grease, wax, and so on) and what to use to clean them.

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fbbarker
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:31:57 PM
Rank: Sidekick
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Joined: 12/27/2010
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thomas4d4 wrote:
Great topic! I often repair rips with archival tape, or iron rolled spines and things but I have never tried to clean any comics.


I've got some rolled spines on some of my books, how would I go about ironing them without damaging them?

Along the same lines, the archival tape sounds like a great tool to keep in ones arsenal as well, who makes a good archival tape?
thomas4d4
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:17:44 AM

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fbbarker wrote:
thomas4d4 wrote:
Great topic! I often repair rips with archival tape, or iron rolled spines and things but I have never tried to clean any comics.


I've got some rolled spines on some of my books, how would I go about ironing them without damaging them?


I put the iron on the lowest setting. You can create some waves if it's too hot. Make sure the iron is dry. A wet iron will also cause waves. I also use a piece of copie paper in-between the iron and the cover. The iron can dirty the cover, but not the inside pages. Newsprint doesn't pick up marks from the iron.
You have to play with the spine a little to figure out the best way to get out the roll. For really bad rolls I usually iron it flat and then I fold it properly and iron.
The heat of the iron makes the paper soft and mailable.
On some rare cases the roll is too stubborn to get out but most times it works great.

fbbarker wrote:
Along the same lines, the archival tape sounds like a great tool to keep in ones arsenal as well, who makes a good archival tape?


I got some archival tape from an art supply store. You can also try Japanese paper and wheat paste. Japanese paper is much more invisible than the archival tape, but it's a little more work.
With the archival tape I'm managed to take GOOD comics with the covers almost off or off and repaired the spines well enough to make them very readable, and not bad looking to boot. If you look you can see the repairs but at first glance they look FINE.
For extreme cases like insect damage or extremely brittle paper there's not much to do but for basic worn spines, it works like a charm.
My proudest repair was a Marvel Feature #1 (Giant Size format). The cover was all but off but because of the nature of the damage I managed to repair the spine tare and glue it back on with no noticeable repairs. Even I can't see any and I did the work! It went for GOOD to FINE. But this is best case scenario.

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redartz60
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:37:56 PM
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Very interesting topic! Archival tape can generally be picked up at art supply stores. Additionally, a Document Cleaning Pad is something I've found useful. It is a soft cloth-covered pouch of eraser powder; and does a fine job removing surface dirt, pencil marks, etc. from a cover. By the way, anyone have suggestions for removing mold or mildew stains from a book?
fbbarker
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 6:05:09 PM
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Thank you for the detailed replies and information on comic cleaning. This thread has been very informational and educational!

redartz60 wrote:
By the way, anyone have suggestions for removing mold or mildew stains from a book?


I'm curious of this as well.
thomas4d4
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 8:16:53 PM

Rank: Herald of Galactus
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Location: in the heart of California's Gold Country
fbbarker wrote:
Thank you for the detailed replies and information on comic cleaning. This thread has been very informational and educational!

redartz60 wrote:
By the way, anyone have suggestions for removing mold or mildew stains from a book?


I'm curious of this as well.


I would start with an eraser and and gently rub it to see what you can get off with that.
It seems to me that bleach would be the best way to get rid of mildew. It would kill the mildew and, being very alkaline, it would balance out the acidity of the paper. But what's the best way to apply it? If you use a wet mixture you risk warping the pages. If you have to wet a page, it's better to do the whole page and not just a part and when you dry it, press it so that it drys flat.
You might try a light mist or a damp cloth of a mild bleach solution to see how that works.
I'd be curious to see what people have tried too.


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fbbarker
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 9:48:59 PM
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Don't forget to let them cool before bagging them.
Rolling on the Floor
Xylob
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 10:49:33 PM

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BBain75 wrote:
I sucessfully cleaned the book using Hydrogen Peroxide. At first I was weary about using liquid to clean a book. I mean, liquid and paper..don't usually create a good result.

I use several Q-Tips and after 30 minutes I left it to air dry. The ending results are a much better looking book.
No before and after pics?

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fbbarker
Posted: Thursday, April 07, 2011 12:38:38 AM
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BBain75 wrote:
I sucessfully cleaned the book using Hydrogen Peroxide. At first I was weary about using liquid to clean a book. I mean, liquid and paper..don't usually create a good result.

I use several Q-Tips and after 30 minutes I left it to air dry. The ending results are a much better looking book.


did you use straight hydrogen peroxide or a hp/water mix and if so what ratio, and did you soak the q-tips or just give them a light coating? deats please.
fbbarker
Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011 12:31:11 PM
Rank: Sidekick
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Sorry to delve into the archives, but I've purchased some issues I'd like to experiment with.


thomas4d4 wrote:
You can also try Japanese paper and wheat paste. Japanese paper is much more invisible than the archival tape, but it's a little more work.



I was wondering if this is something like you're talking about?



And what kind of Japanese paper should I be looking for?

All help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
KirbyKrazy
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:54:12 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 10/11/2012
Posts: 1
Points: 3
If you don't mind taking a book apart and adding new staples, you can refold and iron the page creases in a book to get rid of spine roll.

Just remove staples, refold each spread, iron each new fold, reassemble and place between heavy books for a week bagged and boarded. Angel

Watch the iron heat and if the cover contacts the pages, always put a sheet of baking paper (not wax paper) between the covers and the first pages when using heat! The ink will transfer to the pages from the inside of the covers. Angry

I'm a professional artist and restore comics. Any questions let me know and if I have done it, I will share my experience. Any info on restoring is always welcome.

Beware cleaning with solvents. You may remove your ink and your stains! Anxious

Restoring gets a bad name. It is an art and a great hobby and can bring comics back to life! The only time it's bad is when people try to use it to deceive people.
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