7 Simple Tools to Begin Cleaning Your Comics
Chris Claremont demonstrates his simple tools and process for cleaning comic books, including why he doesn’t wear gloves because he prefers to feel the paper and have a tactile sense of what he’s doing. This isn’t a discussion about the ethics of cleaning comics, nor are we here to go into detail.
Makeup Remover Pads
Make sure the makeup remover pads are 100% pure and don’t contain any lotions or solvents; you’ll be surprised at how much dirt you’ll find when you examine the makeup pad.
White Eraser Toppers
The Helix eraser toppers come in a 10-pack, and you’ll be surprised at how many marks and scuffs these babies can remove from your comics. Another option is the “Staedtler Stick,” which is a similar white eraser with a slightly more rubbery consistency.
Focused Point Erasers
The Mono Zero precision art eraser clicks down like a Staedler Stick, and with an eraser only a few millimeters wide, it’s great for getting into very small white areas. The eraser is sharpened like a pencil, and I use an X-Acto knife, but it can’t match the precision.
Absorene putty is used by historians, archaeologists, and museum curators on archival paper; you don’t rub it; you dab or roll it. Unless there is obvious dirt in a color area of the book, I usually stick with just the Absorbene Putty.
Absorbene Pads are dirt magnets, and I use them to clean my eraser heads as well. I never wash my Absorene pads with soap and water; instead, I simply toss them out when they look soiled and replace them.
Dry Cleaning Pad
A dry cleaning pad, which looks and feels like bean bags because it’s filled with finely ground eraser material, is the final tool for cleaning comic book color areas. It’s not a miracle worker, but it’s gentle enough that it won’t usually cause any damage.
Using a backer board to screen off and protect your comic book cover (you’ll want to get a bigger one if you’re going to use a dry cleaning pad or an Absorbene sponge). Keep in mind that this is just my personal process for my Bronze Age books.
How do you remove foxing from comic books?
Removing foxing marks should be left to a skilled book conservator or preservationist, who can use one of two methods to reverse foxing: using a reducing agent on the paper, such as sodium borohydride.
How do I protect my comic books valuable?
Don’t store comic books on the floor of your garage or basement; instead, store them upright in a storage box or file cabinet. DON’T store comic books in cardboard boxes on milk crates or wooden pallets because a flood or water leak will destroy your books, even if they are bagged.
Should I press my comics?
When should a collector consider having a comic book pressed? When there is a desire to improve the overall condition of the book, comic pressing should be considered.
Can comics be cleaned?
If your comic is found to have surface soiling, it will be dry cleaned as part of all pressing tiers. This is a gentle cleaning that uses no solvents and is very effective at removing light surface dirt, but it will not remove deeper dirt, stains, or foxing.
What causes foxing on books?
Moulds feed on the paper itself, as well as any dirt or organic material on it, such as finger marks, food stains, and squashed insects. Moulds feed on the paper itself, as well as any dirt or organic material on it, such as finger marks, food stains, and squashed insects.
Can foxing be cleaned?
To some extent, foxing can be treated with specific washing treatments that flush out the polluted acidic elements on the paper; however, to completely remove foxing, you will need to use a conservation standard bleaching agent.
Does foxing on books spread?
Foxing is an age-related process that causes reddish-brown spots and stains on old paper; unlike mold, foxing does not spread to other books or items.
What is the best way to store comic books?
The best place to store your comics is in a dry, dark place like a spare room, wardrobe, or cupboard. Trade paperback and hardcovers are typically stored on a bookshelf, just like a regular book or novel.
How do you protect old comics?
Use comic book bags made of one of three materials: Mylar, polyethylene, or polypropylene. Store your comics safely in a protective bag made of acid-free materials. Limit their exposure to moisture and dirt. Keep the pages as crisp and clean as possible.