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Hello everyone!

I unrolled my bundle of nav charts last week, only to discover them heavily stained with mold/mildew. Has anyone ever encountered a way to clean them up? I read the product labels of several mold and mildew removers but none so far make any recommendations as to their efficiency in cleaning paper charts. Any ideas? Let me know and thanks for reading my thread! JM>


:confused:
 

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Very doubtful that you can clean them without removing the print but you could try using a cloth or sponge dampened with a bleach solution. Try a small area and see what happens.

Sounds like you may have a moisture problem - but maybe the charts were damp when they were last stored. If you have other mildew problems - there are several threads on this site about ventilation, etc. that you may want to check out.

One more thing - you may want to consider a chart tube in which to store your charts. Also, there are some products on the market for waterproofing paper. Here's one - Aquaseal® Map Seal®
 

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Dunno, JM, but that stuff is "in" the paper now. You might try an art gallery or museum and asking about paper conservation. Bleach would probably take off the ink, maybe peroxide would take off the mildew and leave the ink alone--if it was allowed to dry quickly afterwards.

Remember that if you don't get it all out, it will reinfect everything around it. Could be campfire time.
 

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Lemon juice or vinegar are treatments for mildew that are not as destructive as bleach. I recommend trying them diluted also. Sunlight will help.
 

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How many charts are you talking about? Is it worth the effort? I bought my charts from one of the companies that prints them on demand (so they are completely current) and had them laminated. I think I spent less than $90 for three or four of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mildew on charts

Hey!

I have a large bundle of charts covering the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence, and the 1000 Islands, so restoring to a viewable condition would be well worth the effort. I must have between 30 to 40 individual charts in my collection! But I will try some white vinegar this evening, and let you all know how I made out and also, THANKS FOR YOUR REPLIES!!!!!

JM>
 

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Bear in mind, vinegar is acid. (3% acetic acid, usually?) Acid eats paper as it ages. You might want to neutralize it, or rinse it, or, again, speak to a conservator to find out what you can do that is sure not to cause problems to come.
 

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The other thing you can do is get a little ozone generator and put the charts and the generator in a small enclosed space. When the ozone concentration gets high enough, it will kill anything that has DNA.

It won't stop whatever damage the mold has already done (mold & mildew actually eat the cellulose of the paper) but it will stop it dead, and any spores will also be dead. So at least you can store them without fear of infecting your other charts.

This is a proven way to destroy black mold in houses, too. Ozone is highly toxic, and it will kill you too, in high concentrations, so treat the charts in a box or something outside.

Those "air freshener" ozone generators for your house can't generate enough concentration to hurt you, but you can use one in the manner I describe to concentrate the ozone and kill stuff.

Ozone will also bleach paper, and it is particularly aggressive to rubber, so check the charts every few hours. Depending on the size of the generator (there are lots on EBay) it might take anywhere from 6 hours to 2 days to kill everything.

I have used this technique to kill mildew on the inside of some lockers, just make sure no one is on board for the duration.)

Best Regards,

e

.::.
 

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One more thing - you may want to consider a chart tube in which to store your charts.
In my experience rolling charts in a tube gives them a life of their own - they become impossible to work with. I would never store my charts any other way than folded and flat.

Just an opinion . . . .:)

Sorry no opinion about cleaning them . . .
 

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I completely agree - I keep mine folded as well. However, the OP's were rolled to begin with........
 
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