Why Do Books Get Yellow Spots?

The term ‘foxing’ describes disfiguring small yellow brown spots or blotches on paper.

Two main causes are mould and iron contaminants in the paper.

Moulds feed on the paper itself, as well as any dirt or organic material on it, for example, finger marks, food stains and squashed insects.

What causes yellow spots on books?

In fact, the culprit of yellow books is caused by an aldehyde group. To put it simply, the paper contains a substance called lignin which oxidizes when exposed to air and sunlight, which eventually turn pages yellow.

How do you stop books from yellowing?

LPT Request: How do you prevent books from turning yellow?

  • Avoid direct light. Both sunlight and electric light emit UV radiation, which is detrimental to paper.
  • Air circulation.
  • Humidity control.
  • Temperature control.
  • Separate your yellow books.
  • Use a protective lining on your wooden shelves.
  • Avoid mass market.
  • Pray to God, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Athena, etc.

Why do books get brown spots?

Foxing is an age-related process of deterioration that causes spots and browning on old paper documents such as books, postage stamps and certificates. The name may derive from the fox-like reddish-brown color of the stains, or the rust chemical ferric oxide which may be involved.

Does foxing spread to other books?

Foxing may be unsightly but it will not harm your book. The seller should have mentioned any known conditions, including foxing.

How do you clean a yellow book page?



Suggested clip · 23 seconds

How to Clean Book Edges – YouTube


Start of suggested clip

End of suggested clip

What does foxing mean in books?

Foxing is a term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books, postage stamps, certificates, and so forth. The name may derive from the fox-like reddish-brown color of the stains, or the rust chemical ferric oxide which may be involved.

How do I protect my books from damage?

Keep your books clean.

  1. Make sure to dust your books from the spine outward so dust does not settle behind the spine.
  2. Avoid storing books in plastic bags. Books need to breathe and plastic can cause molding or warping. Instead, try wrapping the book in acid-free cloth or purchases a book storage box.

How do you maintain books?

Method 1 Handling Your Book

  • Touch your book with clean hands. Always wash your hands before handling your book.
  • Avoid eating or drinking while reading your book.
  • Remove your book from the shelf by the middle of the spine.
  • Use a flat bookmark to mark your place.

Why do books smell good?

Different people seem to like different smells when it comes to books. Old books have a sweet smell with notes of vanilla flowers and almonds, which is caused by the breakdown of chemical compounds in the paper, while new books smell like they do because of the carious chemicals used when they are manufactured.

How do you stop books from foxing?

Tips to Prevent Foxing

  1. Store your books thoughtfully. Keep them in a room that has central air conditioning and heat.
  2. If you live in a relatively humid area, consider using a dehumidifier.
  3. Always use acid-free paper if wrapping, packing, or mounting rare books and ephemera.

Can foxing be removed?

Removing Foxing. There has been no definite cure for neutralising the mildew spore, chemical use not only breaks down the paper cellulose but also reactivates the ink so not only do the fibres of the paper break down, after a while and the paper starts to disintegrate and the ink or what ever medium can be rubbed off!

How do I get rid of foxing prints?

How to Remove Foxing on Paper

  • Inspect the book for any remaining moisture.
  • Sprinkle corn starch onto any pages that are very wet.
  • Allow the book to remain laid out until it is completely dried out.
  • Dry out the damp wallpaper by increasing the heat in the room.
  • Prepare a mixture of 2 tbsp.
  • Wipe down the dry wallpaper with the soapy water.