Any succesful alternative/aggressive methods of cleaning comics?
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Posted (edited)

Hi, I've just gotten back into comic book collecting. I enjoy cleaning and pressing them and I'd like to see how much I can do to them without getting a restoration/conservation label.  I plan to eventually do some actual, purposeful restoration and conservation projects on some cheap trashed comic books, but right now I'm interested in experimenting with alternatives to dry cleaning. I know that chemical bleaching is the wrong way to do things, and if I disassemble a comic to clean it but I don't reassemble it precisely, that will get a restoration/conservation label.  

Ignoring the problem of staples and re-assembly, has anyone succesfully tried any of these techniques and not had the books labelled as conservation/restoration?

 

  1. Ultrasonic cleaning with DIY gear: Either moisten pages and put them between two stainless steel plates, or dip entire books in a chamber for different lengths of times (or both - put it between plates and dunk it).  I think this would work well to remove dirt, but if I do it for too long it could remove ink. I'm definitely going to try this.
  2. Alkaline Water: Museums use it instead of chemicals to alter the ph of water and lighten or eliminate foxing by brushing it on the foxing and/or carefully bathing entire documents. Would be rinsed off afterwards.
  3. Vacuum Tables:  These devices are used to force plain water through paper to clean it.  There are even rigs that allow conservators to flush/vacuum one page of a book at a time, but they are expensive.  I'd have to take the comics apart to use the equipment that I can afford.
  4. Alkaline water + vacuum table?
Edited by Gabescomics
grammar, spelling, and presentation

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I usually run them thru my dishwasher and press them by driving over them afterwords. Bag and board after that and ship to CGC. I've never got a grade lower than 0.5 yet. 

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I don't see you being able to do this wet kind of cleaning and get it past CGC as not restored. 

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Posted (edited)

You forgot...

 

35sboo.gif

...cleaning with bread. That can make you a lot of dough!!!!

 

 

...I'm here all week... try the veal...

Edited by oldrover

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19 minutes ago, oldrover said:

You forgot...

 

35sboo.gif

...cleaning with bread. That can make you a lot of dough!!!!

 

 

...I'm here all week... try the veal...

Wait I've never seen this.. did someone really try to use bread to clean a book? lol 

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Yes... Youtube it. Appears to be multi-grain bread. Maybe the key is the quinoa. ;)

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On 7/15/2019 at 1:15 PM, Krismusic said:

I don't see you being able to do this wet kind of cleaning and get it past CGC as not restored. 

We'll see. I'm not going to do this on anything valuable just yet, I just want to know if it's considered "restored" if:

(1) I use any of these techniques but you can't tell.

(2) I disassemble to dry-clean and re-assemble it precisely.

(3) I use these techniques and I inform CGC that I used them, but the restoration isn't actually detectable.

I wonder if I don't do any restoration at all but I tell CGC that I did, would they still mark a book as restored?

 

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1 hour ago, Gabescomics said:

We'll see. I'm not going to do this on anything valuable just yet, I just want to know if it's considered "restored" if:

(1) I use any of these techniques but you can't tell.

(2) I disassemble to dry-clean and re-assemble it precisely.

(3) I use these techniques and I inform CGC that I used them, but the restoration isn't actually detectable.

I wonder if I don't do any restoration at all but I tell CGC that I did, would they still mark a book as restored?

Restored is restored. CGC won't take your word either way. It's their job to do their job. They're not gonna go, "oh, he says it's restored, slap a purple label on that :censored:!" The premise of their business is impartiality.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, theCapraAegagrus said:

Restored is restored. CGC won't take your word either way. It's their job to do their job. They're not gonna go, "oh, he says it's restored, slap a purple label on that :censored:!" The premise of their business is impartiality.

OK, so one more question:  on Conservation/Preservation and staples.  Do collectors ALWAYS see conservation/preservation as a bad thing? I have read that some problems with restoration in the past has been that some people don't know what they're doing and some people try to pass off less valuable restored comics as more valuable, unrestored comics. I actually enjoy doing it and I have a couple of somewhat valuable Silver Age comics I'd eventually like to clean up (after practicing on less valuable books) and then get graded/encapsulated.  I intend to put new, or at least clean staples on them after going through the whole process.  Will the cleaned or new staples detract from the grade?

Edited by Gabescomics
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Hey what about deacidifying?  Are you gonna do that?

I did that as a kid with the Bill Cole Wei-to spray, trashed the book:roflmao:

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2 hours ago, Gabescomics said:

OK, so one more question:  on Conservation/Preservation and staples.  Do collectors ALWAYS see conservation/preservation as a bad thing? I have read that some problems with restoration in the past has been that some people don't know what they're doing and some people try to pass off less valuable restored comics as more valuable, unrestored comics. I actually enjoy doing it and I have a couple of somewhat valuable Silver Age comics I'd eventually like to clean up (after practicing on less valuable books) and then get graded/encapsulated.  I intend to put new, or at least clean staples on them after going through the whole process.  Will the cleaned or new staples detract from the grade?

Cleaned or new staples will not detract from (or lower)  the assigned numeric grade. If sent to CGC, a book with cleaned or replaced staples - minus any other work that counts as restoration - will get a conserved label. 

Collectors greatly prefer unrestored, blue universal label comic books. It's unclear right now if collectors are more accepting of conserved books over restored. Many of us believe that in time collectors will view conserved books as more desirable than restored books. But the universal blue label, unrestored is always going to be the most desirable, worth the most $$.  

Below is a couple of links to CGC articles/news releases on restoration and conservation standards.  You might find these helpful 
 

https://www.cgccomics.com/news/article/4030/

https://www.cgccomics.com/news/article/4083/

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, vheflin said:

Hey what about deacidifying?  Are you gonna do that?

I did that as a kid with the Bill Cole Wei-to spray, trashed the book:roflmao:

It would actually be a good thing - for the longevity of our vintage newsprint comic books - if the hobby could reach a point where the use of buffering agents to neutralize acidity in newsprint was accepted. 

There have been lots of discussions and debates about the use of micro-chamber paper. Does it really help? Does it need to be periodically replaced? Voldy doesn't use it for instance. 

There is no debate about micro chamber paper in the library science field. Because deacidification of paper (books, documents, etc)  by applying a buffering agent (that is to say spraying the pages with something like Wei-To) is the GOLD STANDARD for conservation/preservation. In the library science field, the only thing micro-chamber paper is ever used for is to make stinky books and magazines smell better.  Trapping and removing odors. 

But right now, spraying your comic books one page at a time with a buffering agent (that is to say wetting them down with such) would earn you a conserved label/notation from the grading companies.  So if or  until public opinion changes, the best we can do is keep our books in climate controlled darkness.  Which fortunately in developed countries is easy enough to do. If you heat your house in the winter, cool it in the summer and keep you books in boxes with lids then you are preserving them as well as can be. But if you are hot and sticky in your house, so are your precious comics.  

Edited by Tony S

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11 hours ago, Gabescomics said:

OK, so one more question:  on Conservation/Preservation and staples.  Do collectors ALWAYS see conservation/preservation as a bad thing? I have read that some problems with restoration in the past has been that some people don't know what they're doing and some people try to pass off less valuable restored comics as more valuable, unrestored comics. I actually enjoy doing it and I have a couple of somewhat valuable Silver Age comics I'd eventually like to clean up (after practicing on less valuable books) and then get graded/encapsulated.  I intend to put new, or at least clean staples on them after going through the whole process.  Will the cleaned or new staples detract from the grade?

There is no consistency (or "always") when it comes to collecting. Each person and their interests is different. I think that, generally, conservation isn't as often 'frowned upon' as much restoration is.

CGC's Conserved Label used to be gray and blue for a reason - because conservation doesn't really modify the comic itself. Conservation is just improving the appearance of the comic without modifying it (if that makes sense).

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