How do I get rid of a mildew smell from a map hanging on a wall?
Q. Dear Donia,
A. Dear Stephen,
I am so sorry to hear that the odor of your beautiful map is so overwhelming. The best way to try to reduce the odor may cost a bit, but not as much as a full conservation treatment. I would recommend getting a roll of MicroChamber Interleaving Paper (it comes 36 inches wide by 100 yards). This way you can use long strips in the front and back of the map and roll it back up. Leave it rolled up for a month then unroll it and check the smell. If it needs more time, put new MicroChamber paper front and back and roll it up again for a month. Repeat until the odor has dissipated enough for you to enjoy it again. With time, hopefully the odor will dissipate even more. MicroChamber Interleaving Paper absorbs odors and chemical by-products of deterioration to protect collections, so one thing to think about is which wall the map hangs on. If it is on an exterior wall, the natural difference in temperature between outside and inside could create an environment with a little higher RH which could exacerbate the mildew smell. If it can hang on an interior wall, that would be better for the smell. I hope this helps you be able to enjoy your map for years to come!