Step 8: Rescue Waterlogged Books

Oh no! You borrowed Pride and Prejudice from a friend, lit some candles, drew yourself a bath, and promptly dropped the novel into your lavender-scented bathwater.

Book: ruined. Friendship: strained. Relaxing soak: suddenly stressful.

Unless you've got a diaper on hand. In which case, you can save two out of three. Just open the diaper up, insert it in between the dampened pages, and let the sodium polyacrylate slurp up your delicious autumn treat. Close the book around the diaper, prop the book up out of the sun, run a fan, and wait.

Some notes: If your book has glossy pages, you'll need to isolate each individual page in order to prevent making a brick of stuck-together pages. The National Archives and Records Administration Preservation Program says you've got 48 hours to act in order to prevent mold and mildew. They also do not mention this trick. Which leads me to believe that it doesn't scale well, but it'll work for smaller spills.
<p>This isn't good for plants in the long term, because when sodium polyacrylate degrades (and it will eventually, like us all) it leaves salt in the soil -- not good for plants. But if you buy the gel which is designed for plants rather than diapers, that is made of a slightly different chemical, potassium polyacrylate. Potassium is a fertilizer... so it is good for the soil and plants... Plus you won't have all the other diaper components as waste, and though I haven't made the calculation, I'm guessing it's probably cheaper (by weight) than cutting up diapers, and it's definitely easier.</p>
I buy the crystals in bulk for watering crickets and mixing in my planters that constantly dry out too quick. No negative affects and salt pretty muck destroys them tough salt in aiol is far more harmfull than these things though i agree they need to stay out of the storm drains.
<p>This really isn't a good idea. The polymers from the diapers are now getting into lakes and the ocean from people flushing them down toilets, throwing them away down sink drains and in drain ditches. Fish are gobbling them up and the stuff, asides from being plastic are full of a poison called dioxine. Thousands of fish are cut open with stomachs full of polymers. Another manmade disaster. Many cosmetic defoliators are full of small, shiny, gelatinous crystals which are causing the same problem. It is the same stuff in baby diapers. </p>
<p>Least weasel! How adorable!</p>
<p>Drop a couple in your first aid kit. You could save a life while waiting for first responders. Just use to stop excess bleeding.</p>
<p>You can freeze dry books that have fallen in the bath too. :)</p>
<p>NOW I am finding the weird, wonderful and wacky stuff! And Instructables is getting interesting! This is good stuff. Love the approach!!!</p>
<p>Think about what you'll be eating if you use this product on edible plants. What are you putting into your soil? What are you leaving behind for your children and their children? Check out the Material Safety Data Sheet on products before following directions most likely put out by Monsanto. </p><p>http://www.hmsmedical.com/images/44-OC%20MSDS.pdf</p>
That MSDS suggests that the main danger is from inhalation. Using baby diapers seemed like a safe bet for avoiding hazardous materials. And I imagine it'd be someone like Dow Chemical or BASF who would profit from chemical misinformation over Monsanto or someone else. <br /><br />That's sensible advice nonetheless. If you're eating from the ground, you ought to know what was in the soil nearby. And if using polyacrylate concerns you, do not use it.
<p>Newborn diapers and new, thin type, feminine pads can both be wet and then frozen for ice packs. My nurses in the hospital introduced the idea to me after childbirth! Hope that isn't TMI, but it was the BEST non-medicinal relief!</p>
<p>I'm trying to figure out how one can &quot;discreetly&quot; wipe one's armpits with a diaper on public transportation. </p>
<p>I suppose if you were to accidentally drop your cell phone into liquid and wrapped it in a Diaper; it would dry it out!</p>
If you're out and about without access to a sack of rice, I suppose a diaper might be a good emergency device-dryer. (But the rice method is preferred if you've got some on hand.)
All very creative ideas. However, I just read an article saying how biologists are finding the microscopic beads in the guts of dead fish and other wildlife, with awful repercussions for the food chains of the world. Tiny animals eat the beads, but they aren't digestible. The beads either create fatal blockages, or starve the animal to death. I would encourage us all to be mindful before putting these products into the soil or water systems. When they catch messes and end up in landfills (as bad as that is), they cause fewer problems than floating loose in the world. <br>Not criticizing, just trying to educate. I didn't know until recently and was using the beads in my flower pots until this year. Thanks for all your good instructables!
That's definitely food for thought. Mindfulness is wise when it comes to disposable anything. Diaper disposal is a serious enough problem that a Japanese firm has created a system for converting diapers into biomass fuel pellets. http://www.superfaiths.com/ <br /><br />Your flower pots are probably fine, but it might be worthwhile to use cheesecloth or something to contain the beads in your soil. Or skip the chemicals and water more often. :D
Great ideas, I especially like the ice pack idea.
Okay, I wold have figured that the one with the diaper and the horse hoof was so obscure that I'd have to add it to the list! lol <br>I have had to use that old trick a couple of times, twice when my one mare would suddenly go lame for a day after a shoeing, and a third when our farrier took too much soul off of my dad's geldings hoof (that took about a month for it to grow back to where he wasn't limping anymore).
I'm still soliciting photos of horsies in nappies, so please take a couple of pictures and send them my way next time you see one.
They actually recommend this in hospitals for post-partum (after having a baby) recovery. I found them to be pretty uncomfortable though LOL
We often must make soaks, or pads for our horses feet if they get abcesses. Diapers are the perfect way to both pad, and keep ointments or medicines on the hooves.
Fantastic instructable. I will be able to use a couple of these ideas. Thank you.
Ideas with spice, enjoyed the journey on diaper uses, who wood have thought :) my favorite was the plant one, can't wait to try it.
Love your sense of humor. :)
nice, pride and prejudice and zombies! almost finished with it myself
A note on disposal, in some cities, (mine, at least) they go into the organic waste regardless of whether soiled or not.
I cannot believe you dunked &quot;Pride and Prejudice and Zombies&quot; in the bath tub!
and dont forget it can be used as a lap bandage for major injuries. we use them in our medic kits as backup.
I wish I had known about the salt a few weeks ago when my 2 year old dropped a diaper into his laundry basket. My wife and I found ourselves shaking out plenty of &quot;fake snow&quot;. Super job on the instructable.
48hrs to save the book - that's info I could have used a bit earlier..., anyway to save one that's mildewed? Guess I could check out your reference info re: library - I loved this instructable, thanks.
Dry it, sun it, soft-brush it, vacuum up the residue. http://www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets/3Emergency_Management/08SalvageMoldyBooks.php
Thanks for posting! Lots of great ideas
WOW! This is really awesome, so much uses for a so domestic and ignored thing. <br> <br>Cold Fusion? Perhaps?
Thanks for sharing - some of these I'll definitely use :) <br>I have used them extensively in the past to provide a bit of drought protection for most of the trees I've planted on my property. It's a bit icky, but I used peed in nappies from our least weasel and mixed the gel into the soil as I was planting. the added nitrogen in the pee definitely helps them get a head start.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an English teacher and former Instructables staff member.
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