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Acid/Oils: Bulk storage for collectibles

  1. Mar 31, 2004 #1
    Hi this is my first post.

    I have a large collection of carded action figures. (A 'carded action figure' is a toy mounted on cardboard by means of a plastic bubble. The toy is sandwiched between the bubble and cardboard).

    So, I store my carded action figure collection in generic cardboard boxes. And I am worried about acids from the boxes eating away the collectible cards.

    Q1. How can I check for acid levels in the cardboard boxes? I assume that the cardboard boxes are not acid-free. I want to check anyway. There has got to be a backyard chemical 'home brew' that I can wip up SAFELY. You chemical guys are most excellent; however, I do not want to blow my arms off.


    I am in the process of converting from carboard boxes to plasic bins (those big cheap suckers from Walmart).

    Q2. Is there any residue (oils) that form on (or ooze out of) these types of plastic bins over time?

    Q3 & 4 (related to Q2). So, is oil a component of plastic? I noticed that the plastic bins I am finding have an oily feel to them. Is there a way to clean this film off so that the plastic surface is safe for paper/carboard collectibles?


    Please help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2004 #2

    Monique

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    You might want to try a well established library or antique store.. I guess they might have some good advice. You might also try a bookstore and ask if they have acid free paper/ boxes, infact I recently bought an acid free archival pen from a regular bookstore :)

    How about this link? http://history.pcusa.org/cong/acidpaper.html
     
  4. Mar 31, 2004 #3

    Monique

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    Apparently you can buy a pH pen for just $4 with which paper can be tested..
    http://www.askphil.org/ap_salm01.htm

    More accurately would probably be a pH strip, explained in the following link:
    http://www.librarypreservation.org/preservation/paper1.htm
    I just wonder where you would be able to get some.. you might be able to find them at your local pharmacy..!? Maybe also in your home supply store, pH tests are available for pools.

    Here a home brew experiment with cabbage.. the good news: the experiment is edible (as testified in the link :P) bad news: I don't think it is really going to give you good information. Another link with cabbage water: http://www.miamisci.org/ph/lpexcite2.html

    I hope that helps you along :tongue:
     
  5. Mar 31, 2004 #4

    Monique

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    On the plastics: I would be carefull with those. If you are going to use a plastic box, use one made of 'hard' plastic. The softer, less breakable type of plastic contains a lot of plasticides which can leak out over time!
     
  6. Mar 31, 2004 #5
    You could just throw a box of baking soda in to neutralize any of the acids formed.

    Much like you do in your refridgerator.
     
  7. Mar 31, 2004 #6

    Monique

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