Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Mold or Old Age on my Notebook?

  1. Mar 12, 2016 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Here's the story.

    I have a composition notebook that I used to write some of my math proofs in that I want to keep.

    In my home, the wall of the window grew a lot of mold over the winter in areas that we were unaware of. The notebook was very close to this wall (as some other things were).

    This notebook now has a yellowish (almost old age) tint to the pages that are near the exterior edges.

    To note: There was also the same type of composition notebook in the area as well (very close) but it has no yellow tint. This one is slightly older than the composition notebook that got tint on it. This leads me to believe that something happened to the younger, but similar composition notebook in almost identical places (off by a few inches).

    My question is, is this MOLD or is this OLD AGE?

    The speed at which this occurred is roughly Months to a year. I've had this notebook for about 2-3 years, but only saw tint in it in the last 6 months.

    The speed at which this occurred leads me to think that this is some sort of MOLD residue from the infestation.
    But the look/appearance makes it feel like it is just old age or something else (maybe cat pee? It doesn't smell tho...)

    If it is mold, should I get rid of it?

    Thanks for opinions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I wouldn't expect plastic casing colour to change significantly unless subjected to a lot of direct ( or semi-direct) sunlight
    I have a number of laptops around here that are in excess of 10 yrs old and their case colour no different to their original

  4. Mar 12, 2016 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hm. That's an interesting thought. It was very close to the window.

    MY only counter thought to that is why the other identical notebook didn't receive this treatment. Perhaps the distance was just enough to where the other notebook was in shade, but thats hard to believe since they were only inches a part.

    But nonetheless, a very good thought as that may have been the culprit.
  5. Mar 12, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    the UV in direct sunlight is a good destroyer of plastics
    and on top of that the mould problems ......
  6. Mar 12, 2016 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Do you (or does anyone here) know how problematic mold could be to something like a notebook?

    The mold was more towards the floor on the wall then up against the table (wasn't any found above a certain height), but I still worry about it... as I don't want to be carrying around a moldy notebook for health/cleanliness reasons!
  7. Mar 12, 2016 #6
    I know a lot of paper products will outgas formaldehyde over time, and this may have discolored your notebooks.
  8. Mar 12, 2016 #7
    You can use a chlorine based product to remove both yellowish tint and mold. It shouldn't damage the paper. Once we had a 50€ banknote that had a red colour on it and my mum put Savo (most popular chlorine cleaner used here) on it and the colour was gone while the banknote was not damaged at all.
    It should work against fungi as well. It would be wise to try it on some other paper first and see what happens, so that you don't destroy your notebook.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Mold or Old Age on my Notebook?
  1. An age-old problem (Replies: 15)

  2. My old drawings II (Replies: 11)

  3. My old avatar (Replies: 5)