musty-smelling stuff from college storage?

<p>My son graduated from college in May and I am just now sorting through some of his stuff that we tossed into a (clean and dry) closet. The clothes I washed right away, but I figured the paper stuff could sit awhile. Now that I'm going through it, in the process of cleaning out closets, I'm noticing that some of the stuff, including notes and some Arabic texts, smell distinctly musty. Don't see mold or mildew, but there is a definite scent. I figure the stuff must have been sitting in a damp storage area on campus. Any experience with this anyone?</p>

<p>I think a lot of things pick up chemicals from the processing of the paper boxes they're stored in. I've had good luck with a sack of zeolite chips tossed in the box for a while--absorbs moisture and odor.</p>

<p>What are zeolite chips and where would I find them--hardware store?</p>

<p>Zeolite is a naturally occurring odorless mineral that absorbs water and odors. It's used in clumping cat litter, aquarium filters, room deodorizers, as a soil amendment, in detergents, etc. I bought a bag of it cheaply at Home Depot. You can recharge it by putting it in a pan and heating it for an hour at 200 F or so.</p>

<p>Thank you! That sounds like a great product. If anyone else has additional thoughts, I'd love to hear them.</p>

<p>What about baking soda? I've had good luck using that to get rid of the musty smell in our basement, but I scattered it on the carpet in the offending areas, and left it there. I'm not sure how you would do it with paper, although I suppose you could put some in a bowl and place in a confined area with the papers. I have also had good luck with Damp Rid in musty smelling closets. You can purchase it at Lowe's or one of the Marts. I have also found it at the grocery stores we frequent. I use the one that comes in a plastic container that is refillable. Again, I'm not sure how this would work with paper products, but it might be worth a try.</p>

<p>Thanks, I'm going to try everything.</p>

<p>Just looked up Damp Rid. Its ingredient is Calcium chloride, which is also known as snow melting compound pellets (the ones that aren't salt). A lot cheaper when bought in the big bags for melting snow.</p>

<p>Well, we just got a lot of snow today too. Multitasking!</p>