How to Clean & Preserve Vintage Magazines

By Glenna Parks

Collecting vintage magazines is an exciting outlet to keep the voice of the past alive. Such collectibles are often passed down through family members of the era who have kept their favorite issues, featuring movie stars and fashions of the day. Clean newly acquired magazines and store properly to ensure the highest resale value or pass them down through the family once more. Vintage magazines are a prized commodity among the fashion and collectible-minded and should be handled carefully.

Clean Your Vintage Magazines

Wipe the magazine's front and back cover gently with a tea towel.

Remove stuck-on debris with your finger nail or a razor blade.

Remove stains on the cover or the inside pages with bleach. Fold a paper towel and dip a corner into a small amount of bleach. Gently dab, not wipe, the stain with bleach until gone.

Preserve Your Vintage Magazines

To repair bent or folded magazine pages and covers, unbend or unfold the page and place it under a stack of heavy books, like encyclopedias. Leave for a day or more, depending on the severity of the fold.

Wrap the magazine in a new, clear plastic dust jacket, found at hobby and collectible stores.

Store the magazines in a plastic or leather box in a cool, dry area, like a closet or basement. Do not store in a cardboard box, which is more easily penetrable by insects, which could bite through and ruin your collectibles.

Warning

Limit handling your vintage magazines if you plan to sell them. Keeping the paper in top shape is key is making profit.

About the Author

Glenna Parks' work has appeared in "Missouri Life" magazine, "Marshall Democrat-News," "Central Collegian," and the Union Pacific and Amtrak employee publications, "BNSF Today" and "BNSF Railway." Parks received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., in 2007.