What is Cleaning and Pressing


As a passionate collector of comic books I have started my personal collection by wandering around garage sales, markets and pawn shops. This all over the world. We are all looking to find that perfect grail to put on top of our collection but… to have them in the best shape is less obvious.

I suppose it is only natural as a true comic addict and passion in old collectibles, it would eventually lead me to study the preservation of comic books.  I began to investigate the methods and tools used in comic book pressing and cleaning quite some time ago, and began experimenting.  Through much trial and error and discussing the process with professional  conservators and art restorers,  I have developed, in my opinion,  a safe and effective method to press and gently clean comic books.

Off course practice wasn’t enough, so I dept dive in the theoretical study of printing and paper. I felt the urge to understand the different printing procedures, colouring methods and of course the different paper structure in use in the industry over the past decades.
If you have a comic that requires extensive restoration, I am afraid I cannot help you.  I have focused my efforts  solely on pressing and cleaning. As every comic has a story and a past life, my aim is only to rejuvenate it as good as possible without altering the original look and feel.

What is dry cleaning?

Dry cleaning is a process used to remove dirt and pencil marks from both the interior and cover a comic book, particularly in the white areas of the comic.  Dry cleaning means just that: no liquids (including water, peroxides and/or solvents) are introduced to the comic book during cleaning.  Instead, gentle dry methods are used to remove as much dirt deposits from the book as possible.   Dry cleaning will not remove tanning, stains, pen or marker, sun shadows or foxing.  

What exactly is comic book pressing?

Simply put, pressing is the application of even heat and pressure in order to  attempt the removal of imperfections in comic books.  A collector will have his/her comics pressed to try and improve the overall appearance of the comic, and in doing so,  its value. 

How long does pressing and dry cleaning take?

A typical dry clean and press job will take approximately 24- 48 hours.  If more significant dry cleaning, humidification or a second pressing is required, the turn around time will obviously be longer.  If a comic is heavily soiled, cleaning can often times be quite time consuming and require much more attention. 

What can Comic-Stash do for you?

If you have that comic you would love to submit for grading, drop me an e-mail with some pictures of your comic. It would be my pleasure to provide you some objective feedback if yes or no your comicbook would be a good candidate to grade and if a clean and pressing would be benificial to enhance the grade.

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