If you are a bibliophile and bookworm like me, then you have a bookshelf that is filled to the brim, and cleaning it is always a hassle. However, if you love your books, you will do your best to clean your bookshelf regularly, and this will help your books stay in good condition. As someone who has over 500 books and a wall that is entirely a bookshelf at this point, I know the struggle of cleaning bookshelves.
Having a bookshelf and a huge collection of books is fun and all, but it becomes absolute hell when you have to get your hands dirty to clean it. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our veteran tips on how to clean your bookshelf and how to keep it clean at all times.
1. Remove all your books
Removing all your books from the bookshelf is the first and usually most challenging step of the overall process. This is where the handwork really starts; removing all your books from your bookshelf can be a real hassle, especially if you have over 500 books on there. Now while removing your books, you can put them in 3 piles, donate, keep and gift.
I personally always keep all of my books and only get rid of about 25 books or so everything I clean my bookshelf. But even though I donate or gift 25 books every time, my bookshelf keeps growing because I continue buying books; this is a vicious cycle if you ask me.
Don’t overthink this process; if you’ve DNF (didn’t finish) a book, then it is time to let it go and get rid of it. After you’ve gone through all your books, the real work starts, and you better buckle up. Trust your instincts, and don’t be a book hoarder.
2. What you will need to clean your bookshelf
Cleaning your bookshelf isn’t really that hard once you’ve removed all the books, and you’ll just need a couple of things that you will have lying around. The equipment and materials you’ll need are:
- Warm water
- Mild liquid dish soap or detergent
- Soft cleaning cloths
- Magic eraser
- Wood scratch repair kit (this is optional)
From here on, you just have to get your hands dirty and don’t worry too much about this. Cleaning can be fun; put on your favorite cleaning playlist, empty your head and just get the work done. For me cleaning my bookshelves is something I consider to be relaxing, and it allows me to get my mind out of my daily stress.
3. The bookshelf
You’ll have to deep clean your bookshelf, and this is why you need to get it away from the wall if it was directly placed against a specific wall. After pulling the unit away from the wall, wipe it down with a dry cloth to remove all the excess dust. After you are done removing the dust, then you’ll use a damp and soapy cloth to get rid of all the smudges and grimes.
If you find any visible scratches on your bookshelf, you can treat them with a wood scratch repair kit that you can find in any hardware store out there. A used bookshelf will start to develop scratches over time because of wear and tear, and this is why you need to with them down with a damp microfiber cloth and use a magic eraser to remove any visible scuffs and marks.
My general rule of thumb when it comes to this is that if the scratch or mark is not visible when your books are on the shelf, it doesn’t need any touch-ups. For more visible scratches, they are products out there that you can buy and just follow the instruction to fix your bookshelf. Of course, this is the lazy me talking, but you can do whatever you wish with this part.
Vacuum around your bookshelf and don’t forget the top too because a lot of people tend to forget this part. Before you put the books back into their place on the shelf, vacuum the floor where the bookshelf usually is. After you are done with the shelves, you will also want to dust all your books in order to get rid of any dust that might have accumulated on them over time.
5. Reshelfing your books
This is my favorite part of the whole cleaning process, and it is where you get to have fun with this whole process. I tend to have my current favorite book or the one with the best covers facing outwards for the whole to admire their beauty. This is a general aesthetic and design that a lot of people tend to go for, and it usually does the job.
How you place your books all depends on you; some people place their books alphabetically, others by color, and if you are like me, then it is chaos because I shelf my books according to my mood. There is no real order there, but for me, chaos is my normal and is my comfort zone.
Don’t stress out this process too much; as long as you look at the design you are going for, just go for it full throttle. Remember, organizing your books should be fun and shouldn’t seem like a task in any way, shape, or form.
Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want more tips on how to clean your bookshelf.