News clippings or snippets are great additions to a scrapbook, but if you don’t use acid-free scrapbook paper, the newspaper material can degrade the quality of the scrapbook paper. If you can’t get acid-free paper, you may consider other ways to protect your scrapbook pages from the acidity of newspaper materials. The Scrapbook Preservation Society (SPS) offers some simple washing and curing tips for news snippets of various sizes.
For this method, you will need a 9″ x 13″ x 3″ glass dish, distilled water, and a deacidification spray. Pour distilled water into the dish to a height of around one inch, and immerse the clippings for 20 minutes. SPS recommends repeating this procedure if the water turns yellow, as this means the acidic lignin in the paper is reacting with the water.
It’s important to use only distilled water in washing the clippings, as other kinds can heighten the degradation process and weaken the clippings. Let the clippings dry for at least an hour. Some curling along the edges may occur while drying, but they can be straightened out upon pasting. Spray some deacidification agent for protection.
Library preservation uses deacidification agents to create an “alkaline barrier” around the paper. That way, the degradation process can be prevented for as long as the agent lasts. Although libraries use a different kind of deacidification process, scrapbook owners can get one in bottle spray form.