Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate, atomiccomics.net earns from qualifying purchases.
This comprehensive manual is a solid foundation on dry cleaning and pressing techniques. The methods were developed through the author's personal experience as well as contributions from their online community.
Dry Cleaning Kit
These are a staple tool for removing surface dirt and grime from comics covers.
Absorene products were developed specifically for cleaning important documents. This is another solid tool for removing surface dirt.
Absorene products were developed specifically for cleaning important documents. This putty-like substance is great for getting into creases.
These have several uses including general cleaning. They can also be used while damp to apply a very small amount of distilled water to spine ticks using the "hot shot" method described in the Comic Book CPR book.
This is good for removing larger particles from a book's surface, as well as for folding flat creased corners and tears.
These help prevent transmission of the dirt and oils on your hands to the book as you work on it.
Magazine backer boards are larger than the comics and are useful for covering areas of the comic you're not working on so you can rest your forearm without transferring dirt and oils to the book. They are also useful in pairs to provide support to the book while it's being flipped over.
Putting the boards inside bags makes it easier to slip them under a book while you're working on it and minimizes likelihood of scratching the comic through direct contact with the board.
These are used to soften divots and deep impressions in the cover's surface so that pressing can flatten the book.
This defines the work area and is easy to remove and clean once your work is done.
If you are cracking graded comics, this is useful for carefully cutting out the comic from the internal mylar case.
This is a good all-around magnification level for getting a close-up view of your work area while cleaning.
Work areas benefit from being well lit. This is good for use while cleaning as well as in the pressing area.
The workhorse of your pressing efforts. Read descriptions carefully to see whether the one you choose allows for changing between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
The clamshell press has a soft pad on the bottom. You'll need a hard, flat surface on top and bottom for pressing comic books. This one has been burnished and had surface burrs removed. Some people like to place one on top of the book also while pressing.
These go inside the front and back covers to help push out the spine so the heat can lessen the appearance of ticks. They're also essential to place on either side of the digital code insert in modern books to prevent the square from pressing through the adjacent pages and putting a mark on the cover.
These go inside the centerfold to provide support to the spine during pressing. If your book has large staples, a second one may be used to sandwich the staples between the boards to prevent marks being pressed into the adjacent pages and outer covers.
This is good for preventing color rub or transference between cover and interior pages. Also useful when working on spine ticks with a tack iron to prevent direct contact between the iron and the cover.
Use this to sort and store the different paper stocks you'll be using while pressing.
Use this for working different areas of the book to minimize divots, deep impressions, and spine ticks.
Storage and Shipping
Goes with the Silver Age boards. Good for storing Silver, Bronze, Copper, and Modern books.
Holds the delicate surface painter's tape below and makes it easy to get just the right size for taping shut the comic bags - even with one hand.
Minimizes likelihood of tape damage to your books that can happen when inserting or removing books and boards from bags.
These are good for mailing 10 or less raw comics.