Best Way to Clean Old Cloth Software Cases?


Looking for recommendations....

What is the best way to clean the old software cases that were the "cloth" style? Over the decades, these can gather quite a bit of dirt as they are found in in attics, basements, garages, storage facilities, etc.

Think of titles like IBM PC DOS, Basic, Guide to Operations, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, dBase, etc.



  • That is a good question. I have not found a great answer to that. They may use all kinds of different material and inks, so what works well on one may not work on another.

    Most are cloth with a layer of paint over them. So wiping them down with a slightly damp cloth is usually OK. But be careful not to get the cardboard underneath wet, as that can mess it up.

    Alcohol or Lysol will remove or smear the paint. There may be occasions when that is not the worst thing in order to remove something worse. But typically that is not what you want. And things like painted lettering may come right off.

    In the event a box has mildew on it, very carefully dabbing bleach on it may help. But again, things like painted lettering can still be damaged depending on the ink.

    If it is an IBM slip case... they are all the same. Just find a cheap unwanted IBM manual on eBay and swap out the slip case.

  • Great suggestions. Thank you very much!
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