Acid-free paper is the type of paper that has a pH value of 7. This type of paper is typically used for documents that have to be preserved for years. They are used for museum documents or scientific documents. The first acid-free paper was created in the 1950’s by the company Hercules Incorporated.
Standard paper has acid pulp and this element deteriorates the standard paper after a long time. Exposure to sunlight also causes standard paper to deteriorate easier. Acid-free paper also does not turn into a yellowish color like standard paper. You can make your own acid-free paper easily. All you need are some materials and ingredients that you can easily purchase from the craft store and the hardware store.
Here are the steps on how you can make your own acid-free paper at home:
1. Things that you need. Gather all the things that you need for this project. These are:
- Old pieces of paper (newspaper, phonebook, old documents, etc.)
- Kitchen blender
- Wooden frame
- Mesh screen
- Cookie sheets
- Liquid starch
- Calcium carbonate
2. Make paper pulp. The first step is to make the paper pulp that will become the acid-free paper. Get your old pieces of paper and tear them into smaller pieces. This is a good way for you to get rid of the papers that you do not need anymore. After tearing them up, put them inside the kitchen blender. The pieces of paper should reach at least half of the blender. Put warm water in the blender and start to blend. Blend the paper until there is only paper pulp left.
3. Make the mold. Get the wooden frame that you have and stretch the mesh screen over it. Make sure that it is tightly stretched over the frame. Secure it in place with a nail. The size of the frame that you use will be the size of the acid-free paper that you will come up with.
4. Preparation. Get your basin and fill it with water halfway. Next, put the paper pulp with the water. The amount of pulp that you put in will depend on how thick you want the acid-free paper to be. Afterwards, add about two teaspoons of the liquid start to the basin. Add calcium carbonate to the mixture. Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are mixed well.
5. Make the acid-free paper. When the mixture is ready, get your wooden mold and submerge it in the basin. Carefully sway the mold so that the paper pulp mixture can settle evenly on the mesh screen. Lift the mold and allow it to drain on the basin. Wait until it is no longer dripping. Get the felt and press the mold firmly on it. This will get rid of the excess water on the paper pulp. Use the sponge to gently sponge over the paper to get rid of more water. Place the felt with the pulp on a cookie sheet. Press another cookie sheet over it to flatten it and remove more water. Afterwards, remove the felt from the cookie sheet and let the paper dry. When it is completely dry, you can peel the felt from the paper and use it already.
These are the steps on how you can make your own acid-free paper. This is a good way to recycle the papers that you have at home.