How to Press Comic Books by KaptainMyke


Clean Comics
Press Comics 
Products List
Ship Comics
Window Prep


Press Machines
Required Supplies
Cleaning Supplies
Humidity Tank
Advanced Pressing
Light Box




How to Press Comic Books Playlist by KaptainMyke on Youtube



Figure Checklist
Most Valuable




Comic Book Dry Cleaning


Save money by cleaning your own comic books with basic office supplies or cleaning supplies. Most supplies can be purchased directly on Amazon or eBay to save time, money, and shipping costs. Start small with some cheap dollar bin comic books or reader copies. I have provided links for easy re-ordering, and for clarification on materials required in this free visual FAQ guide.

Comic book dry cleaning is the process of removing stains or production roller marks using no harsh chemicals or solvents. Comics can get stains on them from time, aging, mildew, rust mitigation, crayons, pen marks, pencil marks, date stamps, or other hazards along the test of time. Many of these cannot be removed. Good news: some of the more common concerns can be safely removed. The idea is simple: to clean the comic book as if nothing ever happened to the book. This makes the overall grade and eye appeal of the book increase considerably. Comic book dry cleaning is not restoration, more like comic book conservation. The difference can sometimes mean thousands of dollars when discussing high dollar key comic books.

This guide like my other one will require countless hours of patience, practice and time. Click on any photo to zoom to full size and see all its glory before you.


Most materials can be purchased on Amazon or Ebay. Buy your SRP paper and backer boards in bulk to save money where needed. Absorene Putty lasts a long time as long as you keep the tub sealed airtight when not in use. Please refer to our product links page for recommended products.




Use all the tools in your toolbox for dry cleaning comics. This ranges from non-invasive to more aggressive stages of comic book dry cleaning.


The comic book dry cleaning tools used to safely and effectively clean comics. These products are highly recommended for cleaning comics.




You will use many different products to clean comics. These are the main tools you will need to use. All of these products should be used gently and lightly. Small circular motions, back and forth, left to right, diagonally. Try different light motions to see which motion will effectively lift a light stain or debris from comic book covers.

Here is a full list of tools from left to right, row by row:

Blotter Paper
Absorene Eraser Pad
Makeup remover Cotton Ovals
Makeup remover Cotton Rounds
Toungue Depressor / Craft Sticks
Number 2 Pencils with White soft eraser caps
UV Black Light Flashlight
Pocket handheld pen flashlight
Small flathead screwdriver
1.5" Ball Bearing or Massage Roller Ball
Jeweler's Loupe
Dentail Picks and Dental Mirror
Plastic Erasers
Sea Sponge
Kneaded Eraser
Absorene Book Cleaner Putty
Kleenex Small Lotion Free Tissues
Infared IR Thermometer Gun
Mr Clean Magic Erasers in various cube sizes cut
Hangar 9 Tack Iron

Also, worthy of consideration is Swiffer brand dry mop dust sheets as cleaning pads. This product is great and will safely lift most dirt and grime layers off comic books. Try it!




My dry cleaning toolbox of various tools and cleaners. My most widely used items I placed inside a metal storage tin. The other less used items or items that take up space I placed in a larger plastic storage container. Take notice of the ball bearing, magnifying glass, jeweler's loop, kneaded eraser, natural sea sponges, pencils with eraser tops, UV blacklight flashlight, Absorene putty, and two Absorene book cleaner pads.







What I do is approach every book with cautious cleaning tactics first, to see what is effective with the least effort. Less invasive first, to a more increased aggressive cleaning stage each time, to see what works. I like to start small, slowly increasing my efforts:

First, start by carefully chipping or scraping away gunk, boogers, candy, or mud with a dental pick. Press down staples flat with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver. Those 2 are priority before you begin dry cleaning:

Start small and work your way down the list one-by-one as needed:


    1. Swiffer Dust Sheets, Lotion free tissue, or a cotton round from beauty department
    2. Pencil Eraser Head Top + Absorene Book Cleaner Pad (for cleaning eraser top)
    3. Unscented Dryer Sheet with eraser head as a "handle"
    4. Unscented Paper Towel with eraser head as a "handle"
    5. Absorene Eraser Pad
    6. Absorene Book Cleaner Putty
    7. Unscented/untreated original Mr Clean Magic Eraser 1" cube
    8. Natural sea sponges


And if you alternate all of them together you will yield better results. For instance, go back and forth between the magic eraser and absorene book cleaner putty along the spine to clean out all the dirt that gets pushed into the trenches of the creases.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is harsh and should be used lightly on light colored or white colored covers and avoid red/black/yellow if you can. Use a dental pick and scraper to carefully lift and place tears or folds where they should be before pressing or cleaning.

As long as the book is not brittle or rigid… Look for corner flaps and tears that need to be set in place. This step should be done first while the book is dry and not under any heat or pressure. You will use a dental pick and scraper for this step. If the book is too brittle or old, then you should use the humidity chamber approach after cleaning the covers instead.

It may be tempting to just use your fingernail, but could potentially rip or tear the crease worse. Dirt and oil under your fingernails could get trapped in the paper fibers as well. Golden age books are very forgiving with corner flaps and minor tears.

You want to do this step first before cleaning or pressing. This step is important to try to inspect the book carefully and turn each page for inspection. You are also looking for cutouts, missing pages, and missing centerfolds during this stage.



Absorene Dirt Eraser Pads are the greatest tool to start with dry cleaning the cover of your book. Get one here at this link on Amazon.







First start off wiping the cover with a cotton round, lotion free kleenex tissues, or a Swiffer wipe. Use a dental pick and scraper to carefully lift and place tears or folds where they should be before pressing or cleaning. For dry cleaning, it’s always best to start in a non-aggressive manner, so start small with just a simple clean eraser from a Number 2 pencil. I also use eraser tops as well. You will need to clean your pencil eraser often as you lift the dirt and oils from your comic book.




Cleaning a book should be approached in stages. Starting with latex rubber gloves, use a dental pick for lifting up folds and creases. Do this first. Lightly dust off and wipe the surface clean lightly with a lotion free Kleenex, dust cloth, or a can of compressed air. Try using a regular unsharpened #2 pencil eraser end to remove light staining on cover. This noninvasive method is recommended before using anything else.





My #1 favorite tool in the toolbox: Helix brand white polymer eraser cap tops.



Use the Absorense Eraser Pad to clean your pencil eraser top.




Next, if you have an Absorene Dirt Eraser Pad, wipe this across the surface of both front and back covers. Use the eraser pad lightly, let the weight of the pad be the only pressure as you gently glide it across the cover surface to remove dirt and oil.



Dirt and oil grime from production on a brand new modern age marvel 1:1000 retailer incentive copy of Venom #1 (2018)


(After) Dirt and oil grime removed from production on a brand new modern age marvel 1:1000 retailer incentive copy of Venom #1 (2018) Using a simple pencil eraser top.





So this is a pretty big secret, even if you don’t press comics! You can clean most comic book covers in this manner, regardless if you are pressing the book or not! You don’t need a press in order to perform this method.





Use Absorene putty next to delicately lift dirt and oils. You roll lightly and gently across the surface to remove and clean the paper at its fibers. If you do not have Absorene, try using a regular pencil eraser or a gum kneaded eraser. You will have to knead and work in the eraser until it becomes soft like the Absorene. Never rub the kneaded eraser, always blot or push downwards then lift upwards with straight up and down motions. Never use the kneaded gum eraser sideways or against the paper grain. Most of the time, 90% of the time, the pencil eraser and absorene eraser pad will do most of the work for you. If you cannot lift a stain, that’s okay – just remember we are not restoring comic books.




Go slow with the Absorene around corners and tears. You should place a perpendicular mylite2+fullback against your hand so that you do not lift up the cover or page being cleaned.






Absorene comes inside a small plastic storage tub. It looks and feels like Play-doh. You want to take small 1/2″ cubes and roll it across the surface of your book covers and pages for dry chemical free cleaning. You will roll very lightly with light pressure as you roll “logs” across the surface being cleaned. I also have great results with warming the book up in the press for 5 minutes on each side on low heat at 150 degrees. When using the Absorene, take great care along cover edges and corners or you will lift up the cover unexpectedly and cause a crease. Worse yet, if you go too fast due to being impatient with your time – you can cause a rip and tear the cover. It helps tremendously to use backer boards to the left and right of the areas being rolled with Absorene. Try it to see if this works for you.





Absorene Book Cleaner Putty should be used only on older books with covers that are not glossy or shiny. Avoid modern comic books with paper thin covers. The putty can easily rub into the book cover and cause severe and permanent damage. This is why I would suggest trying a pencil eraser or kneaded eraser on Modern Age books, instead. The Absorene Book Cleaner Putty works best on Silver Age, Copper Age, Dark Age and even most Bronze Age books. Any book produced after the year 2000 should be tested out on a reader copy first when considering the Absorene Putty. See below:

2018 Marvel Comics VENOM #3 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive








Cut 1″ cubes of Mr Clean Magic Eraser to alternate from Absorene and Eraser along spines. Never reuse a magic eraser cube. Apply firm but gentle pressure against book. Erasers are best used for white or light covers. Avoid red and black with the magic eraser!



For small spaces or around dark print area, use a pencil eraser with a tiny torn off piece of clean magic eraser material. Use the pencil as a hand tool to better control the magic eraser around corners, spines, or red/black/yellow print area.

Magic Erasers are great for white rear covers or white front covers. Warning: Black, Red and Yellow ink are easily lifted off the cover with the Magic Eraser! Use a Mr. Clean magic eraser very carefully. Always cut fresh 1” cubes with scissors. If you try to keep re-using the same magic eraser, you will start rubbing dirt into all the crease lines of comics, which creates new dark crease lines and makes the visual appeal start to drop significantly, so be warned about the magic eraser! Use this product with light pressure. Never use circular swirls when trying to lift up staining with a magic eraser. Make swift light strokes in one direction, never back and forth, and never in swirls. This will take time. Do not wax on and wax off. You only wax one way. You do not want to send the very same dirt lifted up from the magic eraser into a crease line crevice or crack on cover.



For small spaces or around dark print area, use a pencil eraser with a tiny torn off piece of clean magic eraser material. Use the pencil as a hand tool to better control the magic eraser around corners, spines, or red/black/yellow print area.

This is why you should alternate with the Absorene and the Magic Eraser. After using the Magic Eraser, it causes white powder dust shavings filled with dirt and oil. Even using a new Magic Eraser cube will push those shavings and dust back into the cracks and crevices of the spine being worked on. You will need to blow the dust away with a can of air. Alternate and use the Absorene to clean the area just cleaned with the Magic Eraser. Back and forth. Patience is key. Sometimes it feels like the Absorene just isn’t working but it is. Keep at it and you will eventually start to see staining and other debris being lifted slowly. It takes time to figure this one out. The magic eraser is very forgiving on white or light covers. However, use extreme caution using this technique on all black covers or very dark covers. The magic eraser does lift ink! Because of this, most professionals do not advise using a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Most will suggest to use Absorene, because it is actually made for cleaning historical documents and archival paper such as the Library of Congress. If you are just starting out and learning the whole process, try using these products on some cheap books first to get a feel of the process. Remember, this is just a guide for beginners!





Before and after back cover photos of upper right corner dirt oil buildup along a staple bump. Magic Eraser and Absorene did wonders to this corner with minimal effort to lift the staining.



Before and after back cover photos of upper right corner dirt oil buildup along a staple bump. Magic Eraser and Absorene did wonders to this corner with minimal effort to lift the staining.




Try using some "Goo Gone" ( or "Un-Du" ( to remove the remaining sticker flux residue. Try the Goo Gone first. What you want to do is take a Q-Tip and very lightly dip the Q-Tip in the Goo Gone or Un-Du and squeeze the product out of the Q-Tip with your fingers so there is a very light amount remaining. Use your Q-Tip now over the sticker flux and lightly move the Q-Tip in clockwise and counter-clockwise circular swirls. Do not press down hard or firmly. Only use the weight of your wrist and elbow. When you are finished, if the sticker flux is not completely removed, use a Kleexex facial tissue and wipe completely dry. Repeat if there is still some sticker flux remaining. Go slow, start small, work the flux out of the book cover very lightly and faintly. Wipe everything down completely dry with a kleexex or swiffer dry sweeper dust sheet. I've done this method on card backers for toys, plastic bubble blister packs, and comic books.




There is a dedicated Facebook Group called "KaptainMyke Comic Book Pressing" for anyone to join and contribute ideas open for discussion. Ask questions about this guide or show off your own books! Anyone is welcome to join. I firmly believe the spread of accurate free information will help us all keep books preserved and conserved. You may find the Facebook Group at this link here:





Try to be non-invasive with your books. Start small and work your way up to more aggressive tactics when removing stubborn stains or writing. These tips will hopefully save you money, and guide you along the way as YOU learn and pick up new ideas and better ways to accomplish things.

I've had a number of people ask me via email if I have a paypal account for sending donations as a way of saying "thanks" for the continuing efforts of this "living document" teaching people how to safely press comic books. This is not required by any means, but if you feel compelled to do so, you may send a donation to this link:

Shareable Links:

Thank you!







The Overstreet Guide To Grading Comics
The Overstreet Guide To Grading Comics includes the 10-point grading system, as well as exhaustive descriptions of Primary and Split Grades, examples of each grade with more than 200 full-color images in all, articles on storage, preservation, and restoration, a look at the independent, third-party grading companies, and much more. You absolutely must own this book if you plan to buy or sell on ebay. Use this book also as a way to argue if a book is not in the advertised condition if you feel you are ripped off.







I recently started some tutorial videos that illustrate different methods and techniques covered on this page. The videos do not have audio or sound and are shot with a gopro camera in 1080p. I don't want to be that guy, but they take a really long time to produce and edit so, "Please give a like and subscribe" Thanks!

How to Press Comic Books Playlist by KaptainMyke on Youtube

How to Press Comic Books Playlist by KaptainMyke on Youtube







This 156 page field guide and training manual is a must-have for any comic book collector. Comic Book CPR explains advanced cleaning techniques and explains many exciting new methods not covered on this page. Protect your investments by reading this book today. This is a collaborated effort of 25 people and 4 writers! Includes all new, never before seen material not covered in the free guide online. This book covers liquid cleaning, removing fingerprints and scratches - and more!

Comic Book CPR Paperback Edition: $49.99
Comic Book CPR E-Book Edition: $39.99

More Information:

The author is also an authorized and licensed CGC Dealer. Have peace and mind the advice given on this website will help you achieve the absolute highest grades possible with CGC. CGC is the most trusted authority on third party grading of comic books since 2000.






1949 Quality Comics Group PLASTIC MAN #17
Before and After

1952 E.C. Publications VAULT OF HORROR #23
(Before and After)

[ Go Top ]

Swiffer, Mr Clean and the Mr Clean logo are trademarks of Proctor and Gamble and/or its affiliates ©2022 Mr Clean and Swiffer. Ebay and the Ebay logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates ©2023 Ebay. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates ©2023 Amazon. As an Amazon and ebay Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Comic Book CPR by Michael Frederik Sorensen ®2019 All Rights Reserved ©2019 KaptainMyke and ®2019 Michael Sorensen. Comic Book Stain Removal and Whitening ©2022 Michael Frederik Sorensen ®2023 All Rights Reserved ©2023 KaptainMyke and ®2023 Michael Sorensen.



How to Press Comic Books by KaptainMyke
©2002-2023 KaptainMyke