Written by: Bexx Caswell-Olson
Primary Source: Wallace Conservation Lab, March 29, 2016
Rubber bands are great to lots of things, but they don’t have a place in Special Collections or Archives!
Rubber bands are made from natural rubber. As rubber ages, it becomes dry and brittle. When exposed to heat and humidity, rubber becomes soft and sticky. In this example, a rubber band around a DVD box must have gotten warm and sticky. It stuck to the paper box (and the box stored next to it), and later dried out and became a hard, powdery mess. It will be difficult to remove without causing damage to the item.
If you need to hold an item together because it has loose parts, it is preferable to use unbleached cotton tying tape.
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