Method of Taking Spots of Grease from Paper

[ Method of Taking Spots of Grease from Paper ] Dr. William James Almon

Contributor Role
Contributor Name
Dr. William James Almon

Date: Late 18th century; exact date unknown.

Publication Format


blotting paper
spirit of turpentine
essential oil of spirit of turpentine
spirit of wine

Nova Scotia

Source: Manuscript Notebook of Dr. William James Almon
Institution: Nova Scotia Archives | Source Origin: Almon Family Fonds | Reference: MG 1 / Microfilm Reel 10,045


Detailed instructions for removing grease stains and restoring whiteness to paper using spirits of turpentine and wine, pp. 82-83. Though Almon's source is unknown, these instructions also appear as the recipe "To Remove Spots of Grease from Books and Prints" published in The New Family Receipt-Book (London: Squire and Warwick, 1810), p. 247.


Method of taking spots of grease from paper

After having gently warmed the papaper stained with grease, wax, oil. 
or any fat body whatever, take out as much as possible of it by means of
blotting paper. Then dip a small brush in the essential oil of well
rectified spirit of turpentine, heated almost to ebullition (for when
cold it acts only very weakly) and draw it gently over both sides of the
paper which must be carefully kept warm. This operation must
be repeated as many times as the quantity of the fat body imbib’d
by the paper or the thickness of the paper may render necessary
When the greasy substance is entirely removed, recourse may be
had to the following method to restore the paper to its [former]

whiteness, which is not completely restored by the first process
dip another brush in highly rectified spirit of Wine, and draw
it in like manner over the place which was stained, and particular-
-ly round the Edges, to remove the border that would still present
a stain, by employing these means with proper caution, the spot
will totally disappear; the paper will resume its orriginal
whiteness; and if the process has been employed on apart written
on with common ink, or printed with printers ink, it will experience
no alteration.