Freeze Dried….Bible?

Help! I am receiving a Bible that is wet after a house fire. Has anyone had experience in FD books to salvage them? Do you pre freeze with it open? Put it on center tray? Do you need other items on other trays?

pages of a book on freeze dryer trays

This was a post in a Facebook group in January of this year by one of our customers, Vernon B. Our user group gave him plenty of advice about using a freeze dryer to restore soaked books, and we were all touched when he posted the story of the bible:

He must have had it open so the cover is burned. It’s wet but did not soak but an inch. Fits trays fine. Tons of notes in it. Lost wife 3 yrs ago in tragic wreck and raising 2 teen girls. A mans man of faith. I put it in 11-10 custom. So glad to be able help

For many families, Bibles are also irreplaceable family heirlooms. We all waited to see what would happen when Vernon freeze dried the Bible. There were many posts of encouragement, but there were also questions:

Did you let this go through all three cycles? And what setting did you use?” One user asked. His response: “Did custom 10-9 let it run its course. It was not soaked all the thru. Only 1” or so. Only took 24 hrs total.

Finally on February 1, Vernon posted the results:

The Bible fluffed up a bit but the pages and notes inside were salvaged perfectly. It’s the little things inside like the I love you note from his daughter seen in the picture that made this project so cool. Thanks for the comments and ideas.

pages of a bible and a love note from a child

Way to go Vernon. We think that might be the sweetest thing to come out of one of our freeze dryers.


God Bless you! My son does reclaiming of old wood and often there are Bibles left. I save them and distribute them to patients / families asking for a Bible.

Years ago Venice suffered a devastating flood. As is the habit of man, older stuff tends to migrate to the basement. Freeze drying was the solution to recover books and manuscripts that were water logged. This saved a lot of their history and culture. The down side was getting enough dryer space before some of them manuscripts went moldy.

My personal experience, once in a while my wife forgets to empty my shirt pockets where I keep a pocket size calendar book and note book. It’s great that they can be put into the freeze dryer, even though it takes a long time. I don’t think you can do that with a cell phone.

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