National Geographic + Citrasolv = Love

Here and there I’ve seen a few people mention creating
awesome art pieces by soaking National Geographic’s in Citrasolv.

I decided to give it a shot.

It took me some work to find the citrasolv, but I managed to grab it on Amazon for around $10. 

It came in the mail today! So I decided to give it a go.

I set up a space on my dining room table with a cut up trash bag, plastic tub, and some rubber gloves.

First up, I tore the back and cover off. Also took out some of the advertisements.
I attempted to pull out the staples with some needle-nose pliers, but that was a huge fail. So they were left in (and a huge pain to deal with later). I really recommend making sure you get those out before you start this. You’ll thank yourself later.

I also recommend wearing a face mask. Citrasolv is a strong smell, that doesn’t really start to bother you much until later on and then it’s REALLY STRONG. By the time I pulled out the face mask it was too late, the smell was already starting to be bothersome. Anyway…

Using the needle-nose pliers, I poked a hole in the top of the paper sealing the bottle. I then just started pouring it on the pages. 

Keep in mind here, you don’t have to pour it on every single page. It soaks through pages too.

It started working it’s magic right away…

I still went ahead and let it sit for about 30 minutes. 

After that, I started pulling pages out and setting them out on the trash bag covered table.

(This is the part where it’s really important that you took those staples out.)

Once they had dried to a point where I was confident they wouldn’t be dripping…. 

(Just a few minutes)…

I hung them up on a makeshift line: 

And then I ran out of room and hung up a second make-shift line:

I’ll be letting them hang overnight to ensure that they completely dry up before I start using them for collage material and painting on.

Now here’s some fun photos: 

One last thing worth noting, I used two different National Geographic’s here, one from 1970 and one from 1987. 

The 1970 was a HUGE BUST. Ended up throwing the entire thing away. It didn’t react at all. 

All the photos shown in this post are from the 1987 issue. Kind of a bummer, but a learning experience nonetheless.

If anyone knows why that happened, drop a comment. I’d love to know!



EDIT: Day 2 of the Citrasolv experimentation:

I had a bit of citrasolv left over, but I did things a little differently this time. I went through a few different National Geographic’s and pulled out specific pages that I thought would have a cool reaction. Mainly pages that offered full page photos. I brought them back to the plastic tub and put them through the same process as above… and wow, getting better every time! I liked this method better than the previous.  It pretty much guarantees that you will like each page, and you don’t have a bunch of wasted citrasolv from where it halfheartedly reacted to mainly text pages. I believe this is the method I will adopt for all future Citrasolv uses. 🙂

3 thoughts on “National Geographic + Citrasolv = Love

  1. Hi! This is what I have for ingredients in the Citrasolv. I used the Citrasolv concentrate (important to know, since they have other products and I can't be sure you would get the same results with those)

    Here's the list:
    Limonene (the clear liquid from the peel of the orange, food grade), C10-16 Pareth-1 (plant derived surfactant), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil.

    I hope you have luck finding it in Sweden, it really is quite fun to work with! 🙂


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