julian anstis
26th April 2005, 18:08
Many of you will have old photographs and negatives which over the course of time have become dirty and grubby (no not that type of photo) with finger prints, lager etc especially if the kids have been looking at them.

To clean these up and get them back to normal place the photo's or negatives in a CLEAN bowl or dish of lukewarm water with a couple of drop's of washing up liquid added.
Leave to soak for 5/10mins
Then put a very small amount of washing up liquid on your CLEAN finger and rub over the photo or negative very gently. (I prefer this method because you can actually feel when the bits of dirt,food or whatever have been removed.)
Then rinse well in clean plain lukewarm water.
Place the photo or negative on a piece of kitchen roll and with another piece DAB off any excess water. (Dont Rub)
When the excess water has been removed dry with a hair dryer on a WARM heat.The photo or negative will curl like hell at this stage, dont worry when left to cool all will be well.

You will now be left with a perfectly clean photo/negative ready to scan or put back in the family album.

If this process alarms you dont worry the last thing that happens to a photo/negative as it is processed, is that it passes through a final rinse to remove the chemicals before it is dried. As long as you are gentle in the cleaning you should only get a good result. I have used this method for many years with excellent results. If in doubt,try this method on an old photo after giving it to the kids to look at !

Do not use this method on Slides, you can buy a cleaning kit for slides at any good photography store. Due to the chemicals used to process slides they are prone to mildew growth after being stored for a period of time.

Hope this helps some of you to be able to rescue some of those old photo's we are waiting to see posted.

PS: If after trying this you are still left with sticky marks, repeat the process again but try raising the temprature of the water a few degrees and let the photo soak for twenty mins instead.

26th April 2005, 19:44
Very interesting,Julian.Will definitely try that.Thanks.

julian anstis
26th April 2005, 20:13
Hope you get good results Paul & Willie.....

I have rescued many photos this way especially where there has been no negative to re-print from. Its also good for photo's that have been hanging on walls for many years and just need the everyday smoke and grime removed to put a bit of life back into them.

michael james
26th April 2005, 20:23
Hi Julian, I have just tried your remedy on some old negs that came to light recently and I had put off messing about with them for fear of doing irrepairable damage, and it has worked a treat, they appear clean and blemish free again (as I remember them 40 odd years ago !) and I will post the results in due course. Many thanks you have taken the anxiety out of a tricky job. Mike J (LOL)

julian anstis
26th April 2005, 20:48
Glad you got good results Mike........I am now awaiting to view the MASSIVE influx of new postings due shortly.

julian anstis
16th May 2005, 11:58
Julian is it safe using your process for cleaning on any pictures that have the surface damaged ie part of the picture ripped off or bad scratch into surface.
Does the washing process take off cigarette smoke damage, nicotine ?

No problem Zelda.......just give it the female touch (very gentle around the broken parts). It will remove nicotine stains and general grime but you may need to do the process a couple of times ....just lengthen the soaking time and a spot extra liquid soap........practice on scrap photo first if you are unsure ......let me know how you get on

julian anstis
20th May 2005, 09:19
Now there's a new angle to drying them.....glad it worked for you Zelda.

The only thing I might be concerned about are the long term effects on the emulsion of the photograph. (Especially if it's an irreplacable photo). I imagine, but having never tried this method that you might get some kind of cracking or crazeing on the face of the photo.....remember that older photo's will have a different type of emulsion than the more modern photo's. So I dont know what effects microwaving will have.

but good on you for trying Zelda at least you experimented, and with a scrap photo.

P.S. a female that cant find her hair dryer!.......