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Thread: Cleaning old prints?

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    Member michaellxv's Avatar
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    Cleaning old prints?

    I was about to start scanning my wife's parents wedding album from 1956 when I noticed that there are some grubby paw marks on them from being admired over the years. The photos are still in good condition and the marks are not obvious when looking at the photo straight on but stand out when you look across it.

    Is there a practical way to clean them without damaging the photo?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    depends, There are ways to clean them but you need to find out what sort of prints they are. Some prints were also coated with a lacquer, and you would need to find out if they are, and what sort of laquer.

    In the meantime some cotton buds and a very gentle rub may bring on marks, but be careful that you do not bring of some of the actual print emulsion as well.

    The people who make pec-pads (those white pads used to clean sensors etc) also make an photographic emulsion cleaner called Pec-12 Photographic Emulsion Cleaner, you could try and source some of that and follow the process recommended for using it. (disclaimer, I have not used it, or know how effective it is, I just know the product exists and you use at your own risk)

    https://www.vanbar.com.au/catalogue/...t.php?id=60304
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-05-2014 at 7:39pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Just a thought: try a scan on some of the less-obviously pawed prints and see what they look like????
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    michaellxv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    depends, There are ways to clean them but you need to find out what sort of prints they are. Some prints were also coated with a lacquer, and you would need to find out if they are, and what sort of laquer.

    In the meantime some cotton buds and a very gentle rub may bring on marks, but be careful that you do not bring of some of the actual print emulsion as well.

    The people who make pec-pads (those white pads used to clean sensors etc) also make an photographic emulsion cleaner called Pec-12 Photographic Emulsion Cleaner, you could try and source some of that and follow the process recommended for using it. (disclaimer, I have not used it, or know how effective it is, I just know the product exists and you use at your own risk)

    https://www.vanbar.com.au/catalogue/...t.php?id=60304
    Would you believe it, no cotton buds in the house.
    It looks like a professional album of the day. B&W matt finish although slightly reflective as you tilit in to the light.

    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Just a thought: try a scan on some of the less-obviously pawed prints and see what they look like????
    I have scanned them anyway as I need to get a copy while I can. They are not too bad but of course I can see the marks 'cos I know where to look.

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