How Do You Get Mold off of Old Photos?
How Do You Get Mold off of Old Photos?
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How Do You Get Mold off of Old Photos?

By Shelby Burr
Mold, mildew, moisture. 

These are three common items that can really tamper with or destroy your family photos. Yes, your family photos! Not many people realize that their memories are in danger until it’s too late. Sure, your photos might be in a relatively safe spot in your household, but they can still be exposed to risk. Let’s make sure we avoid those risks.


If your photos are stored in a basement, storage unit, or stuffy attic...listen up! Your memories are subjected to years and years of gross mold growth. Mold loves humidity. Mold loves moisture. Mold loves anything dark where the light isn’t coming through. Mold loves your family photos. The best way to prevent mold growth is to keep your family memories in a dry, cool place. 


So, what happens if you run to your basement, attic, storage unit and discover that your photos do indeed have mold growing on them? “Are they lost forever? Did I just lose our family memories?” 


Pause. Deep breath. There is hope. 


At Legacybox, we digitize your family photos so you can keep them safe and sound. Plus, you can relive them again and again. However, sending in photos with mold is a different story.  Newly digitized photos with mold will either have poor quality due to visible mold spots OR if the mold is too bad and causing possible harm to our techs, it won't be able to be transferred and the memories could be lost. Again, there is hope.


There is a way to SAFELY clean your family photos and remove the mold before digitizing!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Clorox or X-14 (solution to clean)
  • A tray 
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Acid-free container
  • Legacybox


First, put on your gloves! If you’re allergic to mold or have asthma, please put on a mask. 

Next, take out your photos and assess the damage. Do not stack your photos on top of one another - the mold might make them stick together and cause additional damage. Once you have your photos all laid out carefully, take your clorox or X-14 and lightly add a little to a clean cotton ball.


Lightly wipe your photos with the cotton ball until mold is removed. You may also use a Q-tip for more precision. Once your photos are clean, place them on a tray to dry. Do not touch with your fingers while drying! Your natural oils can add smears to the image and we definitely want to avoid that.


Once dry, take a dry bristle brush and brush away any dust or excess from the photo. And there you have it! Your photos are clean! Keep in mind, depending on the amount of mold, your photos may not be back to their original version. There might be marks, discoloration or fading...and that can stink. The good news is, you can prevent any additional damage to your memories by getting them digitized.


Legacybox will take your newly clean photos and digitize them to CD, Thumb drive and/or digital download - that way they are preserved forever. And once you have your memories digitized, you can safely pack your photos in an acid free container to make sure no moisture and mold creeps in. 


You can do it - you can save your photos now so that they can be enjoyed forever!

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