The Best Cleaning Tips & Tricks before Digitizing Your Slides & Photos

The Best Cleaning Tips & Tricks before Digitizing Your Slides & Photos

If you’re like most, you’ve probably got a shoebox in the attic full of vintage slides or an old photo album covered in a thick film of dust under your bed.


Sound familiar?


It’s high time you do something with those special memories other than let them hunt dust bunnies. Here’s a thought – why don’t you get them digitized? You know, breathe some new life into your old memories. But before you send them off for a digital makeover, let’s go over some housecleaning rules so you can get the best quality possible.


Watch out for liquids

It may be tempting to use some sort of all-purpose liquid cleaner on your vintage slides and photos but it’s vital you don’t. Liquids, especially water – even oil from your finger prints – can damage the emulsion and ruin the image quality.


Grab a rag

A microfiber, lent-free cloth to be exact, similar to ones used for cleaning glasses lenses. Start by gently wiping any debris off the sides. Find your perfect balance of pressure because too much can leave smudges. And while gloves aren’t necessary for cleaning, they may take the headache away of leaving possible fingerprints.


Blow it away

Want to go the hands-free method? No problem. Compressed air can help you prevent fingerprints or even accidental scratches from manual hand wiping. This method may also be the most fun, for whatever that’s worth.


Give it some alcohol

Remember when we said not to use liquids, well this is the exception – but only if you’re experienced with handling film media. Experience can be your best friend, or a lack thereof, your worst enemy. Make sure your alcohol-based film cleaner has a neutral pH level and contains no water – none. Zip. Nada. Nil.


Dip a cotton swab/pad into the solution being careful not to oversaturate the cotton, and start wiping the slides and/or film.


And there you have it, pretty easy peasy. If you follow these simple and quick steps, you’re slides and photos will be ready for their digital resurgence. And once you get them back from a digital memory professional like Legacybox, you can have a watch party, so all your friends and family can revel in your most embarrassing childhood – or adult – memories, together. Just like one big roast.

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