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  #1  
08-23-2014, 12:47 AM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
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I have started to organize my old photos and have found some to be grossly covered in dirt and dust. What is the best way to clean these before boxing them?
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  #2  
08-24-2014, 02:19 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Do not use a cloth to clean dust!

To remove dust, use a large goat hair "mop" brush. Like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...U5WS34J2QDMKJT
You don't want to scratch the image with a cheap synthetic brush.

For dirt, you'll need to be careful. A soft cloth will be needed.

Pec Pads are better: http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=U...UVNRRUKESDESW7
This is what I use.

Liquid (water, usually) may be needed, but it can also really damage the image if not careful. A minimally damp cloth can be used on small spots, but it must be wiped away just as quickly. Even a whole second of water left of the print could be a disaster. It's worse for most non-glossy pre-1970s prints.

Repeat as needed.

NOTE: Do NOT use liquid on Polaroids!

Regardless of what you may read online, there's no one best way. Some of the methods online will ruin your images if you follow them. So beware!

Lots of solutions are sold for this, but none of really better than plain tap water.

If the damage is severe, and it looks like the print may not stand up to wet cleaning, then I scrub as carefully as possible with the Pec Pad, then scan as is, and try to work my magic in Photoshop.

More advanced wet methods can be done, but even I would not attempt them. It really depends on not just print type, but even the paper that was used.

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  #3  
08-24-2014, 04:19 PM
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A lot of photo transfer services online recommend cleaning before shipment, are there services that actually clean and scan photos?
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08-25-2014, 03:23 PM
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Most photo transfer services are really lazy, and simply will not clean the images. (Many more outsource your photos in bulk -- some even out of the country!) That's not what you want.

When we scan photos, we'll often clean them to remove dust -- mostly to protect out scanners! But for anything else, it really depends on what it is. I don't want to deal with images covered in snot, vomit, dried food, etc. Yes, that's disgusting -- that's my point! It's best if you clean them first. If you run across an image that has a problem, ask us about it. Ask here on the forum for how to clean it.

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