Hi kcmom. Welcome to the world of image scanning. In order here are some tips that will help with your scans.
Originally Posted by kcmom
What is the best way to clean them
The best way to remove lint and dust from slides or negatives is to use an air blower. One can be had for between $10 and $20 at a variety of online stores. I'm partial to the Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster, but any air blower will do. Canned compressed air is highly discouraged for use on slides or negatives.
To remove fingerprints from slides or negatives a chemical called PEC-12 is recommended. Apply a small amount of this chemical to a lint free PEC-pad and carefully wipe away the fingerprints.
While it may not be possible to remove every single speck of dust from your slides, following these steps will remove a significant amount of lint and dust particles. As a result, you will have less work to do once your slides have been scanned.
can you assist me with the proper settings
Open Open Epson Scan. You should see a window that looks like this. At the top right corner of this window there is a a drop down menu. Click on this drop down menu and select "Professional Mode." Then match the settings in Epson Scan to the image below. It is best not to enable automatic dust removal in the Scanning Software as it doesn't always work well. For best results dust removal should be done manually in a photo editing program.
Scanning at 2400 dpi will result in an image that will appear sharp at sizes of 8"x10". If you need to make prints that are larger than this size, increase the dpi to a higher setting. Next click on the small square shaped button in the bottom right corner of the window. I've circled it in red.
Choose where you plan to save your scanned images and give them a name. I recommend saving your images as TIFFs. A TIFF will result in a large file, but will give you the most flexibility in an image editing program such as Photoshop or GIMP. After you've cropped unnecessary borders, removed dust, and color corrected your TIFFs, you can save your edited images as Jpegs.