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Author Topic: Cleaning Negatives & Slides  (Read 6062 times)

Jay From Vermont

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Cleaning Negatives & Slides
« on: June 22, 2005, 09:07:46 PM »

  Good and bad news!

Since this was my first post ever I thought my question was logical and would receive some response.

Well to my dismay my question must be either stupid, too old school, or in the wrong forum.

Either way, being the pessimist I am I also asked the folks at Kodak in hopes they kept some film people on staff after the layoffs. I have posted their response below in hopes to provide easily searchable information for others who have the same basic question.


The information that you have been able to find on cleaning motion picture film should be relevent to cleaning still film as well. Surface debris should be removed with either canned air or a sable-hair or other non-abrasive brush.  If additional cleaning is required, isopropyl alcohol of 98% or higher should be applied with cotton or other non-abrasive cloth.  Lower concentrations, such as rubbing alcohol, may cause streaking and take longer to dry. Higher water content may swell &
deteriorate the emulsion.  Follow this procedure in a well-ventilated area:

- Slightly moisten a soft, lint free applicator (cotton swab, glove, cloth)
- Clean a small area at a time
- Re-moisten as necessary. Too much alcohol may result in a longer drying time

NOT recommended for use on pre-1950 nitrate-base films
NOT recommended on some Microfilms

For product availability, please contact Fisher Scientific at

If you should have additional questions, please be sure to revisit our site as we are continually adding information to enhance our support.  

For immediate answers to commonly asked questions, please visit:

For product and technical information, service, support, and downloads:

For information on ProPass Magazine:


Peter V.
Kodak Consumer and Professional Contact Center, USA
Digital & Film Imaging Systems"

I hope this helps someone else.

Bill in WV

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Cleaning Negatives & Slides
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2005, 02:43:11 PM »

Hi Jay,

I missed your question the other day or I certainly would have thanked you for asking and waited as anxiously as you for the answer. I finally got a scanner that will allow me to scan in some of my old slides and I share your problem. I ruined one slide a few years ago and I don't want to repeat on some that are irreplacable images. I took the coward's way out and waited until I found some other method. Unfortunately, as I moved to Digital, my slides get shoved to the back shelf. Well, the time has come.

I few of my old slides are on my site. Not great, but I like them.

Bill in Wv
 My pbase page
Bill Evans

Currently shooting with Canon digital equipment

Jay From Vermont

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Cleaning Negatives & Slides
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2005, 08:47:25 PM »

I am trying to find the safest way to clean negatives and slides prior to scanning. I'm talking about stuff that a blower and camel hair brush will not remove. My guess is after the flim was processed it was contaminated in packaging the negatives and or mounting the slides.

Kodak recommends cleaning motion picture film with 1,1,1-Trichloroethane which is now outlawed, a replacement product by 3M, Novec HFE-8200 is now recommended.

How similiar is motion picture film to C-41 negatives and E-6 slide film?

I've seen every thing from soaking in water with a few drops of photoflow to using isopropyl alcohol and squeegeeing the film between your fingers. Any suggestions or references to sites with published faq's is appreciated, as I do not want to ruin my originals.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!  


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Cleaning Negatives & Slides
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2005, 03:13:10 AM »

Hi Jay,

I don't remember the exact name and cannot check right now, but I have been advised (and bought) to use Pec-12 fluids and the Pad wipes going with them.

I have only used them a few times until now to remove dust from slides before scanning. The first attempts seem to show that they leave something on the emulsion, but I believe that the problem lies in the way I have been using them so far. Anyway, they are probably worth a try.

A few images online here!
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