Username Post: Mother has passed - photo cleaning question        (Topic#1576947)
Vae
Vae 
Diva
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Vae
  • Vae on 05-28-12 10:15 AM

I've been away for the past few days. My mother passed away. It was pretty unexpected - she was only 54.

I went down to her house in Houston to round up all the photos and important documents. She had piles of photos everywhere and they were not at all well cared for. She also had lots of magnetic photo albums. I want to clean them up and I am hoping someone here can help me know what to do.

What do you use to clean photos that don't just wipe clean with a soft cloth? Some have what look like coffee stains, water stains, finger prints that won't wipe off.

Also, there are some stacks where the photos are stuck together. Some are just a few photos stuck together, others are like an inch tall stack and they are fused together and I don't want to just pull them apart because they will rip.

And finally, what do I do with the ones in magnetic albums? They are older and the pages have already really started to get yellow. Some of the photos are stuck and I can't easily remove them without damaging the photo. For the rest, I don't know if I need to "treat" them since they have been in there.

There are thousands of photos so I can't really send them all to be restored. My mom was a model when she was in her 20s and there are just sooooo many photos of her and I want to clean them up and scan them and then do something special with them.

Thank you all in advance for your advice.


 
theellenbee
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theellenbee
In response to Vae

I have no advice but I do want to offer my condolences. It is always so difficult to lose a parent, but 54 is very young and so tragic. HUGS


 
pinkpaperairedale
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pinkpaperairedale
In response to theellenbee

I don't know if this will work or not... you might be able to take some to Walgreens and see if they can copy or print them and have the new ones look good. My sisters did this with some very old wedding photos and we were pleased with the reproductions. I don't know how you clean the originals. So very sorry for your loss.


 
Veteran
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Joined: 07-08-09
In response to pinkpaperairedale

I am so sorry for you're loss.


 
aquabunny
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aquabunny
In response to SHARON ELISE

So sorry for your loss.

For the ones that are stuck in the magnetic albums, you could try the old dental floss trick - sliding it underneath the photos to loosen them.

I wouldn't necessarily try Walgreen's, but the idea of finding someone or someplace that can restore, maybe not all of the damaged photos but at least your favorites as well as the least-damaged ones, is a good one.


 
moxiegirl23
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moxiegirl23
In response to aquabunny

I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

For the photos that are stuck together you could try soaking them for a few minutes in cold distilled water and seeing if they come free. It has be cold and it has to be distilled in order to do the least amount of damage to the photos.

Photos that are stained, fingerprinted, etc, I have not had any luck with anything other than photoshopping them.

The only other thing I would try is a photographic rinse agent, one of the chemicals they use towards the end of the developing process. If I was still working in a photo lab, I'd say send them to me and I'll see what I can do.



 
Luvmyfam
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Luvmyfam
In response to moxiegirl23

Sorry for your loss.

I went through the photo issue a few years back when we inherited thousands of photos. As it turned out, I was able to "let go" of the most damaged ones. I first sat down and sorted through what I would keep (damaged or not), and found that most of the damaged ones were not ones I would have kept anyway. I was very fortunate. With the ones I kept, I was able to clean up or crop the damaged spots. The rest are in a pile that I will take to a photo restorer. We have several in our area (look under photography in the yellow pages).


 
Tivi
Tivi 
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Tivi
  • Tivi on 05-28-12 11:58 AM
In response to Luvmyfam

Im so sorry for your loss.

I've had good luck getting photos out of the mag albums with Un-du.

Products Referenced in This Post:


 
SherylEb
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SherylEb
In response to Tivi

So sorry for your loss.
First thing would do is get the pics out of the magnetic albums. When I did my moms, I used a metal scraper thing like for a cricut or slice. Just put them in a box for now.
A friend of mine's son is a photographer and he used to use denatured alcohol on photos to get rid of finger prints and such. It has to be denatured though. Also take a couple of the pics and pour some undu between them. May be too costly to do much, but could on some important ones. The denatured alcohol may do this too.
Good luck sorting through the memories.


 
Sunnydi
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Sunnydi
In response to Vae

First off..I'm so sorry for your loss of your young mom. Hugs.

I see you've had some good advice here and I learned a few things also. I couldn't get some of the pics off the sticky pages and just laid them on my scanner, scanning all the photos, then cropped and did my best at adjusting in PSE. Good luck.


 
RedSquirrel
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RedSquirrel
In response to Sunnydi

Just hugs from me - I have no better advice than everything you've already had here. I hope your project gives you comfort.


 
Vae
Vae 
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Vae
  • Vae on 05-30-12 06:27 PM
In response to RedSquirrel

Thank you all so much for your tips. I really appreciate it and think that these will help quite a bit. I also appreciate all the sentiments and love this wonderful online community!


 
Peridotskies
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Peridotskies
In response to Vae

I don't know how to fix your photo problem. But I am so sorry for your loss.


 
dlanvinson
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dlanvinson
In response to Peridotskies

Jarvae - I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.

About the photo's:
This may be dumb and I have never tried it but is steam ever of any use trying to get photos apart? Cold - Like from a humidifier? Or maybe hot? Just a thought.
I guess I'm thinking if it can unstick glue from envelopes it may unstick the photo's?
I hope you are able to figure something out. Good Luck!


 
Vae
Vae 
Diva
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Joined: 07-14-07
Vae
  • Vae on 06-01-12 01:51 PM
In response to dlanvinson

I haven't thought about steam... I am definitely going to look into it because it sounds like it might work. I'll do a little research on it to find out. Thanks!


 
New Kid On the Block
Posts: 3
Joined: 06-09-10
In response to Vae

I'm sorry for your loss.In regards to the pictures I had that problem and had good success with Un-Du.Good luck!


Edited by scrappenmuffen on 06-01-12 01:58 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
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