A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > B&W Photo - Film & Processing > old negatives, How to clean

Featured Equipment Deals

Not Just for Extreme Sports: 5 Reasons to Own a GoPro Read More

Not Just for Extreme Sports: 5 Reasons to Own a GoPro

The GoPro is the new, must-have toy for the extreme sports crowd. But don't let your imagination stop there! The GoPro lets you place the viewer "in" the moment with high quality video and still...

Latest Equipment Articles

The Olympus Air A01 Hands-On Review Read More

The Olympus Air A01 Hands-On Review

What if a photographic tool arrived that was the link between smartphones and good photography? That tool might just be the Olympus Air A01.

Latest Learning Articles

25 Photos of Abandoned Places Read More

25 Photos of Abandoned Places

These images of abandoned and forgotten places captured by photo.net photographers show the beauty that can exist in decay.

old negatives, How to clean

Walter Degroot , Aug 19, 2008; 01:14 p.m.

50-60 years ago. I shot a lot of B&W film that I never printed.

now my wife is scanning all the old negatives. I have a batch of single frame 127 B&W negs. apparently I was careful as none have turned brown. How do I clean these negatives so we can scan them.? I also have long strips of 35mm 30 years old, that need cleaning.


Henry Posner , Aug 19, 2008; 01:19 p.m.

Walter Degroot , Aug 19, 2008; 03:11 p.m.

thanks for the answer so it cannot be shipped? I am 120 miles away and never get to the "big apple" would like to visit the store , tho,

Frank Schifano , Aug 19, 2008; 03:37 p.m.

Walter, Adorama has a similar, if not identical, lineup of film cleaning solutions. They will ship. Sorry Henry.

Chris Waller , Aug 20, 2008; 04:38 a.m.

I use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (medical alcohol), available from most pharmacies, and Kleenex tissues.

Bob Sunley , Aug 20, 2008; 08:33 a.m.

Kodak film cleaner from the good old days of 127 film was hexane, a decent substitute is ordinary Ronsonol lighter fluid in the yellow bottles. 98% isopropyl alcohol is a good choice as well, it dries faster than 70%, and it does not contain oils like some brands of 70% rubbing alcohol.

Your choice of solvent mainly depends on what your are trying to remove from the negatives.

Yann Roffiaen , Aug 20, 2008; 10:05 a.m.

I use something called Tetenal, and it also cleans glass plates.

Walter Degroot , Aug 20, 2008; 10:12 p.m.

i asked a friend, former owner of a photo manufacturing company. ( dyna-lite), he passed it off to a pro photographer, who rambled on, and then said he tossed out all his negatives.

I have access to fome fairly pure al;cohol and finally got walmart to sell me lighter fluid ( for old lens diaphragme) thanks all.

Michael Briggs , Aug 20, 2008; 11:15 p.m.

Kodak has a publication with tips on cleaning photographic materials. Their recommendation is isopropyl alcohol of purity 98% or better. See publication CIS-145, "Recommendations for Cleaning Photographic Materials", at http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/cis145/cis145.shtml

Back to top

Notify me of Responses