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Mildew and Slides

Manuel Franz , May 17, 2005; 01:18 a.m.

Hi all - I have been shooting slides for many, many years and have accumulated quite a collection. After relocating to the tropics about two years ago my equipment and my slides have been attacked by mildew. While replacing the equipment was not much of a problem, my slides obviously cannot be replaced. The good news is that not all slides have been affected and after storing them in a "dry" room, it appears that I have been able to control the problem. Unfortunately, a good number of slides do have mildew and I am quite uncertain as to how I should proceed. Obviously, I should scan slides as a back-up and I am in the process of doing so. But what can I do to salvage the "mildewed" slides. I experimented with an unimportant slide and simply rubbed it with some water and some cloth - the mildew came off but clearly, rubbing my slides this way is not something I want to do. I am hoping that someone out here as some expertise or some advice what to do and how to proceed. Thank you.


Berk Sirman , May 17, 2005; 05:12 a.m.

You may want to try PEC-12 with PEC pads. I have not used them for the purpose you mention but I can tell from my experience that it is easy to use, dries almost instantly and does not scratch the film.

Michael Spencer , May 17, 2005; 09:18 a.m.


This question comes up frequently so you would do well to search a little in the Photo.net archives.

In general mold/mildew grows by eating the emulsion of your film; it is therefore really hard to get rid of it and is next to impossible to do without some damage to the film. It is better not to get mold, it is next best to get rid of it before it eats its way through the emulsion. See my response in the thread at http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00C9ip for more background information.

PEC-12 is often recommended, but in my experience it is better for dust, than for mold/mildew. An alcohol based film cleaner will provide a little lubrication for the manual rubbing which is absolutely necessary to remove the mold/mildew. The worst thing to do is to put water of any kind (plain or in solution) on the beasties -- it will just encourage them to grow!

Michael D'Avignon , May 17, 2005; 10:37 a.m.

98% Isopropyl alcohol or a suitable film cleaner. Store film in a cool, dry place...

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