Flood / water affected photographs can be saved, so don’t throw them out! Here is a list of what you need to clean them up… (this will only work for true photographic prints and will not work for inkjet prints or other printing methods.)
- Warm water.
- Two containers/buckets to hold about 4L of water.
- Small amount of dish washing liquid.
- Lint free cloth.
- A clothes line or some string or a hair dryer.
Traditional photographic paper is designed to be submerged into water, as the final step of the printing process involves submerging the paper into water to stabilise the photograph.
- Place prints or saturated albums into warm water, this will remove any sediment and dirt, allow them to soak until they freely separate. Soak for as long as necessary, the water will not harm the prints.
- After they separate remove any dirt by lightly washing under running water, then place them in a second bath of warm water. This time add a couple of drops of dish washing liquid to each litre of water – this will work as a wetting agent which will allow the print to dry without spotting.
- Remove the photographs from the bath, please remember wet photographic emulsion is delicate and can scratch easily.
- Gently remove excess water with a moist lint free cloth or let the excess water run off by holding them up. You can now dry your photographs with a hair dryer or simply hang them out to dry.
Spread the word… there’s no need to lose our history of photographs. :)
And if you need any help with seriously damaged prints, let me know as I will fix your flood damaged photos and restore them for free!
Stay safe :)