By Jamey Nordby - June 24, 2019
Slides supply fabulous memories of days gone by. Thanks to today’s digitizing services, it’s now possible to preserve those memories forever. You can scan the slides and make digital copies of the images. However, if you’re going to convert slides in Denver, you’ll need to clean them to ensure the clearest image. Slides these days are usually found stored away in basements and attics. They’re exposed to dust, debris, and dirt. This can damage the slides over time. So how do you go about cleaning them to guarantee they are well-protected and scannable?
Most scanning services utilize Digital ICE technology. This detects minor scratches and particles of dust thanks to infrared light. When you scan the images, you can correct those defects. Even better, ICE technology will color correct, reduce film noise, and optimize exposure and contrast. This means that slides that are only slightly dirty will not need special cleaning. You will be able to scan them in their current state.
If your slides are moderately or severely dirty, you’ll need to clean them before scanning. There are three options open to you.
The hands-on method. You will require microfiber cloths, such as those you would use to clean lenses and glasses. You’ll also need to wear a pair of clean gloves. You can clean the slides by gently wiping off the debris. Take care to avoid excessive pressure as this will leave smudges. If you wear gloves, no fingerprints will be able to get onto the slides. Also, the natural oils in the skin won’t be able to degrade the slide’s emulsion layer. If you do not have any gloves, make sure to hold only the slides’ edges. If you have mounted your slides in plastic or cardboard, you should remove it. This will ensure the debris isn’t just pushed into the edges.
Using compressed air. If you’re worried that cleaning slides manually will cause accidental scratches, compressed air could be the answer. This will blow large debris away from the slides without the possibility of scratching them.
Using an alcohol-based cleaning solution. This method is only recommended for someone who is used to handling film media. The cleaning solution must be alcohol-based. You’ll also need compressed air and cotton pads. The film cleaner must have no water and a neutral pH since water can damage slides. Put some film cleaner onto the cotton pad, then wipe the slide gently. Avoid oversaturating the cotton pad. Once each slide has been fully wiped, you can use the compressed air. This will blow away any loose cotton fibers that remain. It will also help to dry up any remaining film cleaning solution.
All three of these options can clean your slides that you are ready to scan. As long as you take care and stay gentle with your slides, they will stay scratch-free. Once you’ve cleaned your slides, Reborn can convert your slides to digital format. This will preserve those special memories forever!