How to clean 35mm negative film?

  • What is a proper way to clean a 35mm negative film stripe before scanning?

    What chemicals can remove fingerprints, dust that does not come off by blowing, or strains of glue? What type of cloth does minimal damage when rubbing off dirt?

    Try PEC-12 emulsion cleaner from Photographic Solutions. I've had good luck with it.

  • MikeW

    MikeW Correct answer

    8 years ago

    For fingerprints and light dust you can use a microfibre cloth. If you have stubborn dirt, dust (or glue!) then you may scratch the emulsion if you rub with a cloth.

    In that case you could try film emulsion cleaners, but I would just soak them in lukewarm water, perhaps with a single drop of dishwashing detergent to prevent streaking, then use a soft squeegee and hang to dry.

    In the end I used lukewarm water + microfibre and that solved 95% of my problems. The glue (leftovers from postit-like sheets that where attached by the developer for ordering duplicate prints) also got soft enough that it could carefully wiped away.

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