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Removing Mold From Your Slides

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By Mollee Shannon

Have your poor slides been sitting in that moist, humid basement? Have they been subjected to elements in your attic?

You might pull out your slides to find that some of them contain mold, but there’s no need to panic.
There is a safe way to clean your slides so Southtree can still digitize them. Following these steps will help restore your slides to their former glory! 

 

What You’ll Need: 

  • Cotton gloves 
  • Soft cotton pads
  • Isopropyl alcohol in a concentration of 98% or higher. (Check auto parts stores for the high concentration Isopropyl alcohol.)

What Not to Use: 

  • Solutions containing water. Mold is usually water-resistant. 
  • Your bare hands. You might have removed the mold, but your slides will be covered in fingerprints!
  • Regular rubbing alcohol. It has too much water in it! 


Ready to restore? Gather your supplies and your sad, molded slides, and get ready to return your precious memories to their original beauty! 


  1. Put on the cotton gloves. This will protect your slides from becoming heavily fingerprinted throughout the cleaning process. 
  2. Remove the slides from their mounts before cleaning. There could be mold hiding in the mounts, so in a few months, you’ll be back at square one with moldy slides! 
  3. Moisten the cotton pad with the alcohol, and proceed to very gently wipe the slides. Be careful not to scrape the slide on the cleaning surface! Proceeding with caution and care is of utmost importance. 
  4. Set the slides aside to dry on a clean surface. 
  5. Replace the slides into clean mounts. Again, those old mounts could be just as moldy as the slide itself, so it’s easier, cleaner, and safer to place the slide in a new mount. 
  6. Store your slides in a clean container. Chances are, mold has built up in your container as well. Yuck! Find a clean container for storing your slides. Cardboard slide boxes are always a good choice. 
  7. Send your slides to Southtree for digitizing! You’ll be glad that you have digital versions of your precious memories, and digitized images can’t mold! 
  8. Store your original slides in a cool, dry space. Don’t put those slides back in the damp basement, or leave them to weather elements of the attic! 

That’s our safe recommendation for cleaning your photo slides! So if you’ve pulled out your slides to send to us at Southtree, and you discover mold, never fear! You can still expertly clean your slides before sending them in! You’ll have clean sides and digitized images! It’s a win-win!

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