3 Tips To Reduce The Amount Of Dust When Working On A Photo Scan Restoration

These Tips Are For You If You're Restoring Old Photo Scans But Dust And Scratches Are Creating More Work For You

Here's what you'll get after reading these scan tips...

  • 3 step-by-step tips on how to get rid of dust and scratches from a scan
  • How to clean your photos before scanning so you don't add MORE dust
  • A simple system to help you restore your old photo scans faster

If you don't know how to reduce dust and scratches from a scan, then you'll waste a lot of time trying to restore a single photo. Check out the video above. That restoration to me up to an hour!

So, here are some tips to help speed up your photo scan restoration...

The Higher The Resolution Scan, The MORE You'll See Dust and Scratches

What sucks about scanning at high resolution is, you're to see more minute dust, scratches, and debris.

This photo scan is zoomed in to show you dust and scratches up close

You can't see this with the naked eye. But when you blow up, say, a 2” x 2” old photo into a 24” x 24” digital image, you're going to see every little speck.

And if you're trying to restore old photo scans, more resolution means work.

So what can you do? That's next...

Scanning Tip #1: Clean Your Photos And Scanner Window Before Scanning

You can control dust by making sure your work environment is clean. Sounds simple. But most people skip this step and wonder why their scans look more dusty.

Let me explain...

Every time you load your scanner, you'll be building up dust. Photos and windows like to attract dust. And after 100 scans or more, your images will look MORE dusty because of this build up. So cleaning your photos and scanner window is simple... but very important!

Tools to use when cleaning photos before scanning

Here's how to clean your photos before scanning them...

  • Use a lint free cloth (the ones you use to clean eye-glasses)
  • Do NOT apply any liquids on the cloth or photo
  • Gently wipe your photos prior to loading them on your scanner window
  • Bonus step 1: Use compressed air to blow away dust from your photo
  • Bonus step 2: Use lint-free gloves so you don't get any finger print and oil stains on the photo
  • You can buy lint-free gloves at photography stores
Don't spray your scanners window

How to clean your scanner window...

  • Use a different lint-free cloth
  • Get some eyeglass cleaner spray
  • And spray the cloth... but do NOT saturate the cloth
  • DO NOT spray the scanner window
  • If you spray the scanner window, moisture may get under the window
  • Gently wipe your scanner surface
  • Do not press too hard... you may scratch the window
  • Be careful if you're going to use compressed air to clean the window... the air may jam debris under the scanner window through the sides

You maybe asking? “But what about scratches? These tips are great for dust. But using a lint-free cloth isn't going to get rid of minute scratches!?”

That's next!

Scanning Tip #2: Use Scanning Software To Clean Up Photo Scan Scratches

Your scanner will come with software with Dust Removal

Most scanners will come with software that will remove dust and scratches. And unfortunately, the more the expensive the scanner, the better the software. What I mean is, when you buy a $200 scanner, you're going to get the basic software. When you buy the $1100 scanner, you're going to get more options, faster speeds, and better results when removing dust and scratches.

But let's give it a shot. No matter what type of scanner you have, you probably have “Dust Removal” option. So let's see how well your scanner does this.

Have a look at what my scanner software looks like...

How to setup your scanner software for dust removal

Here's what to do...

  • First do a trial scan, with NO Dust Removal
  • Scan a photo, but don't click on the Dust Removal option
  • This will be your “control” scan
  • Do another scan of the same photo... but click on Dust Removal
  • Compare your “control” scan with your “dust removal scan”

Why do this? You only have to do this for one scan. What I want you to see is if Dust Removal is OK for you.

For example, when I zoom in...

Scan before dust removal and after dust removal

... you can see that Dust Removal cleaned up dust AND removed detail.

That's the problem with Dust Removal. It's a quick fix. And if that's cool with you, then great.

But if you don't like what you see... if you think Dust Removal made your scan worse... then check out tip 3, next...

Oh, have you heard of Digital ICE? Yeah, it doesn't work on photos. It only works on transparencies (slides and negatives). So don't let their marketing fool you, because they don't really tell you that upfront.

Scanning Tip #3: Use Image Editing Software To Fix Dust And Scratches When Restoring Photo Scans

Fix photo scans with GIMP, Photoshop, Lightroom, Elemnts for better results

This step isn't easy. But remember this... you'll only be scanning your photos once. These scans will be passed down to your kids. And your kids will give them to their own kids. Your name and image of you will live on.

I'm saying this because, personally the effort is worth it. To learn how to use image edging software is a skill any body can learn. And once you learn how to fix ONE photo, then the rest will go faster.

And the good new is, I got you covered.

Here's how to use GIMP, Photoshop, Lightroom, or Elements to fix dust and scratches...

Your Action Steps To Do Right Now

Step One: Remember to clean your photos before loading them. Use a lint-free cloth. Wipe gently. Don't apply any liquids on the photo.

Step Two: Clean your scanner window. Use a different lint-free cloth. Spray a small amount of eyeglass clean on the cloth. Don't spray the scanner window! You'll get moisture under the scanner window if you do.

Step Three: Use “Dust Removal” option that came with your scanner's software. But do a test first! Get a natural scan, with NO Dust Removal. And get another scan with Dust Removal. If you like what you see, great! If not...


Free Ebook: Tells You Secrets To Getting High Quality Slide, Negative, Photos Scans In Half The Time

Which of these saning troubles do you want to overcome?

  • What's the best resolution / DPI to scan your slides, negatives, and photos -- so you don't lose details
  • Best method to digitize slides, negatives, photos using your regular flatbed or film scanner
  • How to clean your negatives, slides, and photos before you scan them -- so you don't scratch them
  • What side should you scan a slide or negative -- so they're not backwards or facing the wrong way
  • How to setup your scanner to get higher quality digital images -- 24bit JPEG? 48bit TIFF?
  • How to fix your digital images using Digital ICE, GIMP, or Photoshop and make them look new
  • How to improve your scan workflow so you can double your productivity and finish your project twice as fast
  • Understand the technical stuff of a digital image so you can make sideshow videos, reprints, and more!

Hey, my name is Konrad. I've been scanning professionally since 2005. I've helped multi-billion dollar companies, pro sports teams, pro photographers, artists, museums, book publishers, etc. I've scanned over 930,000 slides, negatives, photos.

The reason I'm telling you this is because no matter what challenge or frustration you're having, I know exactly what you're going through. So, to help you RIGHT NOW, I've put together a super simple scanning guide to get you started.

It's free (for now). So, fill out the form you see on the right:

How to scan slides negatives photos into digital, free ebook download

Your free ebook is up for grabs. Just enter your name and email, and click the download button: