How To Clean Your Slides And Scanner

Here's how to safely clean your slides and scanner so you get a better quality image scan...

In this article you'll learn that when you clean your slide before you scan it, will remove most of the dust. But be careful! You need to do this properly so you don't damage your slide. Here's how...

1. Do NOT Use Any Liquids On Your Slides

Using any sort of liquid directly on your slide will damage the emulsion. Emulsion is the "ink" that makes up the image on your slide. If you get water, oils from a finger print, spray from a cleaning product, etc., on your slide, you'll remove the emulsion -- and ruin your image.

As for your your scanner's window, you can use eye-glass cleaner. BUT DO NOT spray directly on the window.

2. What To Use When Cleaning Your Slide And Scanner

Tools to clean slides before scanning

I wear lint-free gloves to handle slides. Even if you're careful your finger or palm might accidentally touch the slide. You can find these gloves in any photography store.

For the actual cleaning, I use a lint-free cloth. You know the ones used to clean eye-glasses? Those are perfect.

You can also use one of those ear-wax removal tool (not sure what it is called, but it is sort shaped like a tear drop). Or you may also try using compressed air. But after 200 slides it will run out.

For cleaning the scanner's glass, I use eye-glass cleaner. But remember, do NOT spray directly on to the glass.

3. How To Clean Slides

Using your lint-free cloth, GENTLY wipe your slide. Do not press hard, as you might leave smears. You might not see these smears, but your scanner will.

Use a lint-free cloth to GENTLY wipe your slide to remove most of the dust.

You can also use the puffer or compressed air. But the lint-free cloth does a better job sometimes.

4. How To Clean The Scanner's Flat-Bed Window

The first thing I do is use the puffer or compressed air on the window. Then using eye-glass cleaner, spray a different lint-free cloth -- again, NOT the scanner's window.

How to clean your flatbed scanner before scanning slides

Spray the cloth not the scanner's glass!

Do NOT press hard. I've scratched windows before because somehow a grain of sand got on it. This is why I use the puffer first. If there happens to be any hard debris on the window, the puffer will hopefully get it off. Then gently wipe the window with the lint-free cloth.

I usually clean the window after 100 scans or so. But it's important to wipe and clean each photo before you load it on the scanner bed.

That's it!


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How to scan slides negatives photos into digital -- free tips

My name is Konrad, I have over 11 years expereince in scanning. I've personally scanned and edited over 930,000 slides, negatives, photos. I've seen every challenge. So, if you don't know where to start, if your scan project is taking too long, if your digital images look horrible, I can help with that. How? Email me and tell me more about your scan project. Tell me about your frustrations and challenges. I'll email you back with an answer.

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