The earliest reels date back to 1938 and are made from Kodachrome slide film. Great care is needed when storing photographic film. Improper storage can result in fading, mold, scratches and dust. Kodachromes color if stored properly can last for up to 100+ years. Kodak recommends cool, dark and airtight containers.
- Hi-Polymer eraser sticks
- Soft Brush (from photography supply chain)
1. Hi-Polymer Sticks are great investments and can be used for a multitude of projects. These erasers remove wear marks and scuffs easily yet do not harm printed text on the surface. Older reels develop a dark ring along the outer edge, this is easily removed with the Hi-Polymer stick. Gently work the stick back and forth, rubbing off any visible marks.
|Dark Ring Removed|
2. Dust off any debris from the reel with the soft camel brush. These best brush varieties are found in photography supply stores. Brush from the inside of the reel out. Work with each image square individually and carefully.
|Degraded paper sleeves can shed paper fibers over time. Replace them as needed.|
3. Please note that mold growth (looks like spider webs) will permanently scar the image and can not be removed. If stubborn dirt or smudges remain on the image after dusting there is one last option. A Microfiber Cloth. You have to be positive that there is nothing abrasive remaining on the film or you will scratch it. Take the cloth and carefully rub the image on both sides, this should remove stuck dust and debris.
There are photographic emulsion cleaners on the market like PEC-12. Technically this could be dabbed onto the microfiber cloth and used the clean the film. It could also damage to the surrounding paper reel. This is very risky and should only be used as a true last resort!