February 4, 2011

Recovery of photographs after a water emergency

This video describes techniques for salvaging small color snapshots that have been wet for a short time before the surface has become mushy, moldy or damaged. The surfaces of color snapshots and many older historic photos are easily damaged after being wet—avoid touching the front of the photograph. If the photos are already stuck to plastic album pages, do not remove—drain off any excess water from the plastic pages and allow to air dry. Rinsing with a strong water stream or wiping with a soft brush may cause more damage to photos that have a soft mushy surface. When in doubt, just briefly immerse the photo in a tub of clean water, allow the excess water to drain off, then dry the photos as described by laying flat or hanging.

This page last reviewed on April 27, 2015