Putting photos in one of those sticky-backed albums or scrapbooks may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but retrieving the photos may be not be so easy, especially if you want to send your photos of to a professional photo scan service.
Before sending your photos to a professional photo scan service, such as Digitize Media to scan them and make digital copies for you to keep for years to come, you must pull the photos off the pages without ripping or damaging the prints. Then you may be faced with removing some of the glue from the photos.
This article includes some tips on how to remove the sticky glue off the photographs.
Note that methods described below should be done with the extreme care and not rushed as the photos can be extremely delicate. If one of the methods appears to be damaging the photo, stop and try another method.
The Scraping Method
The first option is to use your nails, a scalpel or a razor and gently scraping the glue away from the photo. This is one of the safest methods to try but it is also one of the most time-consuming.
The Sweatbox Solution
This is a method commonly used by stamp collectors who are trying to get a stamp off an envelope without damaging the stamp.
To ty this method, use an airtight container such as a Tupperware storage item and put a wet sponge at the bottom of the container. Then add a layer of wax paper over the sponge and place your photo on top with the glue side of the photo facing upward. After sealing the box let the contents humidify and within 24 hours, the glue should be tacky and easy to rub off.
It is best to check the photo often throughout the humidifying process to make sure there is no damage being done.
The Air Blow Dryer Technique
Set your hair dryer to a low setting as not to damage the photos and slowly move the blow dryer back and forth over the glue. After a few seconds, check to see if the glue is loosening up or becoming tacky. Once the glue is tacky, try peeling it off the photos or wiping with a dry paper towel
The Freezer Burn Off
This method is to be used in combination with the scraping method if you extra help in removing the glue. Put the pictures in a plastic freezer bag or a Tupperware container and place them in the freezer for about five minutes. This will force the glue to freeze and harden and should make it easier for you to scrape it off the photo.
Be careful if the glue is on the front of the photo because some of the picture may lift with the glue.
The Solvent Solution
If none of the above suggestions work to get the glue off your photos, it may be time to use an adhesive solvent such as Un-Du Adhesive Remover. Make a test in a small area in the corner of the photo first to check that the adhesive solvent is not damaging the photo.
Soak In Lukewarm Water
This method poses the highest risk of ruining the pictures and should be used if other techniques do not work. This method works well for photos that will not come off the album page as well.
After soaking the photographs in lukewarm water for several minutes, do not touch the front of the wet photos because it could result in smears to the ink.
This method of removing glue may cause your photos to curl. Once they are dry, place the photos between two heavy books to flatten them.
Use A Professional Photo Restorer
If your photos have sentimental value or are incredibly old, consider taking them to a professional photo restorer who is experienced in removing glue from photos without damaging them.
Professional Photo Scan Service
Digitize Media offers a professional photo scan service and will create a high quality digital copy of your photos & slides – meaning that you always have a reassuring back up and allow you to easily share your memories and experiences on your digital devices and with family and friends.