Cleaning old photographs

I will post here any processes, tips, experiences for cleaning old photographs. My main objective is to get them scanned in so I am aiming to get the best start point possible.

Basic Tips

Compressed Air

Use cans of compressed air to clean off any surface dust or loose residue. Canned air is dry but watch out for moisture of the surrounding air condensing. Do not blow the air on too forcefully as this could damage the surface.

Use Gloves

While cleaning photographs, you will be handling them quite a bit, so white cotton gloves are good for protecting your photographs from dirt or moisture from your hands.

Vintage Cartes de Visite – CDV

CDVs do not like liquids so avoid at all costs. Use compressed air as the main method of cleaning, although some brushing with a very fine brush such as a camera lens brush. Always test it first on a small area first and use a magnifying glass to see the results and check if any damage is being done.