206-337-2020 in Seattle
888-546-2384 Toll-Free
Preserving Your Photographs

Acid-free storage is listed below.  Prices include shipping and handling.  

General Rule of Thumb:  
To preserve your original photos, store them in a cool and dry place.  
Worse agents are humidity, glues, newspapers and magazines.  
Newspaper is unbuffered and not a good source of photo storage.

Things You Should Use:  
  • One (1) pair of white cotton gloves to protect your photos from prints.  
  • One (1) box of photo corners if fitting them into albums or scrapbook.
  • Three-ring binder for fitting photos into clean new albums with Mylar.
  • Album Index Tabs for labeling and sort photos to family event dates.  
  • Keep photographs in chronological order to find them faster.  

Negatives and Handling
Negatives are susceptible to light-exposure, moisture, temperature, fade, deterioration.  
If you can, use gloves and then lay negatives on soft flat surface such as foam rubber.    

  • Do not expose photos to food, liquids, glue, smoke, or light.
  • Keep pets and children away from photos, especially if restored.
  • Hold photos, negatives, gently from the edge or from underneath.
  • Always lay photographs on a flat surface.  Do not bend.

White Cotton Gloves
We highly recommend white cotton gloves for handling photographs and negatives,
essential for avoiding damage from body oils and fingerprints while handling photos.
We do not sell these because their price is already low, and anyone could get them.
Sold in packs of 12 pairs each for less than $5 to $10, These are inspection gloves for
handling negatives, documents and delicate items.
These gloves are at PixSavers.

To Know your Photographs and Negatives:  
Professional negatives are placed in polypropylene, Mylar, or covered with acid-free paper.
For film or slide negatives, special storage boxes can be found on the web for preservation.  
We do not provide those items, as there are so many preferences and they are so particular.  

If you are unsure of the nature of your negatives, consult your film processing professional.  
Changes in temperature and humidity can fade photos whether kept in light or darkness.  

Smells and colors:     
Chemical odors can effect color in negatives. When photos fade or degrade, they can emit
a chemical odor that can effect itself and cause it to degrade even more.  Read this:

  • acetate film negatives can smell like vinegar.  
  • If nitrate-based, negatives and photographs can  give off chemicals.  
  • The silver on black-and-white negatives may turn yellow just from its own gases.  
  • Color negatives can change colors, fade or deteriorate from its own chemical odors.   
  • Gas in the air can deteriorate photos and negatives whether in light or darkness.     

Polyurethane or Plastic Storage Boxes:  
Store your photographs in polyurethane or solid plastic boxes.
You can find these gems in art, stationary, paper, or office stores.
There is nothing more we can say toward "yea" or "nay" for these.  
Again, keep these in a cool, dry, place, not your basement or attic.

Photo Albums
Avoid "sticky" plastic photo albums earlier than year, 2002.
While its plastic is coated, it's the glue that makes damage.
Photos in these albums are restored most often than others.
Albums which hasn't cause damage within 10 years are ok.

Plastic in Albums
Natural plastic passes the PAT rules but with a caveat.  
Most plastics is chemical coated and is
not photo-safe.
Coated wood and plastic give off gases  - and damage.
This is why we recommend:  archive your photo album.

Picture Frames
The only glue that should be used is on the moisture barrier backing.  
Respectfully, the type of glue picture framers use for a moisture back,
won't damage photographs.  We work closely with picture framers.   

Pictures on the Wall can Be Damaged
Do not hang photos on outside wall as humidity, moisture seeps.
Moisture from an outside wall is a proven hazard to a photo frame.
Frames glass can act as an atrium, moisture makes photos sticky.  
A stuck photo on a picture frame glass spells doom to a photograph.

Don't hang pictures near windows, skylights or tinted windows.
For pictures hung in a kitchen, remove the glass from the frame.
Watercolor paintings or oil paintings generally don't need glass.
The same rules apply to paintings whose properties can melt.   

Invest in a dehumidifier or A/C or tighten up the home ventilation.
A dehumidifier can be installed in a furnace or an air conditioner.  
Heat pumps may already have a de-humidifier installed for A/C.

Paper that is buffered is okay.  Newspaper is not biodegradable.
Avoid newspaper.  Do NOT group news printing with photo prints.
News print can bleed even if old.  Photos we restore has printing.

Envelopes with Glue
Photo envelopes with glued seams will fade photographs fast.  
Photo-mailer-flats with glued seams are only temporary and ok.   
Glue in their seam is sealed inside.

Smoke can destroy photos fast, even if framed behind glass.
Smoke contains acids and along with smoke comes moisture.

Rooms in Your Home
Keep photos from humidity; unheated/uninsulated attics, basements.
Insulate heated basements.  School photos are only on paper pages.  

Buy Archival Photo Boxes -  Large, Small Boxes, includes 100 Acid-Free Envelopes:
These acid-free  storage boxes & envelopes allow you to group photos in chronological order.   
Buffered, they have attractive chrome metal edges for extra support with 4 individual sections.  
Envelopes allow you to mark dates, identify events, without marking the photographs themselves.  

Large Box with Lid - Holds up to 750, 4 x 6 prints in envelopes and up to 1,500 prints if you store only photos.
Boxes are made from corrugated, acid free buffered board with attractive chrome metal edges for extra support.
Large size is divided into four equal size internal compartments for easy identification of photo events sections.
Fits 4 sections with individual 4x6 prints,
with 100 envelopes, Size: 15 1/2W x 12L x 5H  our price:  $40/flat-rate.
Box includes 100 Acid-Free Envelopes and includes Shipping and Handling.  

Small Flip-Top Box - Holds up to 150, 4x6 prints in envelopes, and up to 350 prints if you store only photos.
Boxes are made from corrugated, acid free buffered board with attractive chrome metal edges for extra support.
Fits photograph prints up to 4x6 size, includes 100 envelopes, Size:
4 3/4 x 6 3/4 x 5H   our price:   $40/flat-rate.

Add 100 envelopes - Extra to either above, each fits 4x6 individual prints and fits neatly into each of these boxes.  
Each envelope can be marked per each family event chronological, each photo-order.   our price:  
Box includes 100 Acid-Free Envelopes and includes Shipping and Handling.  
Related Subjects on this Site:
PixSavers, Photo Retouching, Shoreline, WA
Silica Gel Packets can Help Protect Your Photos, Slides, Negatives

Let's talk about silica packets and how to keep photos dry to archive them well.    
Silica is found in shoe boxes, purses, asian foods, medicines and in office files.  

Keep photos safe, free from moisture, in albums, scrapbooks, boxes, photo envelopes.  
Now and then, photo albums, scrapbooks collect water and lots of moisture builds up.   
Silica gel packets can be added inside cabinets, storage, archive, cold storage rooms.
It helps in attics, basements, places with excess moisture. Spilled water, drips down
between the sheet protectors can air out with silica gels. Silica gel packets should be stuck
between the pages of sheet protectors, scrapbooks, card stock protectors kept between
photos, pages, keep collectibles in pristine condition.  

A camera out in the cold can collect moisture when brought to warm.  Remove the battery
and memory card, place the camera in a bowl of silica to remove moisture.

Silica Gel will Stop working - You CAN Renew Them!   
They will quit working.  You can regenerate them by placing them into a 200 degree oven
for about 2 hours, keep an eye on the oven, and then store them in an airtight Ziploc bag.  
Crushed or ground down to powder, keep in a canister, shake it a bit now and then.   
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206-337-2020 in Seattle
888-546-2384 Toll-Free

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