Larsen Digital Scanning Service

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are the biggest risk your slide film faces today, especially Kodachrome film.  Slides stored in dark damp / humid climates are very susceptible to mold & mildew damage.  The mold will actually eat away the chemical emulsion & the surface on the film and there is no way to remove it from the film without leaving its mark on the film.  Digital ICE (IR Cleaning) will not remove this type of defect from the scan.


Needless to say, the sooner you have the slides scanned the better -- because this mold and mildew will continue to grow until the slide image is totally destroyed.


The only way to prevent mold is to change the conditions that it is in. You will need to store your slides in a cool dry place.

The four images below are actual examples of mold and mildew damage to the slide film emulsion.

Each image was cropped from a small area on four different slides.

mold & mildew example 1 mold & mildew example  2
mold & mildew example  3 mold & mildew example  4

Removing Mold From Slides:

Larsen Digital does not offer a mold removal service, but you can attempt to do this yourself. According to Kodak , here are the steps:

The following should remove mold and fungus from negatives or slide film if the fungus growth has not etched or distorted the film emulsion.


Wear cotton gloves to avoid getting fingerprints on the film.
Remove the slides from their cardboard/glass mounts before cleaning.
You will need the following items:

A KODAK Photo Chamois, or a soft, plush pad, or some absorbent cotton.
Isopropyl alcohol in a concentration of 98% or greater.
Note: If you have difficulty locating the isopropyl alcohol, check with gas stations and auto parts stores. It is sold as "dry gas" for your car. Check the label to be sure you have a 98% solution with no other additives.


Moisten the photo chamois/pad/cotton with the isopropyl alcohol, and gently wipe the film until it is clean.
Remount the slides in clean glass mounts or new cardboard mounts.

Do not use the following:

Water, or solutions that contain water. Fungus usually makes the emulsion water soluble.
Ordinary rubbing alcohol (it contains too much water).