Don’t we all get curious to know about our parent’s childhood, their siblings, and parents? Since, unlike today, there were no gadgets back then to constantly record their every activity, we do not have many ways to find out how they looked, when they were small, except for a few printed photos. And if somehow those get destroyed, there probably will not be any other way to remember those memories. Old family photographs are precious, it can be passed down to generations to make them aware of their ancestors and roots. Therefore, it is imperative that you preserve those priceless prints, besides having their digital copy. Here’s what you can do to revive some of your old family photos that have already been destroyed. 

Use Distilled Water To Fix Stacked Photos

Since the printed photos have a thin film of a gelatin-like substance on them, photos end up sticking with each other, as they come in the contact of water. You can fix stacked photos by using distilled water.  


  • Pour 2-3 cups of distilled water in a flat plastic container, so that it can cover all the photos. 
  • Place the stuck photos in the water. Keep the image side up, and let them sit for twenty or thirty minutes. 
  • During this time the gelatin will become soft enough. Then you can very gently separate the photos, using a finger or a spatula. 
  • Once wet, they are in a more vulnerable state, so lay the image side up on a towel to allow them to dry naturally. 
Use Blow Dryer To Remove Stuck Photos From Frame

Use Blow Dryer To Remove Stuck Photos From Frame 

Old photos that were passed on in frame can be stuck in it. If the frame has broken, or you want to put the print in a new handmade photo frame, you can take out the image using a blow dryer.


  • First things first, get a digital copy of the picture, so that if you don’t revive the picture, still you can have it. 
  • Then, take a blow dryer and turn it to low heat.
  • Hold the blow dryer and safe distance, somewhere about 10-12cm from the frame. 
  • After the dryer is hot enough, gently pull back on a corner.
  • This should be an easier step, so, in case you experience resistance, stop and increase the heat. 
  • Do not pull abruptly at a sharp angle, otherwise, you will end up with crease.
  • Slowly take out the whole photograph, following the same process.

Use Acid-Free Tape To Fix Torn Parts 

Nothing will break your heart more than a torn photo. If you too have a ripped photo, get ready to fix it with acid-free tape. 


  • Clear a table to start working on it. You will need space, cleanliness, and a lot of patience. 
  • First, take two sheets of clean cardboard and lay one on the table. 
  • Take the torn pieces of the photo and start arranging on one of the board. 
  • Once done, gently place the second cardboard above the first one. 
  • Flip the boards together, lift the top piece, without misplacing any of the pieces. 
  • Using acid-free tape, stick all of the pieces into place. You can also use a mending strip for the same. Don’t use regular tapes, the adhesive (homemade adhesive recipes) in it will damage the photo.
  • Once done, make copies of it and preserve both. 
Use Emulsion Cleaning Fluid To Clean Dirty Pictures

Use Emulsion Cleaning Fluid To Clean Dirty Pictures

Dirt not only blurs but also damage the quality of the photo. Therefore, it is imperative to remove them, nicely and that too without damaging the precious print. 

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  • If there is less dirt, clean it with your finger, or a photo brush. It is available online and at photo stores. However, while cleaning don’t press on the photo too hard, to avoid scratching the surface. 
  • For those real dirty photos, gently wipe it with the help of a liquid called emulsion cleaning fluid or isopropyl alcohol. Best is to buy it online and then clean the print by following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Don’t directly try on the old photo, experiment with a random one, and then on the original print.  

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Use Straightening Iron To Remove Crease 

If the photos were kept folded for a long duration, it can end up having creases and fine lines. To remove creases, use your hair straightener. 


  • Set the straightener at the lowest temperature. 
  • Then place the photo between a piece of cotton cloth, and gently press down. 
  • Work the straightener back and forth across the photo. 
  • After repeating this for a few seconds, place the photo under a book and allow it to cool down. 

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