View Full Version : Cleaning film holders

20-Jan-2005, 11:28
I would like to know if anyone has any good ways of cleaning film holders. I have some old fidelity holders which make a slight scratching sound as the dark slide is pushed in. I presume there's a build up of dirt at the 'mouth' of the film holder. From what i can see there is no metal parts on the film holder, allowing one to wash it, but i could be wrong.

I look forward to any advice.


Kevin Crisp
20-Jan-2005, 11:40
Simon: You will be surprised how much dirt you can blow out of the holder by using compressed air from a tank or compressor in the 30 psi range. Direct the nozzle so it blows dust from the inside out through the felt. Check to make sure you didn't dislodge any felt. Try a clean dark slide a few times back and forth and repeat. Then brush off the surface dust which remains on the outside of the felt so you don't drag it through the gap again. This works fairly well, it also helps to either have the slides very clean (simple green works well) or wiped down with Lemon pledge to they slide in easily. You will probably see a cloud of dust come out when you do this. I prefer buying the used ones which have screws to hold them together, thus permitting complete disassembly, but on the used and very dirty plastic ones I have had, compressed air does the trick. A can of Dust Off doesn't have anywhere near the strength needed for this, go to a gas station if you don't have a compressor with some power. Good luck.

20-Jan-2005, 11:51
And after blowing them out, I would suggest vaccuming them to remove even more dust.

20-Jan-2005, 12:45
Somebody suggested running a post-it note through the holder. Works like a charm, if you do it after blowing the dust out.

Bruce E. Rathbun
20-Jan-2005, 15:51

There are many ways to do this. I have found that using a vacuum cleaner works the best. I will blow out any dust that I can wth air. Then I remove the darkslides and run the vacuum over each one on both sides. Then the holders are vacuumed. The darkslides are inserted and the holders are checked for dust with the darkslides pulled almost all the way out. After a few times of checking the holder this way, they are ready to load in a fairly dust free room. Then I vacuum the outside of the holders again. Next I wrap each holder in aluminum foil. Maybe an extreme method but it does work. My dust is about zeor on negatives. Good luck with whatever you do.


Richard Boulware
20-Jan-2005, 17:42
I have a special vac brush that I use ONLY for photographic work and NOT general cleaning.

1. Vacuum first, inside, slides, and light trap slits.

2. Blow out holder last, using mimum air pressure. From 'cans' standard pressure,...
from air compressors, maximum of 15 PSI. You don't want to dislodge felt light traps to come u nhinged.

3. A quick pass with a static-master brush which breaks up the static electrical field which will prevent airborne dust from reattaching to the holder as a result of static generated by the motion of the compressed air over the holder.

4. A couple of quick blasts of clean compressed air, and store bag in dust free container.

Richard Boulware - Denver.

mark blackman
21-Jan-2005, 00:08
I've put all-plastic 5x4 holders through a standard cycle in a domestic dishwasher. No problems with the light trap afterwards.