My question is like this one, but only more so. My photos have been in the envelope for more than 30 years. I tried water, then steam, then turpentine, none of which worked. These are BW silver oxide photos on Kodak paper. Any ideas?

  • 3
    When you say you tried water, for how long? They will need to be soaked in a bath of water at least overnight.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:09
  • @Chenmunka That should be a supported answer.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:22
  • It's a little late to say this, but scan them before you try anything. I found this out the hard way.
    – Mick
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 11:44
  • Yes, well, we have strayed into a logical impossibility. I can't scan them until I've separated them, but before I separate them I should scan them. It is more than my poor brain can cope with, sahib.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


A similar question has a full and detailed answer over on Photo.SE.

This post states that you need to keep the pictures humid for an extended period.

In my experience, soaking the photos in a bath or water for at least 12 hours will separate them. The pictures can then be carefully dried after you have carefully peeled them apart.

  • Yes, I have tried 12 hours. However, since I now see that 12 hours is roughly right, not 'way too high, I'll try a week, since, as I say, they've been stuck together now for decades.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 23:33
  • Yes, a week did it. I never expected it to take so long, but they are now cleanly separate. Thanks to the net and all you experts for the right answer.Now on to the next problem: flattening.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 1:20

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