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Lucy, Mensa Member
Category: General
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I have 2 old photo albums that got wet in a basement flood.

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I have 2 old photo albums that got wet in a basement flood. Some of the photos are stuck together as a result. Is there a way to separate the photos without damaging them?
I don't care about the paper backing. One of the albums smells of mildew as well.
Thanks for your help!

It has been suggested that you try a product called Un-Do, which is available at craft stores, Wal-Mart, or

Something else you could try before you spend money: fill a sink with lukewarm water. Place the pictures in and let them soak for a few minutes. They should separate in the water. Do not attempt to separate them manually. Just wait and check back until they float apart. It could take up to 24 hours. Let them dry - they will probably curl, but it is best to let them curl and dry, then uncurl them. I would try this method first - since the damage was caused by water, putting the photographs back in water is unlikely to cause additional damage.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It seems logical to ask: how does one uncurl photographs?
Once they are totally dry, you can press them between large books. But, don't do it while they're wet, or the print on the pages will transfer to the photographs.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


I have not had much success with uncurling photographs with large books in the past.

Since I have 2 albums to process, this just isn't practical for me.

Applying weight can take awhile. Salvaging a lot of pictures could be a slow process.
You can apply steam using an iron by putting the picture between two sheets of butcher paper. Here is a link that explains the process. Unfortunately, that is probably not a practical solution with a lot of pictures.

Alternatively, if you have a clothesline, hanging the photos to dry may prevent curling. Run a fan in the room, above or below, but not directly on the photos.

Good luck.
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