Mouldy Kodachrome Slides

kodachrome slide holder

I recently purchased a batch of 200 Kodachrome slides for less than $30 on eBay which is fairly cheap for Australia. As with any sight-unseen purchase, it was a gamble; at best I could hope for 20 or so ‘interesting’ slides and after running them through my Agfascop mini slide viewer I’ve discarded more than 50%. The discard pile consisting of many European buildings that look the same today as they did a hundred years ago or non-descript landscapes.

Today, being typical Melbourne – cold and wet and 14°C even though we are in the midst of summer and experiencing random 40°C plus days – is the perfect day to get some scanning done. I began with the slides that had been transferred from their cardboard Kodak holders to the blue and white plastic ones. To my dismay, the first four slides were damaged. I moved on to the next four which were the same. A Google search provided conflicting advice on whether or not the mouldy slides could be salvaged with use ‘ wet wipes’ or ‘isopropyl’ being the leading advice.

I found an old (and out of date) bottle of Isocol rubbing alcohol in the cupboard. I decided to try it on a slide I was happy to sacrifice – the water wall. To my surprise, it worked a treat.

It’s interesting these slides are in plastic holders and all seem to be suffering the same fate. It reminded me of a few other plastic holder slides I purchased some time back that are also damaged…possibly suffering from mould also. Coincidence or is the transference to the plastic holders to blame?

the bridge before
The Water Wall – before cleaning
The Water Wall – after cleaning
The Dog Patrol – before cleaning
The Dog Patrol – after cleaning

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