Information on how to clean microfilm and microfiche can be hard to come by. There are some companies that are willing to clean your microfilm or microfiche for a fee, but are tight-lipped about their actual cleaning methods.
There are cleaning products available, though they can be hard to come by. One we know of is a slide cleaner that is safe for microfilm and microfiche, which can be found here!
For some, though, this can be too pricey of an option. For that reason, we also have some basic steps you can use to remove grime, dust, and smudges from your microfilm or microfiche safely and cost-efficiently.
You will need:
-Any lens cleaning solution approved for glasses
-A microfiber or other soft, lint-free towel.
Instead of the two above, you can opt for the pre-moistened eyeglass towelettes (anti-scratch and lint-free).
-Lens cleaning brush (optional)
First, use your lens cleaning brush on the film to remove any dust or grime that will come off freely.
Next, lay your freshly brushed film on the clean paper.
Moisten the towel but don’t over-saturate it (or use your pre-moistened towelettes), and gently stroke the area you would like to clean in one motion.
Rotate the towel/towelette to a clean portion and again gently stroke in one motion. Repeat this step until you’ve covered all the areas you would like to clean.
Allow the film to dry completely, and you should be set!
We suggest running a test on a small portion of the film to make sure this method works for you before you clean your entire collection only to find out something went wrong!
If you tried this method and are still seeing imperfections, it could be that your microfilm reader/scanner needs a thorough cleaning or possibly a few replacement parts.