Film is pretty filthy stuff!

Article Dedication

in Honor of

Ron Rice  &  Mike Kuchar


I was working with an old 16mm film that was a hurricane survivor. I normally use Edwal Anti Stat Film Cleaner to clean the films, but this film was particularly messed up. While the Edwal cleaned some of the dirt off, it left a lot to be desired in the cleaning dept.

I decided to give Urbanski’s Filmrenew a try. I applied it liberally with cotton Webril Wipes to the film.

You are supposed to change the pad when it gets dirty, I’d be hard pressed to do that. Every few inches would leave something on the pad. This photo above shows what is on a fresh pad change every 10 to 15 feet. Filrenew really finds the dirt.

After 3 passes of the film this is the dirt that was still coming off every 10 to 15 feet. After all this cleaning, breathing the Filmrenew vapors was starting to get to me, so I took a break and dug out a fan to blow air in my face and let the Filmrenew soak in a little more.

The reel was slightly dripping wet with the cleaner. It did not drip on its own, but it would drip once you rewind it. Maybe this slow drying characteristic of Filmrenew is part of the equation for its thorough cleaning characteristic. The Edwal dries almost instantly, so it may not have time to loosen old dirt.

While the cotton Webril pads are great for a soaking application and for removing ‘some’ of the cleaner, they do a poor job with the final cleaning. They don’t seem to absorb much of the thin layer of cleaner still on the film. So about this time I switch to Kimwipes lens cleaning tissues in the pop up box. They do a good job absorbing most of what is left.

The Kimwipe pictured above was just used for drying. You can see there is still plenty of dirt on the film. But the reel has had 5 to 6 passes of cleaning and my head is getting kinda woozy from the vapor and my ADD is kicking in and saying enuf is enuf. (Being a street photog, I hate repetitive, anal work.)

Now, you can just let the reel sit and it will absorb any remnants of cleaner, but I had to get this scanned, so I wanted the film done faster. The Urbanski Filmrenew made a believer out of me….amazing stuff! Just open the widow when you use it.

(I have no financial interest in any product I mention in any of my blogs.)