Dear BiblioBull – sticky photo album

Dear Biblio Bull-

As a kid I put all my autographed 8x10s in a photo album with the waxy “magnetic” pages – and now wish I hadn’t….

How can I free the photos from the waxy backing so I can frame them and put them in my shop without destroying them?



Dear John –

I too thought I would do this great thing for my mom and put our pictures in an album and 20 years later couldn’t believe the mess I had made for myself.

I did some experiments with heptane products, like the now discontinued Un-Du product and Bestine Solvent and naphtha products such as Ronsonol lighter fluid. Neither of which seem to harm the photographs, at least the ones I own look fine – but they are worthless. I tried it on photos from 4 different eras, including the Polaroid Land Camera shots you had to ‘paint’ with fixative. None looked the worse for wear. So, if you have actual acrylic residue or tape on your pix, that stuff won’t hurt them.

As for getting them out of the album – folks on the net listed many ways to attack the problem from an Exacto knife to a microwave to a hair drier. . . but I thought the simplest most elegant way worked the best. Place a dish towel over the page and iron it with a clothes iron for a few seconds. The pictures came out like a dream.

Biblio Bull-

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