How to remove photo from magnetic album

I recently discovered what was a "magnetic" photo album and why they are bad. I'm now passing on the tips I learned to preserve your memories.

I saw the words on a Pinterest pin and I thought, "what the heck is that". I mean, photos don't have magnets behind. I was confused.

Turns out, its name should be sticky photo album. Popular in the 70s, 80s and 90s, those albums are the worst. First, the acidic glue damages the pictures, than the plastic film keeps the "fumes" inside.

I grabbed my photo album realizing all my childhood photos were at risk. Later I realized how discoloured the picture was.

I was in the process of printing "new" pictures of slides my dad recently scanned. It came at the right time cause I was wondering how I would insert those pictures in the album. Seeing how bad that album was, I decided to remove ALL the pictures and place everything in archival plastic sleeves. B&H had ones for 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and even Polaroid. I bought a big binder to put those sleeves in.

Things you will need: dental floss, thongs and rubber pick-up. Not pictured: optional bandages.

Remove the plastic film

Do this delicately as it might stick to the photo (none of that happened to me).

Remove the pictures

The very easy way

If you are lucky, the glue is not sticky anymore and the picture slide off.

The not so bad way

Some of my picture were lightly stuck so I used stamp tongs on one side of the picture and I delicately pulled off the picture off the page without any damage.

The hard way

A big part of my pictures were still stuck very well and I had to use the floss method. I used regular floss without mint flavour. I work my way under a corner, separating the photo from the album. Be careful not to pull too strongly, I ripped off a few photos because of that.

The pages became very yellow, specially my baby picture pages.

I used bandages on my finger to prevent the floss from hurting my finger. This is optional.

One of the few photos that got damaged in the process.

Store your pictures

I was lucky there was no glue residue, but if you have, I've seen people recommending a rubber cement pick-up (you can find this at craft stores). Then store your picture in an archival box or archival plastic sleeve.

While waiting for my photo sleeve to arrive, I sorted them out in chronological older in a photo box.

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