[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Un-glue

Jeff Krebs jeffkrebs at shaw.ca
Mon Apr 6 08:58:11 PDT 2009


I purchased some as well.  The product appeared to work a little, but I
think some of the glue used may have been the "carpenter's white glue".  It
has that plastic appearance and is very hard.  I wasn't overly impressed by
the product as it's viscosity is less than water and runs all over the
place.  I have yet to try it on those sticky backed photo albums from the


-----Original Message-----
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of Frieda
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 9:18 AM
To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Un-glue

I ordered some of the un-glue and it didn't work and so I wrote to the
company and asked the reason.  This is their response.  I am using Rosonol
lighter fluid in place of Naptha and fine sandpaper.  It is slow, but seems
to be working.




Hello Frieda,


There were two common types of products used to mount photos on album paper.
The types are:

-           Glue such as Elmer's glue, school paste, and similar products.
These are water based products. Un-du does not work on glues.

-           Adhesives such as rubber cement. These are petroleum based
products. All "self-adhesive" products are petroleum based. Un-du works on


If un-du is not releasing the photos as expected, then it is likely your
photos were mounted using glue or paste. 


Photos that were 'glued' can usually be separated from the mounting media
(paper, etc.) by soaking the backing paper in slightly warm water (about
80-90 degrees F). 

There are some precautions:

                        This process is not fast. Depending on how hard the
glue has become, it may be very difficult to remove all remnants of the
black paper your mentioned. 

                        This method should not be used on photos printed by
modern ink jet printers. The ink will run and destroy the picture. 


But here is the good news, a fact that many people don't realize. If the
photos are conventional photos, that is, photos processed in a photo lab
using photographic chemicals then you may immerse the entire photo in water.
Allow the photo to soak well until the glue dissolves and the backing paper
can be easily pulled off. The black paper you mentioned is a very loose
fiber material which tears readily. If that occurs, simply rub the remaining
material lightly until it comes off. 


The image side of the photo when wet becomes quite soft and can be easily
scratched, so avoid touching this surface as much as possible. 


It is perfectly safe to soak these photographic photos when handled with
care. Remember, during the processing of the photos they were subjected to
several chemicals and finally rinsed in water. After they have dried, most
plastic backed photos will have retained their finish (glossy, matte, etc.)
however the paper photos will likely lose the glossy sheen (before the
plastic photos came about, photo labs force dried paper photos on ferrotype
tins which produced the gloss.) If the photos are plastic backed material
they should retain their flatness, however older paper photos will tend to
curl up. In days past, photo labs used  ferrotype tins as mentioned to
produce the glossy surface and to keep the prints flat while they dried. If
a matte finish was desired they sandwiched the photos between layers of
blotter paper and tightly stretched a canvas over the whole stack. Big
plants had machines that blew warm air over this stack to speed up the
drying while amateur photographers simple let them dry over time. You can do
the same thing using blotter paper, or several layers of paper towels above
and below the photos then weighting the stack under books or similar heavy
flat objects to keep the photos from curling. If using paper towels, try to
use towels that do not have patterns embossed in the paper as this pattern
may show up in the surface of the photo. (Blotter paper can usually be
purchased at art supply companies.) It may take several days for the
pictures to dry using this method and depending on the humidity in your
area. Some people have been known to use a flat iron to heat and speed up
drying photos with blotter paper.  This is safe if you limit the heat to
avoid scorching.


I hope you find this information helpful.


Ron Lee

Aspen Shops Sales




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