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Inkjet Photos Sticking Together

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Old 12-14-2011, 04:14 PM
robertmazur robertmazur is offline
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Inkjet Photos Sticking Together

I have read a lot of forum posts on how to unstick photos stuck together...all the distilled water and steam techniques. But they all seem to reference professionally processed photos.

The photos I have sticking together were printed by me with a HP Photosmart printer about 8 years ago, and have sat in a damp environment ever a garage in Seattle. The photos are black & white (actually, the top one is looking a bit brown now, but still looks good) and printed onto consumer-grade HP 4x6 paper.

Can I still follow the distilled water and/or steam suggestions? Or do different rules apply since these are not professionally printed photos?

Yes, I started to pull them apart slowly and carefully after letting them warm up and dry for a few weeks inside. But as soon as I saw a slight tear start, I immediately stopped and started searching the internet for answers.

Any advice?

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:43 PM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Inkjet Photos Sticking Together

Rob be very careful what you decide to do here both water and steam can cause more damage and loss of treasured images - still if they are well and truly stuck you have lost them anyway.

Most references to these methods relate to photographic paper prints not inkjets which are either dye or pigment based.

Disclaimer: Caution I have not tried the following so cannot offer any guarantees that these methods will work or that the prints will not be damaged

It is possible that if the inks are the pigment type that you may be ok either soaking in water or try putting in the freezer for a few hours in a plastic bag. Alternatively warmth from an iron may help release them.

If the inks used are dye based then AFAIK these are not likely to be water resistant so you should not try water or steam. Warmth from an iron may be helpful to allow you to gently ease apart, but it is possible that the ink will peel off!
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:59 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Inkjet Photos Sticking Together

You would probably get the best advisce by calling HP customer support. As I recall their Photosmart inks were unusual as were there photo papers.
Regards, Murray
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:49 PM
Steve13 Steve13 is offline
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Re: Inkjet Photos Sticking Together

HP Photosmart inks are water soluble and will run if wet. That said, I ran one printed on matte photo paper under water and it seemed to hold up pretty well. Paper may make a lot of difference. I assume you don't have the original files you printed them from or it wouldn't be an issue. Get a good scan of the top one in case you destroy it getting to the second one. Like Tony said, they are lost the way they are now anyway.
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