Separating Photos That are Stuck Together

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Moisture can wreak havoc and destroy your photos. This page is about separating photos that are stuck together.


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June 14, 2012

I would like to know if anyone knows a way I can separate my photos, they are stuck together, side by side.

By Marcus


June 20, 20125 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is good comment about it from yahoo answers:

If they are photographs, NOT INK JET/LASER prints, you should put them in a tray of water at about room temperature and let them soak for at least an hour. Remember true photo paper was designed to be processed in liquid chemistry! Once they have absorbed enough moisture they should separate very easily but the image will be soft and fragile so handle gently!

You could add "Photo Flo" (available at a photo stores that still sell chemical processing supplies) or a very small amount of plain dish detergent to the water.


Once they have soaked they should separate easily, if they don't, DO NOT pull them apart! Add some warm water and let them continue to soak until they have absorbed enough moisture to separate easily.

Dry the images by laying them FACE UP on a soft towel laid on a table or wire rack or suspend them from a string using PLASTIC clothes pins. The pictures may curl up while they are drying but the curl can be removed after they are completely dry by uncurling them and placing a heavy book or other weight on top pf them.


40+ Years as a photo processor and photographer.

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October 1, 2010

How do I save my photos, they are all stuck together?

By Amanda from Pittsburgh, PA


October 2, 20100 found this helpful

I read that if photos were stuck to glass to put them in the freezer for a little while, so would presume this might work here.

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May 15, 20151 found this helpful

Just so others don't spend hours agonizing over whether immersing in water will work for newer, digital camera photo prints (yes, sometimes we DO still get prints made!), the answer is yes. At least with the type of digital prints you get from places such as Walgreens. I haven't tried any created on a home printer, on glossy or matte photo paper. I have no idea if that would work the same way or not.


After a couple of days of internet research, none of which was helpful in definitively concluding that the information applied to anything other than old, darkroom-type, developer-and-fixer type photos created from negatives, I tried what I considered to be less hazardous methods, like freezing (Did NOT work. I ended up with pieces of the backs of pictures stuck to the fronts of other pictures).

Then I finally decided I had nothing to lose since the photos were not useable as they were. I went ahead and put them in water (Not distilled by the way, as some sources said. Totally unnecessary). Yes, they do curl somewhat. I'm assuming that isn't an issue because remembering back to my college photography class darkroom days, curled photos do flatten.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 14, 2010

I have two photos that were stuck together when they were in a fire. How do I get these unstuck saving the image on the second picture?

Annette from Los Angeles, CA



Photos Stuck Together

I've had great luck with the freezer and also a blow dryer. Two completely different temperatures. Why? I don't know. I just wanted to save the pictures. The freezer was easier and I didn't have to worry about accidentally "browning" the photos.

When you do get them apart, spray them with Krylon(R) Acid Free or similar product to protect them from acid destruction. (03/24/2008)

By barbara calfee

Photos Stuck Together

Just stuck all my (friends) photos in lukewarm water. All came out a treat. Thanks for advice. (04/19/2008)

By Sarah from UK

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October 20, 2005

I have 2 photos stuck together. How do I get them unstuck? I've tried freezing them and that didn't work. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Cheryl from Missouri


Pictures left in rain and stuck together!

I did hear about if you put them in the freeze for a while. I have never tried it but it is worth a try. Good Luck (09/08/2005)

By Joyce

Pictures left in rain and stuck together!

Soak them in Un-Do (aka: the scrapper's solution"). It is usually found anywhere scrapbook supplies are found. Get the largest bottle they sell and start by drizzling it over the pics, in between them.

It won't leave a film... try it, you have nothing to lose! (09/09/2005)

By Irish Kilbride

Photos Stuck Together

I had the same problem then I came across this website. I had nice vacation photos all stuck together, and after ripping the first few I needed to find a solution. This is what I did and it worked.


I put the photos stuck together in the sink and turned the water on hot. After the water was nice and warm I soaked them in the water for about 5 minutes. I went back and just pulled the pictures apart under water. They curl, but don't stick them together again, or in anything else. I put mine in a book to flatten them and then the pages transfered on the pictures. I had to repeat, but let them dry curled or not, and separately. Once they are dry (completely), you can put them under a heavy surface, such as a heavy book, bricks etc. to regain their shape. (02/25/2006)

By Ashleigh

Photos Stuck Together

I just read an idea yesterday in a book published by readers digest, they suggest using dental floss. If i remember correctly, you just slip it in any openings between the pictures as gentle as possible. I found the book by the most recent magazines, the title was something like uses for ordinary products. (03/15/2006)

By Lois Kersti Brouillette

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October 1, 2010

Please help me get my photos un-stuck. I have them soaking in water right now, they are not separating very nicely.

By laura from Eagle Mountain, UT


Photos Stuck Together

I had old photos stuck together and also stuck in the old photo albums, etc. I used my hair dryer and they came apart quickly. (05/18/2010)

By Grandma J

Photos Stuck Together

Put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Should
come apart. Read this in another tip web.
Hope it works.

By Pat

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March 17, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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April 4, 2007
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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