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Negatives from Instant Films

You have peeled the image off the backing of your instant film. Don't throw away the negative! You can reveal it easily using cold water and some bleach.

Step 1: take your negative (everything that is left of the film once you’ve peeled away the instant print) and go to the sink.

Step2: Under cold water, gently rub off the chemical grey goo of the emulsion side of the negative.

Step3: Still under running water, take a small paintbrush, dip it in some household bleach and gently paint over the black underside of the negative. It will take some time, but the bleach will take away the coating (called the anti-halation layer). Try not to get any bleach reach the other side of the negative

Step4: let it dry thoroughly and scan.

You can use gloves to handle the gooey stuff. If, like me, you don’t like gloves, it is fine as long as you wash your hands properly afterwards.

written by newepug


  1. kylethefrench


    really excited to try this

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. kylethefrench


    ok just did it but I used bleach in a spray bottle across the black back and it worked like a true dream

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  3. newepug


    ooooh... cool idea... didn't think of this... did you have to wait a while for the bleach to take effect? I usually use a brush (an old one, as the bleach burns it away after a few goes) and it takes a while for the bleach to break away the layer.

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  4. mythguy9


    so the function of the bleach is just to dissolve away the layer that prevent us from "seeing" the negative? thanks very much for the tips, i nearly threw away my very first instant negative!

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  5. newepug


    Never throw anything away lol :) Yes, that's all it does.

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